Whether we like it or not, it’s time for all of us to start accepting that the Bucs brass’ love for Blaine Gabbert is real. After GM Jason Licht sang Gabbert’s praises on the Pewter Report Podcast in February, head coach Bruce Arians joined the show to bestow an even greater compliment to the backup quarterback.

“I could get extremely excited about having another young quarterback and going to war with one,” Arians said. “I’ll be honest with you, I’d be excited to take Blaine Gabbert and go to war, because I love Blaine Gabbert. I think he’s the most underrated player in the NFL.”

Gabbert must be lighting it up in practice, as we’ve seen very little in-game action from the veteran quarterback in two years as a Buc. Since the 2018 season, Gabbert has thrown just 16 passes, 15 of which came in relief against the hapless Lions in December. The Bucs backup impressed in that game, going 9-of-15 for 143 yards and two touchdowns while rushing twice for 15 yards.

Licht Shares Arians’ Affinity For Gabbert

As a guest on the Pewter Report Podcast in February, Licht echoed Arians’ praise for the 31-year old Gabbert. The Bucs GM wouldn’t rule out Gabbert being the eventual successor to Tom Brady someday.

“First of all, I love his energy,” Licht said. “I’ve really gotten close to Blaine this year just being on the sidelines. He’s a really smart guy but he is one guy, my scouts and I talk about this a lot, he’s just one guy that I love to watch throw every day in practice because he has got a cannon. He’s very accurate with his throws as well and he can just really whistle them into tight windows. If he had been forced to play more, I think that he would have really opened a lot of people’s eyes about how talented he is. Especially being in the same system for a couple of years now.”

The former 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Gabbert has posted a record of 13-35 as a starter in the NFL. Most of those losses came during times of turbulence in Jacksonville early in Gabbert’s career, as the quarterback is 4-4 as a starter since 2017. Gabbert will compete with Kyle Trask and Ryan Griffin in the preseason, but is expected to be Brady’s primary backup. Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds recently wrote about Gabbert in his weekly Fab 5 column.

You can watch the full podcast with Arians right here.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Horse
1 month ago

I have a lot of respect for Coach Arian’s Opinion about Gabbert, but when was the last time Gabbert played in a regular season game who proved he could win games? I understand the coach leadership as to motivating his players, batik claim that he is the most underrated QB in the NFL is a little far-fetched.

drdneast
1 month ago

If Gabbert is so great why did we waste a No. 2 pick on a noodle armed QB. What a wasted draft we just had.

Eddie
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Good point

Mark Alsott
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Stop making an ass of yourself.

Naplesfan
Reply to  Mark Alsott
1 month ago

He can’t help it.

Naplesfan
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Why do you waste your time commenting with your noodle brain?

Ron Potter
Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

depth

fredster
1 month ago

He was first rd pick because he has talent. Sometimes it clicks later and he could be good. It’s possible but most under rated QB seems whacky to me. My issue is his accuracy has not been great over his career. That typically is not fixed much. Arm strength and accuracy don’t seem to change a lot imo. Who knows though Arians is smarter than me.
Trask seemed like wasted pick to me as well for sure but I’ll reserve total judgment for later and see how he does.
Go Bucs! Is it pre season yet? Lol

Last edited 1 month ago by fredster
BucWonder
1 month ago

Best QB room in the NFL. I love it.
Go Bucs!

Bradenton BucFan
1 month ago

If Tom gets hurt seriously. BA will hope he is the most underrated player in league. Jason sounds like he is talking about a practice player Super star,that turns into a game day liability.He is a serviceable backup maybe even top 5 backup at best.

CrackerBall
1 month ago

I think he spelled “underdesired” wrong

aredsoxfan1
1 month ago

Arians must have tossed a few back before that comment. If Gabbert had to actually play I’m afraid it would look an awful lot like Winston.

Mark Alsott
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
1 month ago

Not a chance. No one else looks like that guy.

TBChucky
1 month ago

Hopefully we’ll never have to see how underrated he is..

scubog
1 month ago

You guys are just brutal. Just incredible to me how we can totally discount the coach and GM’s assessment of a player because it doesn’t fit with a preconceived notion. I at least realize Bruce and Jason know far more about today’s, not yesterday’s, Blaine Gabbert than I do. There have been plenty of QB’s who get drafted by a horrendous team, lose their confidence, struggle and succeed later in their careers. A few home-grown ones come to mind. Doug Williams, Steve Young, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer and perhaps Jameis Winston. Isn’t it better for us if Blaine Gabbert has… Read more »

PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

That’s because dryeast and his friends are GM’s waiting in the wings. They know way more than Licht and Arians. In fact, the reason why none of them are GM’s and coaches now is because they are simply too talented for the NFL and it wouldn’t be fair. The knowledge that they have far exceeds not only Licht and Arians, but the great Ozzie Newsome’s as well. Idk about you, scubog, but I’m always floored by their expertise.

surferdudes
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

Don’t forget Rich Gannon as a journeyman QB who became MVP taking his team to the S.B. in his mid 30’s. Any QB can only do so much with what he has around him. If pressed into action Gabbert would have plenty of help.

scubog
Reply to  surferdudes
1 month ago

I thought of him, but I had enough names just listing former Bucs.

Bradenton BucFan
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

He has not shown he was a good qb on a bad team, he was a bad qb on a bad teams. He will never be Doug or Steve. He might be a good QB on a well balanced Super team like the Bucs. If he has to play in 21 how will team perform with him under center. He won’t keep hope alive while he has a Brady Bullseye on his back. You draft Trask because Blaine is not long term answer after Brady.

Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
1 month ago

Well, we don’t really know, and neither does Coach Arians or GM Licht, how well Gabbert will perform in actual NFL regular season or post season play with this team. We know how mediocre Gabbert was in actual NFL games that counted, playing on bad teams with likely bad coaching. Hope we never find out, either, frankly. At least not due to the GOAT getting knocked off the game day roster by injury. Whenever TB-12 does retire, if Gabbert is still with the Bucs, and if he shows he is a creditable replacement – which frankly seems doubtful in the… Read more »

Captain Sly
1 month ago

I don’t know if I Should I call him BA or BS but outside of Tampa Blaine Gabbert has zero value. Furthermore the fact that they burned a 2nd rd pick on QB says that even within the organization Gabbert has limited value. I don’t know sounds like BA is the only one who feels this way because far as I can see nobody else does.

Ron Potter
1 month ago

Nobody wants to see what BA and Licht see from Gabbert nowadays and understandably so. We have Tom Brady. But it’s nice to hear the coach and Licht have confidence in our backups. Not sure why fans would want Licht or BA mentioning in the same breath that they’d much rather have Tom Brady healthy all season and returning next season. It doesn’t need to be said. Let them praise the dude. I’m sure Gabbert is putting in the work and they wouldn’t be saying these things if he wasn’t. I interpret all of these quotes today as the confidence… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Ron Potter
Jonbuc
1 month ago

BA’s man crush on Gabbert is actually quite funny. Loves to watch him “spin/throw” the ball. I will say this…I appreciate how loyal BA is to “his guys”.