Three-and-out: Jacksonville Jaguars' camp questions
August 2, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
The calendar has flipped to August, meaning all 32 NFL training camps are in full swing.
The Huddle will explore the major issues facing each team, so keep nfl.usatoday.com bookmarked.
Now it's time to tee up the Jacksonville Jaguars' issues:
- RB Maurice Jones-Drew wants more scratch, but the Jags say they're not paying with two years and $9 million left on his contract. Yet there's no getting around the fact that MJD's 1,980 yards from scrimmage in 2011 accounted for 48% of Jacksonville's offense, which ranked last in the league. This is almost certainly a last-place team without Jones-Drew. More importantly, his absence could further stunt the growth of sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert. A dangerous game of chicken for all parties.
- Ah, Gabbert. While fellow rookie Cam Newton looked like a transformational force in 2011, and Andy Dalton helped the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs, Gabbert looked like a kid in the deep end of the pool without water wings. To be fair, all of the wideouts he threw to would struggle mightily to be the No. 4 option on most clubs. However given the stacked fronts Jones-Drew commanded, Gabbert probably should've been able to capitalize on more mismatches. With veterans Laurent Robinson (assuming his camp struggles are an aberration) and Lee Evans now on board and rookie Justin Blackmon on the way (assuming his holdout gets resolved soon), Gabbert has far more capable playmakers. But he'll still have to markedly improve his reads, footwork and mechanics to take advantage. Newly signed backup Chad Henne may not have been the next Dan Marino in Miami, but he could easily be the next David Garrard in Jacksonville if Gabbert flounders.