The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Wednesday what PewterReport.com reported on Sunday – that quarterback Blaine Gabbert had been signed to a one-year deal. Gabbert will compete with Ryan Griffin to be the backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who coached Gabbert in Arizona in 2017, spoke about the former first-rounder out of Missouri and Griffin at the Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Owners Meeting.
“We watched every practice, [Griffin] was the scout team quarterback and we really liked what we saw but the game tape isn’t there,” Arians said. “So it was, let’s find a guy with game tape and let him compete. Blaine has been in this offense. I love him. We go to a workout and he’s probably going to shine more than anyone in this draft or last year’s draft because of his talent. He won some critical games between Tennessee and Jacksonville [and Arizona]. It’s an open competition, but it’s probably not.
“Blaine was our third [in Arizona], and he was starting but we were winning. You just have to do what that kid does best to win this game. Drew Stanton was, I think, 10-6 or something as a starter for us, because we did what he does best. We didn’t do what Carson does best – we did what Drew does best. Blaine is active and he can move, so we’ll do the things he can do, and if Griff’s our guy, we’ll do what he does best. He can’t do what Jameis does, so don’t ask him to.”
Gabbert, a former first-round draft pick in Jacksonville in 2011, spent last year with the Tennessee Titans, and the year before that in Arizona with Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who was the Cardinals quarterbacks coach at the time. Gabbert also spent time with San Francisco from 2014-16.
The 29-year old Gabbert has completed 842-of-1,498 passes (56.2 percent) for 9,603 yards with 48 touchdowns and 47 interceptions in his eight-year career. His best season came with the 49ers in 2015 when he started eight games and went 3-5 while completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,031 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Gabbert was signed as by Arizona to be the third-string quarterback during the 2017 season and started five games after the Cardinals lost Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton to injuries down the stretch. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Gabbert was 2-3 as a starter and completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,086 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Gabbert was 2-1 as a starter last year in Tennessee, while completing 60.4 percent of his passes for 626 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.