Gabbert comes to 49ers in search of answers

Gabbert comes to 49ers in search of answers
June 21, 2014, 7:45 am
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Excited about Blaine. He asks all the right questions.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman

SANTA CLARA -- Blaine Gabbert entered the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ hopes for a turnaround clearly attached to his performance.

After three unsuccessful seasons, he moved this offseason to the 49ers in a backup role -- with little attention or pressure.

Following the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp on Thursday, a reporter approached Gabbert in the locker room. Gabbert’s body language suggested talking publicly about his first offseason with the 49ers was nowhere near the top of his list of priorities.

After expressing some hesitancy in conducting an interview, Gabbert answered a few questions.

Obviously, he has been a lot more comfortable asking questions since coming to the 49ers.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman made that observation while speaking with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh on the practice field this week. Roman, who wore a microphone for, told Harbaugh: “(I’m) excited about Blaine. He asks all the right questions.”

The 49ers acquired Gabbert from the Jaguars on the first day of the new league year for a sixth-round draft pick. He appeared to strengthen his hold on the backup job behind Colin Kaepernick with a strong series of offseason performances.

“I just came in here and tried to put my best foot forward every day and really enjoy the process and get better on a consistent basis,” Gabbert said. “That’s what you look for in the spring -- just consistent improvement and getting comfortable in the offense and with the new surroundings and the new guys you’re working with.”

In three seasons (27 starts), Gabbert completed 53.3 percent of his pass attempts with 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions with Jacksonville. His passer rating was 66.4. There was pressure on him immediately upon being selected with the No. 10 overall pick in 2011.

“It’s definitely a different vibe with a new organization, but I really took a lot from my three years in Jacksonville and learned a lot, saw a lot,” he said. “I’m just trying to use those experienced to help me moving forward.”

The Jaguars played teams from the NFC West last season. He did not play Week 3 against Seattle or Week 8 against the 49ers in London. But he indicated he has shared how the Jaguars approached those games.

“Seeing a lot of football, being able to talk with the guys about certain looks we got and how we game plan for this defense last year and what kind of keys we picked up on,” Gabbert said. “Just really being able to bring my experience to the table.”

Gabbert has brought a lot of physical talent to the table with his new team. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and possessing a strong arm, he looked the part. But the biggest element of his transition took place off the field during the offseason program. Each of the team's five quarterbacks logged perfect attendance during the nine-week program.

“It’s huge, especially being a new guy to this team,” Gabbert said. “You have to build the camaraderie with the guys. You got to build rapport with the offensive line. You got to build chemistry with your wideouts. You got to use this time wisely, especially being a quarterback coming to a new team.”


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