Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has garnered plenty of criticism in his brief NFL career.
Some of this criticism has been warranted, though. The former Missouri Tiger has tossed 17 interceptions against only 21 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Furthermore, he has completed just 53.8 percent of his passes in 25 career games. This while the Jags have compiled a lowly 7-25 record since he was drafted.
The most recent criticism of Gabbert came when a former assistant made disparaging remarks about the 23-year-old earlier this month. The anonymous coach slammed Gabbert for his lack of intangibles and said the quarterback would get "scared" under pressure, among other things.
Now, Gabbert is firing back by saying the criticism isn't fair, and adding that he wishes those who speak out against him would speak up.
“It pissed me off quite a bit, just because you learn to trust your coaches because you spend so much time with them. That’s starting now. April 2 through whenever your last game is, you’re with them countless hours every day, six or seven days a week,” Gabbert said to Jaguars.com. “You learn to value their opinion, trust it. It’s a close-knit grip. When you have an anonymous source saying something that couldn’t be further from the truth, it pisses me off. Like I always said, ‘Put your name on it.’”
And for anyone else who doubts his playing abilities?Gabbert suffered a torn labrum on his non-throwing shoulder in November. The injury effectively ended his season as he spent the rest of 2012 on injured reserve.
"I really don’t worry about their opinions, because if they knew what they were talking about they’d be in my position or in a position inside this building. They’re going to voice their opinion and a lot of people on the outside listen and value their opinions even though they really may or may not know what they’re talking about…. You can’t let the outside distractions affect what you’re doing in this building. They’re two separate worlds. Talking heads on the radio who don’t know what we’re doing, you just smile and laugh it off. I don’t listen to talk radio or watch SportsCenter. You have to have a separation between work and home. You can’t dwell on the fact that someone in some city is talking bad about you."
The franchise has pretty much cleaned house since then by firing majority of the coaching staff and by undergoing a major re-branding effort. Nonetheless, the team is still expecting Gabbert to compete for its starting quarterback job heading into 2013.