Jaguars general manager Gene Smith did not trade up to take Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the tenth pick in the draft in order to have Gabbert to save the franchise in 2011. He chose him to develop him and play him down the road. Gabbert’s role for the foreseeable future, barring anything unexpected, will be as the No. 2 quarterback to David Garrard.
“Fortunately for us, with David returning as a very capable starter, you don’t have to rush the development of Blaine,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio told me. “That’s a good situation. We’re operating from a position of strength as opposed to having to force a guy into duty before he’s ready.”
In order to push Gabbert’s development, Del Rio plans on giving him a significant amount of practice reps, both during camp and during the regular season. He also wants Gabbert to seek mentorship from former successful quarterbacks, and plans on setting up meetings as soon as he is able.
“I’d love to see him spend some time with a Joe Theisman, a Rich Gannon, guys I know well who have done it at the highest level,” Del Rio said. “Find out what it takes to be a quarterback in this league, what are some of the things you should and should not be doing. How you manage your time, deal with people pulling at you from different directions, prepare for different teams, digest a playbook. All those things that experience helps with.”