Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey has already named second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert his starter, but the No. 10-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft is not taking his spot at the top of the depth chart for granted, Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union reports.
"I compete every practice," Gabbert said. "I know perfect isnât really ever achievable, but I like to think it is. Iâm plenty competitive and I get really mad at myself, just like anybody would if you expect it to be perfect. When you miss a throw, miss something easy that you know you can make, the biggest thing is you just have to bounce back."
Gabbert must have been downright furious with himself during a rookie season when he barely completed 50 percent of his 413 pass attempts for 2,218 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Gabbert also was sacked 40 times and his 5.4 yards per attempt was dead last among qualifying quarterbacks.
Gabbert has been thoroughly roasted in the national media. He also hasn't been given great odds to keep Chad Henne, who was signed a two-year, $6.75 million contract two days into free agency, from replacing him this summer. So he deserves some credit for letting Mularkey's declaration go in one ear and out there other, continuing to compete for the starting job.
"If you don't go out there and compete in every aspect of your life -- your football life, I should say -- in the weight room, in the film room, on the football field, youâre not going to be successful," Gabbert said. "You know somebody, somewhere is busting their tail harder than you."