Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, it’s time to get serious about some football. Granted the lockout is in full affect still, but the hope is that the deal for a new CBA will be in place by the end of the week possibly the end of the weekend.
With the hopeful start of training camp just a few weeks away, I am going to take a look into a few of the notable position battles that are going to highlight the Jaguars preseason. Today’s main focus will be the battle for the staring QB position, which should be hotly contested between incumbent David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert.
Pros: Has 5 seasons worth of being a starting quarterback under his belt. David has shown flashes of being a very good quarterback in the past, most notably in 2007 when he had 18 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while leading the Jaguars to the playoffs. Last season David went 8-6 as a starter last season, passing for 2734 yards and throwing 23 touchdowns.
Cons: While he has shown flashes of greatness, he has also shown inept passing skills and bad decision making. Some people have questioned his desire to win and his work ethic, as well as his on field ability. David threw 15 interceptions last season, and has thrown double digit interceptions in the past three seasons. His ability to turn the ball over doesn’t stop there, as over the past 2 seasons he has fumbled the ball 25 times.
Pros: Hasn’t been beat up by the rigors of an NFL schedule. Blaine has a big arm and is smart with the ball. Blaine threw for 40 touchdowns over the past 2 seasons at Missouri. Blaine has quick footwork, and is good at moving around when a play breaks down. Blaine is also very eager to learn and has a huge desire to win, and will play with a chip on his shoulder to prove he was the best available quarterback in this years draft.
Cons: Hasn’t been beaten up by an NFL schedule yet, no one is really sure how he can handle taking hits from some of the best pass rushers in the league. Has very limited experience with taking snaps from under center. Blaine will also have to learn to read and react to the speed of NFL defenses. Blaine also is behind because of the lockout, he is going to play catch up to learn all the nuances of the playbook, and the calls at the line.
The outcome of this battle is most likely going to fall in Garrard’s favor, but this is likely his last chance for him to prove he deserves the job. If Garrard slips, Blaine will be thrust into the starters roll. Don’t look for Blaine to just lay down in training camp though, this is going to be one of the hottest battles in the league when camp finally kicks off. The next battle that will get looked into will be the battle at the wide receiver position.