Thursday, October 3, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Gabbert coming home
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert once felt very much at home at the Edward Jones Dome. In fact, it was at the current home of the St. Louis Rams where he kick-started a career that would eventually make him the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Gabbert made his first college start as a sophomore in 2009 at the Edward Jones Dome, for Missouri against Illinois in what then was an annual border showdown. He led the Tigers to a blowout win, throwing for 319 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another touchdown. He returned with the Tigers in 2010 and led them to another victory on the same field in his final college season.
"It’s going to be a nice return to the Dome, and we’re ready to go,” Gabbert said.
Finding a NFL stadium where Gabbert has had success in his young career isn't an easy task. Putting it mildly, Gabbert has had a tough transition to the league, going through coaching and scheme changes nearly from the day he was drafted. This season, he's posted a quarterback rating of 30.7 in his two starts, with no touchdowns and five interceptions.
Gabbert's struggles in Jacksonville have many wondering just how long he'll get to prove himself. It seems the Jaguars are committed to seeing it through this season and at least finding out what they have.
Well aware of the criticism that surrounds him, Gabbert has a pretty respectable approach to understanding all that goes with playing his position at the game's highest level.
"It’s rightfully deserved," Gabbert said. "It’s part of the job description when you signed up. The quarterback and the head coach are the ones that get the blame, and they’re the ones that get more of the credit than they deserve when things are going well. But it’s the quarterback’s job to lead his football team and it’s the quarterback’s job to get points on the board."
Getting points on the board has been a tough task for the Jaguars so far this season; their 7.8 points per game rank last in the league. Considering the Rams' struggles this season both scoring and preventing points, they'd better hope Gabbert doesn't feel too at home in the Edward Jones Dome.
It was an exceedingly busy day in this corner of cyberspace, with Twitter nonsense, trades and so much more. Here's a recap of yesterday's activities. ... We started with the weekly quarterback watch and a look at Sam Bradford. ... From there, it was time for the weekly buzz with a video breakdown of this week's storylines for the Rams. ... Next was the first glimpse at the possible changing situation at running back and the Daryl Richardson/Twitter affair. ... We looked at how Jacksonville's trade of tackle Eugene Monroe changes things for this week. ... A quick injury update and the Rams' lack of bodies in the secondary. ... Finally, we had a news story with reaction from all parties on Richardson and the Twitter incident, as well as a vote for Zac Stacy as this week's starter.
At stltoday.com, my pal Bernie Miklasz took a break from Cardinals mania and offered his take on the Rams' run-game struggles.
Post-Dispatch writer Joe Lyons writes that rookie end Gerald Rivers is looking to build on his debut.
CBS Sports offers a preview of Sunday's Rams-Jaguars game.
At stlouisrams.com, Jonathan Webb takes a look at Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein's solid start.