While most NFL franchises make major changes around this time of year, it all comes one at a time over a prolonged period with rumors to tell you that something is coming. Then there was the seismic shifts the Jacksonville Jaguars put out there only weeks ago with the sale of the team from Wayne Weaver to Shahid Khan, the firing of head coach Jack Del Rio and the extension of Gene Smith as GM in a 24-hour period. Yet through it all, one thing remained: the team’s commitment to Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback.
Gabbert endured a frustrating rookie season with a 64.5 passer rating and a 50.8 completion percentage. He threw 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and had 5 fumbles as well.
Khan, the new owner of the Jags, explained to the media recently that the hiring process for a new head coach includes support from Gabbert as the long-term starter.
“I think he [Gabbert] is going to be a great quarterback. I think he is our franchise quarterback. I think he needs development. We want to develop him. We want to give him tools. A dedicated coach. And I think he’s going to be great.”
“I think a key question you have to ask any potential coach, what are you going to do to develop him? How do you make him the best he can be? Really, I’ve been asking them point blank, ‘Can you work with him?’ And so far everybody says he’s great,” he said.