Blaine Gabbert didn't help his chances of becoming the Jaguars' starter on Friday. No, he wasn't terrible, but he looked uncomfortable and fleet-footed at times. David Garrard wasn't much better. Garrard looked more comfortable, but he missed a potential touchdown to Marcedes Lewis, and he threw a very, very ugly interception that was intended for Mike Thomas.
There was one solid performance from a Jaguars quarterback though.
Luke McCown complete 8 of 9 passes for 86 yards and the game winning touchdown. McCown did miss on a two point conversion attempt that was wide open, but you can't argue with the way he managed the game.
A win feels good to everyone, even if it's only in the pre-season, but I have to wonder. Why isn't McCown getting time with the 1st team offense?
Last year, McCown played as well as Garrard in the pre-season, if not better. David Garrard was pulled in an early season game against the Chargers. McCown was later injured in that game, and he missed the rest of the 2010 season. I'm still wondering if he would have been named the starter the following week had he remained healthy.
That was then, this is now.
McCown played against mostly second and third team players against the Falcons, and it's hard to tell how his nearly flawless performance would translate against a first team unit. There's only one sure-fire way to find out too. He has to be put in with the first teamers.
Here's where I'm coming from. There's no denying that the Jaguars have a quarterback battle heating up, and the best quarterback will win the starting job. It's also widely believed that if that quarterback is not David Garrard, he'll be either cut or traded. Why not put everyone on a level playing field. I think it would be good for Gabbert to get a chance to sit and learn. Besides, with the appearance that Peyton Manning could (I said could not will) miss a game or two to kick off the season,the division hasn't been this wide open since the days of Mark Brunell.
I'm not saying that Luke McCown is the savior of the Jaguars. In fact, I think most of you are tired of hearing me and every other Jaguars blogger/writer/reporter flip flopping from thinking Garrard's the guy to thinking Gabbert's the guy. I'll avoid that until we get a definitive answer from Coach Del Rio. What I am saying is Luke McCown has spent time in this system. He's as capable a backup as there is in the NFL. He deserves a shot too.