Gabbert's Trial By Fire Continues

Posted Oct 14, 2011

Last week Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars faced the statistically best defense in football when they hosted the Cincinnati Bengals. This week they get what is probably the best defense in Pittsburgh.

Things aren't getting any easier for rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Last week, he faced the league's No. 1 defense, Cincinnati. This week, he takes on No. 2 Pittsburgh. And next week he gets No. 3 Baltimore.

And for third week in a row, Gabbert will face a veteran defensive coordinator who is noted for having a good blitz package.

Three weeks ago, it was New Orleans' Gregg Williams of the Saints. Last week it was Cincinnati's Mike Zimmer, and Sunday it will be Pittsburgh's Dick LeBeau.

"The biggest thing is they have a veteran defense," Gabbert said of the Steelers. "They have guys that have been in that scheme for 10 years."

The Steelers, though, are giving up 4.7 yards per rush, and their run defense is ranked 16th. If Maurice Jones-Drew can run against Pittsburgh's defense and enable the Jaguars to stay out of third-and-long situation, it would make things easier for Gabbert.

If the Steelers stuff the run and force the third and long plays, LeBeau can unleash his blitz schemes.

But if the Jaguars can control the tempo on the ground, they have a chance of staying in the game.

And if they run, they can take time off the clock and keep Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger off the field.

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