More Gabbert on Thursday
Although it hasn't been made official, it appears as if there's an excellent chance that Blaine Gabbert will start in the Jaguars' preseason opener at New England. David Garrard is still struggling with his sore back, which he hurt on Thursday night. The injury kept him out of practice and Saturday's scrimmage.
Gabbert didn't look great or terrible during Saturday's scrimmage, and he was playing with most of the first unit with the exception of tight end Marcedes Lewis and wide receiver Cecil Shorts. Thursday night's game should help the Jaguars learn more about their rookie quarterback to gauge his development.
"It's exciting because the guy is a very talented player," Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "He's fun to coach. He's a quick learner. He handles himself great."
Our take: The more Gabbert plays now, the more comfortable he will feel. But if he plays well on Thursday, watch how quickly Garrard's back will loosen up.
Gabbert was wearing a knee brace in practice Monday night. The word is that the brace is simply preventative and he has no injury.
After injuring his knee in Saturday night's scrimmage, offensive tackle Kevin Haslam was put on the waived/injured list.
"He has an MCL and some other things," coach Jack Del Rio said Monday. "It's likely going to be more of a longer term out, (we're) talking months, not days or weeks. In all likelihood, he'll be placed on IR in the next couple days."
The loss of Haslam isn't earth-shattering for the Jaguars as he wasn't expected to play, but the second-year pro from Rutgers is a valuable member of the team since he can play on the outside or inside. He's also the Jaguars best backup utility lineman.
Our take: Haslam is a very useful player and the Jaguars should attempt to bring him back after the season. A thin offensive line just got thinner.
Del Rio Puts His Foot Down
Although the sight of a rookie taped up to a goal post, covered in water and powder, is fun for the fans and media, none of that will be witnessed in Jaguars camp. Del Rio has banned rookie hazing for reasons of respect and team unity.
Newbies will still be "encouraged" to perform in the rookie show, will have the duties of carrying veterans' pads and helmets to the locker room, and we understand that purchasing food for veterans is not off the table.
Our take: Tying people up and rookie haircuts is certainly fun to watch, but I don't think it hurts the team chemistry if rookies don't have ridiculous hair. Ask the ladies in town if they'd like to see Gabbert without his blond locks.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and 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
Want more in-depth coverage on your favorite NFL team? Click here and get started today.