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Open competition for Jags QB spot: Blaine Gabbert vs. ... ummmm

February 26, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (David Duprey / Associated…)

Blaine Gabbert will have to earn the starting quarterback spot he has held with the Jacksonville Jaguars the previous two seasons.

At least, that's what General Manager David Caldwell said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine when asked by if Gabbert could be considered the incumbent starter.

"It's going to be a wide-open competition," Caldwell said.

But just who will Gabbert be competing against? Chad Henne, who has done an admirable job with the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, is still there but probably wouldn't have fans dancing in the streets if he were to claim the job.

Jacksonville has the No. 2 pick in the draft, and if the rumors are true that No. 1 Kansas City is ready to trade for San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, then the Jaguars could have their pick of any QB out there.

Problem is, there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut franchise quarterback available. New Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo has already said that Gabbert would be ahead of any QB in this year's draft class. Not that Scelfo will ultimately be making the decision for the Jaguars, but he's got to have at least some input.

As far as free agency goes, the pickings get pretty slim after Baltimore's Joe Flacco, and does anyone really think the Super Bowl MVP won't be re-signing with the Ravens? That leaves guys such as Rex Grossman and Matt Leinart to choose from -- again, probably not much to strike fear in the heart of Gabbert.

So let the competition begin. At the very least, it might light a fire under Gabbert, who has led Jaguars to a 5-19 record while competing just 53.8% of his passes and throwing for 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

And if not, then Jacksonville fans can say hello to their new starting quarterback ... whomever that might be.


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