The rookie season for the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NFL draft was less than stellar. Blaine Gabbert completed just 50 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns to 11 picks in 14 starts last year. Yeah, he's a rookie but watching him play you got the feeling he had a long way to go.
NFL Network's Michael Lombardi, like a lot of other people, questioned Gabbert's development in his rookie season and wrote all about it. Lombardi said he's never seen a rookie look as "scared" as Gabbert, that the game looks "too big for him", that he treats the ball "like a hot potato." His rookie season was "embarrassing", Lombardi wrote.
Now Gabbert wants to know exactly who this Lombardi fellow is. Via CBSSports.com:
"Who is Mike Lombardi?" Gabbert said. "Every season a player is going to have a certain label. It creates buzz. It creates controversy and interest. Whatever the label is for the year, it's going to stick with you. He doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't know anything about me. It's comical. It's funny."
Despite what Gabbert says about labels and creating controversy, Lombardi is not alone in his evaluation of Gabbert. Plenty of others felt the same way and Gabbert's numbers tend to back that up.
But if you're into making excuses for a player, this story has plenty of them for Gabbert's rookie year.