It’s not hard to imagine Bruce Arians, Kangol hat and all, rummaging through yard sales trying to find hidden treasures.
That’s what he seems to think he has in Blaine Gabbert.
The Cardinals signed the former Jaguars and 49ers quarterback Wednesday, and if he is needed to replace Carson Palmer in 2017, Arians says that Larry Fitzgerald and company will bring out the best in a quarterback who’s 9-31 in his career as a starter for two teams.
“When you look at the receivers he’s played with — I’m not knocking them in any way — they can’t touch ours,” Arians said. “He would have never played with the kind of receivers he would have here. And he fits our system.”
The Cardinals head coach talked to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic at a restaurant in Phoenix. He even went into the kitchen in the video wearing his full coaching attire with a pair of tongs in hand.
Perhaps it was his way of saying Gabbert is the hottest thing since sliced bread.
The Jaguars drafted Gabbert 10th overall in 2011, one spot before the Texans took J.J. Watt at No. 11. That obviously was a mistake, but Arians told Somers that he had a “very, very high grade” on Gabbert. Arians was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator at the time, so with Ben Roethlisberger still in his 20s they weren’t going to draft a quarterback in the first round.
Gabbert has a career passer rating of 71.5, but Arians talked about how much a quarterback’s success depends on the situation he’s in. He’s worked with another quarterback who will carry the “bust” label around with him for the rest of his life. He was Tim Couch’s offensive coordinator in Cleveland from 2001-2003.
“Tim Couch was a hell of a quarterback. He just got broken up,” Arians said, referring to the 56 sacks Couch absorbed in his rookie season and the 51 he took two years later. “Those young guys that have the ability just weren’t put in the right system.”
If Arians is to be believed, Drew Stanton and Zac Dysert have their work cut out for them to keep their jobs. Palmer? Not so much.