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.
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
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.