Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert is not a liar, but apparently he’s been up to some kind of trickery — potentially sorcery — in Arizona. On Tuesday evening, this Tweet from Arizona Cardinals beat writer Mike Jurecki showed up on my timeline and I couldn’t help but laugh.
The Tweet includes a quote from Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who is pretty pleased with Gabbert’s play since joining the team this offseason.
“Short term, I’d be very comfortable if he had to play for us,” Arians said. “Long-term, if he continues at this rate, he could be a starter.”
The 49ers were the last team to be fooled by Gabbert, who performed well enough in practices to convince multiple coaches that he deserved to be the starting quarterback. To be fair, he was probably the best option on a roster with no good ones.
And in all seriousness, Gabbert has occasionally shown flashes of the level of play that made him a first-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. But when people here at Niners Nation started convincing themselves that Gabbert had something to offer as a starter, I recall my friends over at Big Cat Country laughing at us.
They laughed long and they laughed hard. And now it is our turn to laugh long and laugh hard. I mean — the 49ers have Brian Hoyer so things aren’t exactly the opposite of bleak, but they’re better off than the Cardinals if they’re putting faith into Gabbert.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, they’re not necessarily doing that. Carson Palmer is the starter, and I’m actually a big fan of his work on the field and hope he bounces back this year (but not too well, you know). Gabbert is battling to be the primary backup to Palmer, which wouldn’t be a terrible situation for them if we’re being realistic.
Over at Revenge of the Birds, SB Nation’s blog for the Cardinals, they highlighted some responses to a Tweet that they posted in which they said they “didn’t understand” why Gabbert would throw short of the sticks to a running back on third down. My reply to them — that we, as 49ers fans, obviously understand — appeared in the article, as did many others.
So Gabbert isn’t actually fooling the Cardinals so much as he is just ... there. I do honestly wish Gabbert the best going forward, but I sure do see a lot of Cardinals fans who remind me of 49ers fans a year ago.