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Blaine Gabbert a different player in Jaguars' eyes

Few players were more maligned last season than Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

With that in mind, his public rehabilitation this summer was almost inevitable. It would have been surprising if we didn't hear a lot of positive press about Gabbert. This is just how the NFL news cycle works. It's the offseason. Every young player who struggled last season is ready to turn it around.

The positive press has been particularly insistent when it comes to Gabbert. Let's hear from John Oesher of Jaguars.com. It's a long passage, but well worth reading:

"It's not unfair to say he made real and necessary strides this offseason. What you wanted and needed to hear about Gabbert this offseason was that he was focusing on the fundamentals in his drop and doing things correctly and naturally enough that he can carry them into pressurized situations in the regular season.

"All reports were that the fundamentals improved and that Gabbert had a good offseason on that front. During the first two days of minicamp -- the first time the media has been allowed to watch a full practice since the beginning of the offseason program - the difference in Gabbert was obvious. He has looked all offseason like a different player off the field -- more confidence, and a bit more maturity -- and the player we saw on the field for most of minicamp looked different, too.

"This is all 'just the offseason,' of course, and everything you can say positive about Gabbert seems empty until you see it on the field in September, but he has looked about as good as a second-year quarterback learning a new offense and getting NFL coaching for the first time could look in an offseason."

I can hear what you are thinking. (Really, I have that power.) This is the Jaguars' website. They have to say that.

That's not fair to Oesher, who is an excellent reporter. (And judge of football.) If he's writing this, it is truly what he believes and surely what the team believes.

It doesn't mean Gabbert will be a different player in the regular season. I have my doubts. What showed up on film last year matters more.

Disagreement in evaluation is healthy, though. If Gabbert surprises and plays well this year, it sounds like a lot of folks around the Jaguars won't be so surprised.

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