Mike Mularkey Names Gabbert Starter

Gabbert throws a pass in 2011

We were all under the impression that even though Blaine Gabbert had a very poor rookie season, and the team signed a new quarterback in Chad Henne, that it was still his job to lose. Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey confirmed that recently during an interview with NFL Networks Albert Breer.

“No, it’s not (a competition). Blaine’s our starting quarterback,” Mularkey said, “I give him credit for handling the negativity — I haven’t seen it affect him. It’d be easy to go into a shell, worry about perception. He has a lot of confidence and he doesn’t let outside sources influence that. That’s hard to do in this business, especially now with all this Facebook and Twitter. There’s so much more pressure on him, but he’s been good. I’m a big body-language reader, and on the practice field, the cafeteria, in the meetings, he has a confidence about him. We feel good about him.”

That is as good a vote of confidence as you can get from a head coach, and Mularkey is hoping that his confidence and tutelage in Gabbert will translate to improvement on the field. The Jaguars have armed him with a plethora of talents, in Justin Blackmon, Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans, so they will expect to see significant improvement in his second year, and apparently that improvement is already noticable.

“I’ve seen improvement over the short time I’ve been with him, and (in the spring) you get coaching and teaching in a less stressful environment,” Mularkey said. “We’re working on some of the fundamentals in his drops now. Not saying that he was taught it wrong, but every coach has their beliefs. None of them are wrong, but we need to be on the same page on some of those things, and we already started working on that in April. Primarily, it’s his drops and balance in the pocket.”

He may be on a short leash but, for now at least, Gabbert is the Jaguars starting quarterback.

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