Blaine Gabbert making good case for 49ers backup job

Jim Harbaugh talks to Blaine Gabbert during 49ers minicamp. (USATSI)
Jim Harbaugh talks to Blaine Gabbert during 49ers minicamp. (USATSI)

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Quarterback Blaine Gabbert's career never came together with the Jaguars, but he's opened some eyes with his new team, the 49ers. The 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft was traded for a sixth-round pick in March, and he's been so impressive during offseason workouts, he appears to have the inside track to the backup job behind Colin Kaepernick.

“(I’m) excited about Blaine," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told offensive coordinator Greg Roman, according to the team's website. "He asks all the right questions.”

“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, via “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.”

Gabbert struggled during his three seasons in Jacksonville, where he started 27 games, and completed 53 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. As a rookie, he was the NFL's worst quarterback, according to Football Outsiders, and ranked near the bottom in 2012. Gabbert played in just three games last season and was eventually benched by Chad Henne.

But as the old saying goes, sometimes a change of scenery can be good for a player.

“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,” Gabbert said. “I’m just trying to use those experienced to help me moving forward.”

As it stands, Gabbert is battling McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Cory Faulkner for the No. 2 job behind Kaepernick.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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