Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Might Add Veteran Passer; Offensive Coordinator Says an Experienced Backup QB Would Help Gabbert's Development

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Might Add Veteran Passer; Offensive Coordinator Says an Experienced Backup QB Would Help Gabbert's Development

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

New offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski suggested Friday the Jaguars might bring in an experienced quarterback as a backup to help mentor Blaine Gabbert, who struggled in his rookie season.

"It's always great to have a veteran quarterback around him, and I'm not sure where we're at with that at this point," Bratkowski said. "But to have those other set of eyes that would help him in his development could be important. I'm sure we'll look at that as we move forward."

Bratkowski compared it to when he was in Cincinnati in 2003 and had veteran Jon Kitna mentoring Carson Palmer.

"He played Carson's first year," Bratkowski said. "Carson got to sit and watch and then the next year he became Carson's set of eyes on the sidelines and in practice. If you ask Carson to this day, he's going to tell you that Jon Kitna was very influential, was a great help to him."

Among the possible free agents the Jaguars could look at are Kyle Orton and Jake Delhomme.

The Jaguars originally planned to have Gabbert sit on the sidelines his rookie year. But former coach Jack Del Rio cut Garrard five days before the season started and installed Luke McCown as the starter.

Del Rio then benched McCown after he threw four interceptions in the second game against the New York Jets. That was a move former team owner Wayne Weaver later said he regretted.

Gabbert was thrust into the starting lineup without an offseason at age 21 as a true junior coming out of college and without having a quality group of receivers. He finished the season with the lowest passer rating in the league.

Now Gabbert will have an offseason with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, who was hired earlier this week.

"I know he's very detailed and we'll talk about what we need to work on and what we need to address with him,'' Bratkowski said of Olson, who spent the past three years as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator.

Regardless of the coaching he gets, Bratkowski said it ultimately comes down to Gabbert performing.

"The quarterback himself has to take that responsibility,'' he said. "He is going to have to study, he's going to have to get in and look at film not only of himself, but of the styles of defenses he's facing. …

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