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Garrard says Gabbert must train his mind to take hits

Coming off a rookie season that led some to wonder if the Jaguars put their franchise in the wrong hands, the spotlight will shine bright on Blaine Gabbert in 2012.

David Garrard was a teammate of Gabbert's last summer before being cut on the eve of the season opener. Garrard saw the raw talent in Gabbert, and thinks he can improve with the right adjustments.

"I know he can do it; I just think everything was happening so fast for him last year," Garrard told Sirius XM Radio on Tuesday, according to The Florida Times-Union. "Trying to protect himself, trying to live to the next down. The best ones do it. Brees does it. Brady does it. You just have to do it."

Gabbert had the lowest passer rating in football last season and exhibited an obviously skittish nature in the pocket. Gabbert's habit of ducking in the face of a pass rush was a common and troubling sight for a team that used the 10th overall pick to draft the QB.

Earlier this month, new Jags coach Mike Mularkey said Gabbert could succeed once he rids himself of bad habits. Garrard feels the same way.

"You can't learn to be brave in the pocket, but if he just trains his mind to think, 'You're going to get hit,'" Garrard said. "Most of the time they really don't hurt, it just catches you off guard. But you're going to get hit. He's just got to develop that in his mind, in his body, in his being on his own. Nobody can say stand out there and take the shot. But you've got to do that."

We find it interesting that Garrard -- who says he's healthy following back surgery -- is open to a return to Jacksonville. He might have positive things to say about Gabbert, but that doesn't mean he won't pass on the chance to take the man's job.

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