I understand that the quarterback position in the NFL is hard, and it’s probably difficult to throw a pass with pin-point accuracy when you’re being pursued by a jacked-up 260 pound monster who wants nothing more than to give you the old “LT on Theismann” (not for the squeamish) treatment.
Still, though, if the objective of the quarterback is to make sure that the pigskin ends up in an eligible receiver’s hands, Blaine Gabbert is failing at his job. In his rookie season last year, Gabbert started 15 games and only completed 50.8% of his passes; that was good for the second worse percentage in the league for quarterbacks who attempted at least 14 passes per game. The only quarterback who took regular reps and had a worse completion percentage was Tim Tebow, and everyone knows Tebow can’t chuck.
This year is a fresh start for Gabbert, but according to a tweet from Jacksonville.com writer Vito Stellino, he’s still not finding his receiver’s mitts.
This problem with accuracy will be held under a microscope as long as running back Maurice Jones-Drew continues his holdout. Jones-Drew led the NFL in carries and rushing yards last year, and without a dependable back getting touches, Gabbert may be forced to shoulder the load on offense.
Gabbert is also missing a potential big target with the holdout of rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The Jags’ first-round pick in 2012 is still trying to hammer out the details of his rookie contract, something that may have been delayed while he was dealing with his own personal problems.
Between Gabbert’s ill firing arm, Jones-Drew’s holdout and Blackmon’s holdout/DUI charge, it’s been an embarrassing offseason for Jacksonville. Maybe I was wrong in telling fans not to panic, and maybe it really is time to crack open each other’s heads and feast on the goo inside (seriously, don’t do this).