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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Does Gabbert start show Jags' QB desire?

By Paul Kuharsky

The Jacksonville Jaguars will start Blaine Gabbert in their second preseason game, Saturday night on the road against the New York Jets.

Those who think Chad Henne is superior or should win the job, take note.

Gabbert was bad in the first preseason game, though he had a real lack of help and a lot of key people missing. That's surely part of the rationale for starting him again. Give him Maurice Jones-Drew and Justin Blackmon, and things will get better, right?

But no matter how much the Jags talk continued competition, Gabbert getting the start in this game suggests to me he's in the lead or they want him to win. Maybe they think they know exactly what they have in Henne, and need more to add to the case file for Gabbert.

I say there is more to it than that. They want Gabbert to win it, and they are giving him the best chance possible to win it and to get ready for it.

They aren't in good shape at the spot either way, we know that. The advantage is clearly Gabbert's right now.

One other way to look at it comes from Cole Pepper, who writes a Jaguars blog.

"Jags have to know if Gabbert isn't the guy, more than if Henne is the the guy," Pepper said.

I can't see them heading into the regular season having decided Gabbert isn't the guy, however. He's one of only two or three options they're going to have.