Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Harbaugh: Fresh Start May Help 'Talented' Gabbert

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Harbaugh: Fresh Start May Help 'Talented' Gabbert

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

ORLANDO | The Jaguars were universally applauded earlier this month when they secured a sixth-round pick from San Francisco for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was no longer in Jacksonville's plans after the re-signing of Chad Henne.

But the way 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh sees it, a move to the West Coast could benefit Gabbert.

"Another really good player and where he was picked in the draft [No. 10] was evidence of that," Harbaugh said Tuesday at the NFL's annual meeting. "It's an interesting thing: I think he's a very talented player and his career so far hasn't gone on to be what he expected and maybe others expected it to be.

"But I believe this can be a really powerful opportunity, a powerful motivation for [Gabbert] to say, aeIt wasn't me, it was my situation.' And now he has that opportunity."

It was an interesting passing-of-the-buck by Harbaugh - basically blaming the Jaguars' constant upheaval as a reason for Gabbert's lack of success.

But there is something to be said for a player flaming out in one situation and then flourishing once he moves on to another franchise. Gabbert will only get that chance in San Francisco if Colin Kaepernick is injured.

"Everybody finds motivation in different ways," Harbaugh said. "Blaine started when he was [21]. He comes [to the 49ers] and can write a new chapter. I've seen it work with other players. That's a win-win we're hoping for."

It was certainly a win-win for the Jaguars, who were able to move on from Gabbert and get his guaranteed salary of $2,011,587 off the books. Gabbert will make more than twice as much as Kaepernick ($973,766).

In the 2011 draft, Gabbert went No. 10 to the Jaguars and Kaepernick No. 36 to San Francisco. Their career have been on opposite paths ever since.

Gabbert was forced into the starting lineup in Week 3 of his rookie year, played for three head coaches with the Jaguars and had a 5-22 record the Jaguars.

Kaepernick backed up Alex Smith for a year-and-a-half before taking over - he's a combined 21-8 in the regular season/playoffs with one Super Bowl appearance. …

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