Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/22/12

Blaine Gabbert had what most would consider to be a disastrous rookie campaign especially when you compare him to fellow 2011 rookie quarterbacks Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, and even Christian Ponder.

Gabbert threw for 2,214 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 11 intercetptions. His completion percentage was a measly 50.8 and his quarterback rating was a lowly 65.4.

Part of this could be attributed to the lack of talent at the receiver positions.

The Jaguars have a very young receiving corps with no established veterans.

The Jaguars have attempted to address this by drafting a big name college wdeout in Justin Blackmon and by signing free agent journeyman Laurent Robinson.



Another reason that affected a lot of other quarterbacks (including Kevin Kolb of the Cardinals) was the limited offseason offered by the lockout which may not have been long enough for him to fully take onboard an NFL offense.

Gabbert spent his entire college career at Missouri in the "spread offense" which is very different to that of a pro-style offense.

Of course, Cam Newton also played in a spread offense but he had the benefit of having a veteran presence in Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and even Derek Anderson so his transistion would have been quicker.

Chad Henne was brought in from local Florida franchise, the Miami Dolphins. Henne's career with the Dolphins was less than spectaular and his inconsistent form cost him his job as the Dolphins' starting quarterback.

In Henne, the Jaguars have brought in a player with experience of an NFL offense and who could mentor Gabbert into being a better quarterback  He also has the ability to step up and deliver if Gabbert starts faltering and putting up the same numbers of his rookie season which is something the Jaguars cannot afford.

Henne may use this opportunity to show why he shouldn't have been benched in favor of Matt Moore during his time in Miami, which means he'll be fighting hard to get the starting job.

Whilst the Jaguars may not be ready to give up on their 2011 10th overall pick, Blaine Gabbert needs to improve drastically if he wants to remain the starting quarterback. If he does not show signs of improvement, the Jaguars have a backup plan in Chad Henne.

Blaine Gabbert will therefore be the starter in the Week 1 opener against the Minnesota Vikings. If he doesn't show improvements even with the upgraded receiving corps, a full offseason, and a veteran presence, we may be seeing Chad Henne making his first starts for his new team by the midway point of the season.

 



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