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Jacksonville Jaguars Confidence Rating (Pre-Free Agency): Quarterback

July 4th, 2011 at 10:18 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

How should Jacksonville Jaguars fans feel about their 2011 team? 

Obviously things will change when free agency starts, but I would like to take some time and analyze Jacksonville’s roster as it is currently constructed. 
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard encourages the crowd during the second half of their NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Jacksonville, Florida December 12, 2010. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard was ruled out for the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve, the NFL team said on December 31, 2010. REUTERS/Daron Dean/Files (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
But rather than simply rating how good I think a position group will be, I will instead be giving each position a “Confidence Rating”,” meaning I will rank the respective position by how fans should feel about the collective group of current players . Overall potential as well as depth will be highly scrutinized in configurin g this rating. 
I’ll use a pretty archaic 1-10 scale (1 being less confident, 10 being extremely confident) to determine just how good or bad I think a group can be. 
This ranking could (and will likely) change after free agency and the preseason.
So let’s get this under way. Today I’ll start off with quarterbacks.
Question To Answer: How long can an aging David Garrard hold off hot-shot rookie Blaine Gabbert?
Breakdown: Garrard is a hard guy to figure out. He was mind-numbingly efficient in his first year as a full-time starter in 2007, throwing 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions. But since then he’s been infuriatingly inconsistent. He’s thrown 53 TDs to 38 INTs in the past three seasons but has been prone to mental lapses at the worst possible times. This lack of confidence in the 33-year-old has led the Jaguars to search for an eventual replacement. That replacement is Gabbert, the 10th overall selection in this past year’s draft. He was a productive player at Missouri and he has outstanding intangibles. Luke McCown is solid yet unspectacular but could make some noise if he has a good preseason. At the very least, he provides good depth.
This Group Will Be Fine If…Garrard can gain confidence in a simplified offense. 
Worst Case Scenario: Gabbert begins the season as the starter. 
Prediction: Garrard gets paid an awful lot and might have to take a pay-cut to stick around. That scenario can easily come to fruition and if it does, look for him to be the opening day starter. If not, he might be gone. Gabbert will push for the job right away but the rookie has an awful lot of mechanical issues to work on before he takes over full time. Ideally, Garrard will lead the team for the entire 2011 season although many would like to see Gabbert take over right away. The outcome will probably be something in between, with Gabbert getting starts towards the end of the year if the Jaguars are out of playoff contention.  Garrard will likely have some moments early on in the season but some big game letdowns will open up the door for Gabbert in late November.
My Confidence Rating: 5There's some potential, but Garrard will have to rewind time to really make me feel good about the quarterback position this season.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, David Garrard, draft, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Luke McCown, quarterback

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