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Jaguars Coach Mel Tucker Overly Defends Former Mizzou Quarterback Blaine Gabbert

Very few quarterbacks can transition to the NFL with the ease of a player like Cam Newton. Every rookie experiences growing pains. Game in and game out, their performance will look up and down, as exhibited by recent outings by Christian Ponder of the Vikings or T.J. Yates of the Texans. Blaine Gabbert has certainly been thrown to the lions this season when he was thrust into the starting role with the Jacksonville Jaguars after one pro game.

That said, he’s also taken considerable criticism based upon his lackluster performance in the pocket. But interim head coach Mel Tucker says Gabbert is tough and doing just fine.

“I see Blaine as being courageous in the pocket,” Tucker said. "I see him as being super-tough. I see him being very, very competitive and my feeling is that his teammates and his coaches feel the same way.

“Obviously, yeah, I mean he needs to improve in some areas and he’d be the first to tell you, and I’ve stated that before. He needs to continue to improve,” Tucker said. “I think he’s made some strides, I know he’s made some strides and we have to continue to get better around him.”

Gabbert has a 65.6 passer rating this season with 11 touchdowns to go with 10 interceptions.