2011’s 1st round draft pick stepped into the Jags line up as the starting QB, supplanting both Jacksonville fan favorite David Garrard and journeyman Luke McCown by Week 3. On paper that may sound impressive, but considering that the “Teal Cats” finished 5-11, it could be (and has been) argued by many NFL experts that Blain Gabbart was not the best option as Jacksonville’s future franchise QB. His critics say he looked more like a deer in the headlights standing in the pocket rather than an NFL field general. However, others cite his lack of a talented WR squad and the injury to Pro Bowl TE Marcedes Lewis as a daunting prospect for any NFL QB, let alone a rookie. It certainly couldn’t be said that the Jags lacked a running attack since RB Maurice Jones-Drew racked up 1600+ yards on the ground and nearly 400 receiving. With new owner Shad Khan stepping assuming franchise control along with new Head Coach Mike Mularky, perhaps the healing can begin.
The Jags have managed to solve the problem of a lack of air targets for Gabbart. Their 1st first-round draft pick of 2012, WR Justin Blackmon, looks to be an instant contributor while WR Laurent Robinson adds further augmentation to a corps whose only remaining big name is Mike Thomas. (And by big name, I mean a player who is known by Jag fans and NFL media.) The recovery of Lewis should cement the final piece to a complete upgrade. If Gabbart fails to improve, Chad Henne is on the roster as an insurance policy.
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