Around the League  

 

Jaguars' Jedd Fisch: Blaine Gabbert's career isn't over

Even if Jacksonville grabs a quarterback in May's NFL draft, Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch says it's far too early to write off Blaine Gabbert as a starting signal-caller.

Pro Bowl Draft on NFL Network
The first-ever Pro Bowl Draft will be televised during a live three-hour broadcast on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. More ...

» See full Pro Bowl roster
» Pro Bowl coverage
» NFL Network schedule

"I don't know how you can say that," Fisch told the Jaguars' official website. "There were guys who are in the Pro Bowl who never had taken a snap in the NFL at 24. You start giving names and now it sounds like you're comparing him to those guys. I'm not saying that."

Gabbert was benched against the Rams in Week 5 and never made another start in his third season in the league. Not a good sign for his fourth, but Fisch -- along with coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell -- saw growth from Gabbert down the stretch.

"I don't know if he ever had been able to sit back and watch as the No. 2 -- I mean really sit back as the backup quarterback," Fisch said.

"When you're the backup quarterback, you get certain responsibilities: 'Hey, watch this film for us and tell us what you think about their pressure package. Put this cut-up together and let's talk about their zone drops. You tell us about their defensive backs.' The pressure goes away and the study of the game can come in."

Fisch lauded Gabbert's "maturity level," saying that his "professional manner" helped keep the team free from a negative "storyline" about the quarterback switch.

In Fisch's defense, he's right: Over the years, legions of productive passers have emerged later in their pro careers, but that inherent patience is fleeting in today's game.

Henne was honest last week when asked about Jacksonville's chances of drafting or signing competition, saying: "Absolutely, there's no doubt about it."

Gabbert, under contract through next season, said there's "no question" he'll be back in 2014, per The Florida Times-Union, but a potential numbers game in Jacksonville makes that tough. Henne is expected to be brought back, and the Jaguars would shock onlookers if they don't go quarterback at No. 3. Assuming they do, an extra body would dip Gabbert into the fight of his life for a roster spot.

We previewed all four Wild Card games in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15