It's still too early to tell who the Jaguars will be starting week 1 of the regular season, but all indications are that Blaine Gabbert may be in a real battle for the position with David Garrard. This report is very praising of Blaine Gabbert, and if it is indeed an accurate depiction of what's happening, David Garrard may be in trouble as the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars:
"I had a chance to go to training camp this morning and boy, did Blaine Gabbert look good. His passes were accurate, well-timed, and had power behind them. He did a nice job of anticipating his receivers and completed passes to several of them including Mike Thomas and rookie Cecil Shorts. Gabbert has been splitting first team reps with veteran David Garrard, who (in my opinion) has been a little shaky the couple of times Ive watched him this week. But Gabbert has looked poised, confident, and most of all, consistent. I know it’s training camp. I know it’s not a game situation with blitzes and pressure and defenders in your face. I get that–but still, you’ve got to be good in practice if you want to be good on the field."
On top of all that, John Oehser is reporting that Gabbert got "some of the most extensive work he has gotten with the "ones" since starter David Garrard returned from a back injury." By no means is the quarterback battle decided, but this leads me to wonder, and I believe logically, whether or not David Garrard will actually be the starter by the time September 11th rolls around.
From Jack Del Rio's perspective, David Garrard winning the quarterback battle would be the best outcome. You always want your veteran to be the more poised quarterback when he's going up against a rookie, but by the same token, Del Rio needs to win now, not later. In that regard, JDR will almost certainly start the best guy, even if that means throwing a rookie into the fire early.
Luckily for Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars have a very solid running game to offer him. That would allow them to ease him into the role, and it gives a young guy the chance to flourish. It's the same kind of situation that Ben Roethlisberger was put in, and the results speak for themselves.
I've been a David Garrard supporter for a long time, but he's not a young player anymore, and as Vic Ketchman likes to say, "It's a young man's game." From the fans perspective, or at least mine, I'm anxious to see the Jaguars win, but I'm also anxious to see the Blaine Gabbert era begin. Everyone knows that it's Gabberts team at some point, and I think there's no avoiding it for David Garrard.
I'll go ahead and cut to the chase. I think it may be time for the Jaguars to begin looking into trade opportunities to unload David Garrard. I like the guy, and he's brought Jaguars fans a lot of good memories (2007 playoffs against the Steelers, the Hail Mary), but it may be time to part ways. I'll go ahead and make the prediction (and you heard it here first), Blaine Gabbert will be the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 11th against the Tennessee Titans at Everbank Field.
There, I said it. Now let's see if I'm right.