“So take me away, I don’t mind, But you better promise me, I’ll be back in time” – Huey Lewis and the News from “Back in Time” from the movie Back to the Future. No, Blaine, your time is up. You’re out of time. Injured, inaccurate, and lacking confidence is the best way to describe Blaine Gabbert and his play currently.
Gabbert got hurt in St. Louis, he has a hamstring strain, and Coach Bradley has already said when he’s healthy, he will be the starter again. Which is why that lyric from Back to the Future struck me as perfect. I have been one of probably the last few remaining Gabbert supporters out in any media, and his play over the weekend was just what I needed to see to finally cut bait. No more promising him the starter’s job anymore, it’s time to move on. No more can be said to try to rescue his career in Jacksonville anymore.
Gabbert has always been the guy who looks great in practice but can’t put it together on the field. He has the arm, the mobility, and mostly all the tools to succeed as an NFL quarterback. But after his terrible performance against St. Louis, it’s clear he can’t put it all together, at least not here. The fans won’t wait for it anymore, and they shouldn’t.
There is only one reason why the Jaguars should play Gabbert once he is healthy. They need the number one overall pick in the draft to assure themselves of getting the best college quarterback for the future. Playing Henne might get you 3-4 wins, but if the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers don’t start winning, then those 3-4 “feel good now” wins, could end up costing the team the shot to get that franchise QB. Therefore, playing Gabbert gives them the best chance to get the number one pick. This team needs it, and the fans deserve it after putting up with so much ineptitude the past 3 years at the QB position.
The team won’t publicly come out and say it, Caldwell and Bradley would lose the team if they did, but I get the feeling that putting Gabbert back in as the starter when he’s healthy, is a clear sign that they are playing for that pick. Giving Gabbert every opportunity to fail and cleanly cut ties with him, is what is needed. Once that happens, then a clean slate can be had and the team can get rid of both Gabbert and Henne and start fresh with the two quarterbacks they will draft. With 10 picks in this draft for the Jaguars, two quarterbacks are not out of the question. Similar to what Washington did with RGIII and Kirk Cousins two years ago.
Cutting ties with a kid who is so young always runs the risk of him blossoming somewhere else. But at this stage of his career and the majority of the fan-base turning on him, it’s probably time to consider what his next step will be, somewhere other than in Jacksonville. Consider it a learning experience and good luck to ya kid. It just didn’t work here. You just simply ran out of time.