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Jaguars rookie QB Blaine Gabbert impressing early

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Recent posts by Arthur Arkush

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Posted Aug. 05, 2011 @ 12:14 p.m. ET
By Arthur Arkush

The Jaguars were one of the busier teams in the league during the first week of free agency, giving the second and third levels of the NFL's 28th-ranked defense in 2010 a vital makeover.

But while the team's newest additions, LBs Paul Posluszny and Clint Session and DBs Dawan Landry and Drew Coleman, were forced to wait until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was completed before practicing with their new team, the spotlight during the first few days of camp was on the Jaguars' rookie class, highlighted by 10th overall pick QB Blaine Gabbert.

The Jaguars have said all along that they won't rush Gabbert, who is expected to get 30 percent of the snaps in camp while incumbent starter David Garrard takes 40 percent.

If the rookie outplays the veteran, though, all bets could be off.

"(Byron) Leftwich played most of his rookie year despite holding out the first 17 days of camp," said a daily team observer. "Gabbert was on the field the first day, so that should cancel out any missed OTAs."
The source indicated that Gabbert looked very sharp out of the gate.

"The kid is talented," he said. "He kind of reminds me of Roger Staubach. He's got the arm, he can run, he's fast. He could be very good — but until you do it, nobody knows."

Fourth-round S Chris Prosinski also stood out early, working with the first-team defense in place of 2010 starter Don Carey before being sidelined with a calf injury earlier this week.

"Prosinski is going to challenge (Courtney) Greene for a starting job opposite Landry. He is very fast; (a) smart, heady player. He's a guy to keep an eye on."

Third-round OG Will Rackley could also challenge for a starting job after the Jaguars released former starter Vince Manuwai and veteran backup Justin Smiley. Rackley will compete with free-agent addition Mark Spitz for the opening at left guard.

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn't close the door completely on Manuwai, who, for the second year in a row, showed up to camp out of shape before being cut.

"If he got his body back to where he could actually play, then we would leave that door open," said Del Rio on Manuwai, a key factor in the Jaguars' rushing attack last season.

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