On Gabbert as the Jaguars' starter

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
11:26
AM ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars have named Blaine Gabbert the starting quarterback for their season opener Sept. 8 against Kansas City, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

"I just felt it was time, we felt it was time as an organization," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.

But Gabbert will miss the final two preseason games after suffering a hairline fracture in the thumb on his right hand. The expectation is he will be ready at the start of the preparation week for the Kansas City game.

I think it’s the right choice, and I don’t find it a surprise at all.

This is it for Gabbert.

If he doesn’t raise his game a significant level this season, the Dave Caldwell-Bradley regime will be in the market for a quarterback next year. Count me among those who expect that will be the case.

But as we saw against the Jets, Gabbert is capable of playing well. The Jaguars effectively ran a no-huddle offense, and they were without Cecil Shorts and barely used Maurice Jones-Drew.

Gabbert looked comfortable on the move and appeared to have simple decisions to make. Defenses will certainly try to complicate things when they face him. If he’s getting rid of the ball quickly with consistency, the Jaguars may be able to minimize his issues with pressure.

There is a lot the Jaguars can do to improve the next two weeks. With Gabbert sidelined, they will be hitting pause on his progress. Here’s Chad Henne’s chance to show off his value as a backup.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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