Jaguars QB battle: Blaine Gabbert vs. the hype


Training camp is finally almost here. They allow tackling there and everything. Around the League will count down the top 30 position battles to watch throughout the preseason.

Top 30 training camp position battles

No. 30: Seahawks running backs
No. 29: Packers No. 3 receiver
No. 28: Broncos backup running back
No. 27: Bengals cornerbacks
No. 26: Raiders backup quarterback
No. 25: Cardinals receiver
No. 24: Jets right tackle
No. 23: Jets linebacker
No. 22: Redskins running back
No. 21: Giants No. 3 receiver
No. 20: Patriots receiver
No. 19: Colts tight end
No. 18: Rams receivers
No. 17: Jaguars quarterbacks
No. 16: Bears wide receivers
No. 15: NFL safety battles
No. 14: Jaguars No. 2 receiver
No. 13: Bears left tackle
No. 12: Randy Moss vs. Father time
No. 11: Lions receivers
No. 10: Cardinals running back
No. 9: Ravens pass rusher
No. 8: Dolphins quarterback
No. 7: Buccaneers running back
No. 6: Steelers defensive end
No. 5: Dolphins wide receiver
No. 4: Cardinals quarterback
No. 3: The Oakland Raiders
No. 2: Titans quarterback
No. 1: Seahawks quarterback

No. 17 Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert vs. offseason hype

• The Jacksonville Jaguars, led by coach Mike Mularkey, stood strongly behind Gabbert this offseason. Mularkey said last year's No. 10 overall draft pick is clearly the Jaguars' starting quarterback. They say Gabbert is a new man this offseason. They say Chad Henne is stuck in the backup role.

• Actions speak louder than words. The Jaguars aggressively signed Henne in free agency, paying him more than $4 million. You don't give that kind of money to a backup unless you are desperate or unless he's not necessarily a backup. That's not traditional backup money.

• I have no doubt Gabbert will be the Week 1 starter. But his performance in training camp and the preseason will be vital towards keeping his job during the season. Can Gabbert gain the confidence of his new coaches? Can he make his teammates believe?

• We listed this position battle even though Gabbert should be the Week 1 starter because all the OTA puff pieces surrounding Gabbert mean very little. There wasn't hitting in minicamp season. Gabbert's struggles with pressure hasn't been tested like it will be in the preseason.

Henne also has a lot to prove. It's not too late to carve out a solid career as a starter. If he outperforms Gabbert in August, the coaching staff will have no choice but to take notice.

Projected winner: Gabbert should win the battle in August, but he'll lose the war during the regular season.