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Jaguars' Mularkey: QB Gabbert 'can do a lot of things for us'

New Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful young quarterback in the NFL.

Mularkey was Matt Ryan's offensive coordinator when Ryan first entered the league out of Boston College, and Mularkey helped coach Ryan to one of the better rookie seasons by a quarterback in NFL history as he led the Falcons to an 11-5 record and a wild-card berth.

Mularkey spent four years grooming Ryan into one of the league's better quarterbacks, and now he enters another relationship with a young signal-caller: Blaine Gabbert. Mularkey recently told The Florida Times-Union that Gabbert reminds him a little bit of Ryan.

"With Matt, it was never good enough," Mularkey said. "Even when it was good, it wasn't good enough. I think he (Gabbert) wants to be good. It's important to him."

Gabbert, whom the Jaguars selected 10th overall in the 2011 draft, struggled throughout his rookie season and oftentimes looked overwhelmed against NFL defenses. Gabbert completed only 50.8 percent of his passes and threw 12 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in his 14 starts.

"I don't want to get into the things that took place last year, but (I think) there were things in his head even before the ball was snapped," Mularkey said. "He knew there may be a chance the rush could get to him for a variety of reasons. I don't want to step on any toes, but I've got to get that out of his head."

When assessing Gabbert's abilities, however, Mularkey didn't sound like a coach who viewed Gabbert as a lost cause.

"He's got a strong arm. He can move out of the pocket. He's intelligent, (can operate) the no huddle," Mularkey said. "I think he can do a lot of things for us. And I think the guy wants to be coached. You can tell some quarterbacks think they know it all. I don't have that feeling (about Gabbert)."

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