Postcard from camp: Jaguars
At a nighttime scrimmage at the Jags' stadium, now called EverBank Field. A gathering of maybe 12,000 (the Jags estimated 15,000, but it looked thinner than that) were on hand to see if Blaine Gabbert provides this team hope that it has found a long-term quarterback.
What Mularkey did, along with offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski and quarterback coach Greg Olson, is work with Gabbert to smooth his mechanics in and out of the pocket, get him to read his progressions more consistently and have the confidence to know when to fit the ball in small spaces and when to throw the check-down.
"The biggest thing is the coaching, coming off the lockout last year,'' said Gabbert. "That's been important in my progress this offseason." Gabbert was 10 of 13 in the scrimmage for 91 yards, throwing two balls on a line and accurately in traffic, and connecting on a cross with Laurent Robinson, the expensive free agent wideout.
Nice food; improved, in my memory, from my last visit. Had the grilled breast of chicken with the wild rice, with a small green salad (romaine, cherry tomato, cukes) with balsamic. Not a lot of ways you can screw up the grilled chicken unless you over- or under-cook it, but this one was just right. The wild rice complemented it nicely. Grade: B.
Get ready for some pressure early, Blaine Gabbert. Minnesota on the road and Houston at home lead off the season, followed by a Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis sandwich the next week at Indy. Gabbert also will have, on the road, Richard Seymour, Clay Matthews, Mario Williams and Cameron Wake. Yikes. He'd better handle crowd noise well.