Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Second-Half Blitzes Take Toll on Gabbert; Jaguars Pass More, but Attack Fizzles in Rookie's Second Start

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Second-Half Blitzes Take Toll on Gabbert; Jaguars Pass More, but Attack Fizzles in Rookie's Second Start

Article excerpt

Byline: Tania Ganguli

After spending extended time in the cold tub after Sunday's game, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert walked into his news conference with his hair disheveled and his eye black still smudged after his second NFL start.

"We've just got to make plays, and that starts with me," Gabbert said after a 23-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. "We didn't execute like we wanted to in the second half and that showed in the score."

The Jaguars' plan was to pass more than they did through the torrential downpour that they faced at Carolina on Sept. 25. The Jaguars did that, starting the game with seven consecutive pass plays. Late in the game, too, the Jaguars turned to the passing game to try to come from behind. It gave plenty of opportunity for the Jaguars to see, starkly, what their rookie quarterback could do at this stage in his development.

Gabbert finished with 16 completions on 42 passes for 196 yards. He threw one touchdown and one interception for a 51.3 passer rating.

"I saw bright signs from Blaine," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "In particular early in the game, I thought he was pretty sharp. We had a combination of drops and misfires and errors that keep us from doing some more damage - in particular in the second half. I definitely saw things that were encouraging, things that we can build and grow on."

The Saints have had a lot of success against rookie quarterbacks in Gregg Williams' time as defensive coordinator. The former Jaguars defensive coordinator's blitz-heavy style has led to a 7-3 record against first-year quarterbacks, with only three touchdowns allowed and 16 interceptions.

Williams told Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter after the game that he blitzed Gabbert as much as he'd blitzed any quarterback he'd faced. Gabbert handled the pressure well in the first half, completing 12 of 24 passes for 165 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. …

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