The Jacksonville Jaguars fell to 1-8 on the 2012 season after Thursday night's 27-10 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts. While there are a number of areas to point the blame for the sluggish start, inconsistent play from the quarterback position could be the main culprit.
The Jaguars selected Blaine Gabbert with the 10th-overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft to be their franchise quarterback. Through one-and-a-half seasons, that decision has yet to pan out.
The question, however, is how long should young signal-callers be afforded to acclimate themselves to the pro game?
It all depends on the circumstances surrounding each team—and Jacksonville is in complete disarray.
If not for the Kansas City Chiefs, this team would be the worst in the entire NFL.
What is expected of a team with a new owner, an injured star running back in Maurice Jones-Drew and a very inexperienced roster surrounding Gabbert?
Gabbert left Thursday night's game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Enter Chad Henne.
After an inconsistent, four-year stint of his own with the Miami Dolphins, Henne was brought to Jacksonville to be the veteran backup to Gabbert.
Henne looked decent in the fourth quarter, completing 10 of 16 passes for 121 yards and one touchdown—but he also threw an interception.
The fact that the Jaguars have played so poorly under Gabbert will lead credence to Henne possibly finishing the season as the team's quarterback.
As far as the win-loss results are concerned, it won't matter who takes snaps for this team. If Gabbert is healthy enough to give it a go, it is imperative the Jaguars continue to evaluate him as their franchise quarterback.
Henne had his shot in Miami to prove he could be a starter in this league and he failed. Though Gabbert is struggling, it would do Jacksonville no good to abort their plan with the young quarterback now—especially with very little to play for in 2012.
Flawed teams always find themselves searching for answers. While the Jaguars may eventually need to call an end to the Gabbert era, he gives them the best shot at expediting that process.