Jaguars Positional Analysis- Quarterbacks

We're deep into the 2011 offseason and Jaguars information is certainly scarce. We figured that this is a pretty good time to examine the current roster, position-by-position. We're going to start with the quarterbacks.

The quarterback position is the life-blood of any football team and the Jaguars sent a loud and clear message of how they feel about the position on draft day when the team traded up to acquire Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. It's not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when Gabbert will take over and that will likely be sooner rather than later.

What happens to David Garrard?

The Jaguars incumbent starter has been a complete disappointment since receiving his six-year, $60 million contract extension after the 2007 season and that contract and the subsequent time alotted to Garrard has set back the franchise three years.

Garrard is clearly not in the future plans of the organization and since he is due nearly $8 million in base salary next season, something must be done. Either Garrard will be asked to take a pay cut or he will be given his outright release. It simply doesn't make sense for a cash-poor team to pay a mediocre quarterback elite money to finish .500 at best.

Prediction: Garrard accepts a pay cut to stay on the team and will be benched by the fifth game of the season.

What about Luke McCown?

There is a very real possibility that McCown can be the team's opening day starter in 2011. McCown outplayed Garrard throughout training camp and preseason in 2010 and was forced into action in mop-up duty for the ineffective Garrard, where McCown's season was derailed due to a torn ACL. If the Jaguars part ways with Garrard, McCown could be the "band-aid" at the quarterback position if Blaine Gabbert isn't ready to play immediately. Otherwise, McCown will occupy his usual role as the team's backup.

Prediction: Luke McCown has a better chance of being on the team's opening day roster than David Garrard.

How quickly will Blaine Gabbert see the field?

The good news for Jaguars fans is that Blaine Gabbert has a playbook and is trying to learn as much as possible.

"It's great to have it and I've already gotten into it a lot," Gabbert said of his playbook.

Still, without any real contact from coaches there's only so much Gabbert will be able to soak in without having some questions. Gabbert needs reps with his new receivers to develop some sort of relationship going into the season, and an extended lockout will hurt him and the Jaguars as much as any individual player and team.

Gabbert will be the team's starting quarterback at some point in 2011 and it makes more sense for it to happen sooner rather than later, so long as the offensive line can protect him so he doesn't get shell-shocked and turn into a Trent Edwards.

Prediction: If there's a full training camp, Blaine Gabbert will be the Jaguars opening day starting quarterback. If they miss training camp, Gabbert will likely have to wait until October to see the field and when he gets on the field, it will be for good in a starting capacity.

Will there be any other players added to the position?

Probably not on the final 53-man roster. The Jaguars will likely take two or three active quarterbacks into each Sunday and they will probably sign an arm for camp and if he's good enough he will be a practice squad candidate.

Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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