Jim Tomsula: “I’m a big believer in Blaine Gabbert”

By David Kenyon
Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Blaine Gabbert is the backup to Colin Kaepernick on the San Francisco 49ers, but first-year head coach Jim Tomsula is a fan of the second-string quarterback.

According to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group, Tomsula called Gabbert a “beautiful piece” of a roster that needs to be rebuilt.

Kaepernick’s starting job is safe—at least, Tomsula would be foolish to pull the dual-threat quarterback out of the offense—so Gabbert has solidified himself as a hyped-up reserve once again. Nevertheless, San Francisco shouldn’t exactly be putting any stock into the coach-speak coming from Tomsula.

Gabbert entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s since proved a strange case.

The Missouri product is constantly praised for his performance in practice. Last season, former offensive coordinator Greg Roman praised Gabbert. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Gate recently said Gabbert had a first-rate practice.

However, Gabbert has continually struggled in game action.

He started for the majority of two seasons in Jacksonville, tossing 21 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions and also fumbling nine times. During Gabbert’s third season (2013), he opened the year throwing one touchdown and seven interceptions before getting benched.

Mediocre offensive lines certainly didn’t help Gabbert, who the Jaguars traded to San Francisco in 2014 for a sixth-round pick.

Keep earning that paycheck, Blaine. Being a practice All-American and backup quarterback isn’t a bad gig.

But hopefully for the 49ers, he won’t have to actually enter a game. That’s when the trouble starts.