There have been numerous rumors this offseason about the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars' coaching situation, ranging from a potential first-round draft pick at QB to the remote possibility of the Jags trading for Tim Tebow. But coach Mike Mularkey is looking to put all the speculation to bed, instead telling the Associated Press that he's committed to Blaine Gabbert as his starter for the 2012 season.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with him," Mularkey said. "I'd like to give him a chance with some of the things we're going to hopefully help him do. We feel like we can help him develop his talents. There's a lot that he does very well and we just need to get that to be a consistent thing."
Gabbert was one of the NFL's least productive starting quarterbacks last season -- he earned the job in September but went on to complete just 50.8 percent of his passes, amassing 2,214 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Jags lost five straight games early on, eventually finishing 5-11.
"Some of the criticism was pretty intense," Gabbert told the AP. "You're always going to get criticized; people need something to talk about. When the coaches say I'm doing fine, I trust their opinion because that's the only one that matters. You can't worry about what everybody is saying about your game. You've just got to focus on the things that you can control and the things you can improve on."
Gabbert, 22, was the Jaguars' first-round pick in the draft last year, No. 10 overall, out of Missouri. He's 4-10 as a starter so far in his young career.