FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11: Blaine Gabbert #11, Zach Potter #88, and Luke McCown #12 of the Jacksonville Jaguars watch the action from the sidelines in the second half during a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
There is no doubt in my mind that if Matt Hasselbeck get hurt that Jake Locker will be the guy for the Tennessee Titans, so it was interesting to me when the news came down yesterday that the Jacksonville Jaguars were releasing David Garrard that they were going with Luke McCown instead of rookie Blaine Gabbert. I asked Alfie Crow why he thought that was:
The Jaguars are going with McCown because they believe he gives the team the best chance to win right now, honestly. Last year, McCown clearly outplayed Garrard in camp and preseason and some players felt McCown earned the starting job. If he had not torn his ACL against the Chargers, he'd have started some games and possibly finished the season in 2010. McCown again was the best quarterback in camp. He's probably going to net the same results as Garrard, but he's about $7 million cheaper. The team clearly doesn't think Gabbert is ready to throw to the wolves with the lost time in the lockout, so it makes sense to give the opening of the season a shot with the veteran.
I also asked him how long he thought it would be before Gabbert was ready to go:
Gabbert has shown flashes, but still looks like a rookie with only 5-6 weeks of practice. I believe if there had been a normal offseason, Gabbert would be the opening day starter with McCown as his back up. I'd expect Gabbert to be ready around Week 5 or 6, depending on McCown's play, of course. As long as McCown isn't bad, he'll start. I don't think his leash is as short as Garrard's would have been.