- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Throwing on the move, by design, should be easier than making plays dropping back.
I generally think that, and the Jacksonville Jaguars certainly do too based on what they are doing on offense.
“I think those are easy throws, generally for a quarterback: bootlegs, quick passing game, things like that where he’s on the move,” coach Gus Bradley said. “Easy, but not simple. They’ve still got to execute and we’ve still got to execute things in the protections. But that’s one way of getting a quarterback in a rhythm, by executing some of those passes.”
Wednesday at their final practice of minicamp, I paid particular attention to Blaine Gabbert on the move. And he wasn’t making throws on the run look like simpler plays.
Some of them were throwaways, like a red zone play where he barreled out of bounds right at me and a team staffer and let it fly before he stepped out. You tell a guy to put that one in the stands, and he did the practice equivalent.
“Oh, over the fence,” he said matter of factly but loud enough for the people in the first couple rows to hear.
Overall though, he struggled on the run just as he did from the pocket.
This week I had the chance to ask Gabbert about throwing on the run.
“The more reps you get throwing on the move the more comfortable you are,” he said. “I felt confident going on the move and that’s a big part of our offense, being able to run keepers and get the ball outside the pocket. It just boils down to getting reps in practice, feeling comfortable with it, going through your progressions on the run and at the end of the day if nothing’s open taking off.”
He and the Jaguars need more work at it.
Gabbert threw a red zone TD in team drills, and had another dropped. Henne had a pick that would have been a score the other way dropped.
It’s still the early stages of a new offense. Gabbert still shows a good arm. He’s still got time to get more comfortable.
He is, however, approaching now or never.