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Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Blaine Gabbert Needs to Build Confidence Against Cleveland Browns

November 19th, 2011 at 1:19 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

Jacksonville Jaguars  rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert did something against the Indianapolis Colts last week that he hasn't done since the preseason: look comfortable.

Well, comfortable at times. Which is an improvement.

Gabbert only threw for 118 yards against the winless Colts but completed 14-of-21 passes and threw for a touchdown. Other than an ill advised red zone interception in the first quarter, Gabbert looked pretty poised and made some throws that reminded you why the Jaguars (3-6) traded up in the first round to take him.

With a little bit of momentum on his side for the first time in months, the question must be asked if Gabbert can hone some of his efficiency against the Colts and continues against the Cleveland Browns (3-6) this Sunday? 

Fortunately for Gabbert, he's going against one of the league's worst defenses, which is something that didn't happen often during the first half of the season. Cleveland gives up the fewest amount of passing yards per game but that's because they allow a whopping 142 yards on the ground per game.

If Jacksonville can establish its rushing attack early, Gabbert can get off on some play action passes.

The biggest problem for Gabebrt this season has seemingly been a lack of confidence, which is typical for a rookie quarterback. He displayed all the tools of being an NFL quarterback early in preseason camp but became more skittish as the season progressed. Between receivers not helping him out and getting introduced to pro speed and physicality, Gabbert has faltered this year.

But after his efficient outing against the Colts, there might be hope that he can turn things around this season. He saw receivers Jarett Dillard and Chastin West step up for him last week and as the game went on, Gabbert began delivering a better football by stepping up in the pocket, which is something he hasn't done enough. 

Now that he sees what happens when his receivers can get separation and he doesn't play tentatively, maybe Gabbert can get back to preseason form give the Jaguars a somewhat balanced offensive attack. 

Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Chastin West, Cleveland Browns, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jarett Dillard, NFL

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