Give the Ball to Gabbert and Hope

May 15, 2013 -- 10:00am


Let’s put all of this quarterback speculation and worry to bed right now for the Jaguars.

Here’s what you do Gus Bradley: Hand the ball to Blaine Gabbert and tell him to go play; tell Chad Henne to stay ready in case of an injury, but otherwise to shut up and collect his paychecks.

The Jaguars rookie head coach actually is in a good situation. You’d have better luck finding someone who thinks JU is going to become a member of the SEC than someone who thinks the Jaguars are going to win more than 3 or 4 games.

I know Mike Mularkey was shown the door as the Jaguar coach before his wife had unpacked all of the moving boxes from Atlanta. He was in and out so fast you’d have thought he was a Kentucky basketball recruit.

But Gus has a get-out-of-jail free card for the 2013 season. He may even have a 2-year pass. He’ll likely need that much time to get the Jaguars back to respectability, but there’s still the possibility Gabbert is a late bloomer – although I caution Jaguar fans not to count on that.

So quit all these hemming and hawing about competition between the QBs. I actually think Henne is a slightly better QB than Gabbert, but in all likelihood we’ve seen Henne’s best – and that’s mediocre. There’s little risk in opening up the offense and letting Pretty Boy Gabbert sling it around in his third season just to see if there’s a chance he’ll ever resemble anything close to a 10th overall draft pick.

I’ll be surprised, even shocked, if that happens because Gabbert has shown me also nothing to indicate he can be a consistent winning NFL QB, but it’s worth the risk because there’s so little to lose.

Meanwhile, General Manager Dave Caldwell should have his scouts looking under every rock on every college campus for a QB to draft next spring. And he also should have his scouts closely monitoring any free agent-to-be under 30 years old currently playing in the NFL.

For the upcoming season, Bradley and his staff need to concentrate on developing his young defenders into a solid unit and building a competent offensive line. Stay the course with youth and speed. Find out if his rookies and such second-year players as defensive end Andre Branch and Will Rackley can play.

Prepare this team so when – if – a competent QB is found the team has a chance to make the playoffs.

Giving the QB job to Henne might get another victory or two for 2013, but, really, is there much difference between 2-14 and 4-12?

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