We’re just a bit over 24 hours away from the first official kickoff of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2013 season.
Everything about this team is new, and we’ll finally get a chance to see how it all comes together now that the wins and losses actually mean something.
New general manager, new head coach, new quarterback and new schemes. They’ll all make their official Chiefs debut this Sunday in Jacksonville.
Per Fansided custom, I reached out to Black & Teal editor Daniel Lago and asked him to answer a few questions about this game from a Jaguars perspective.
Note: If you’re interested I answered questions for Black & Teal from the Chiefs’ perspective. You can read that interview here.
AK: How has Blaine Gabbert looked? Will he be ready to go?
DL: Gabbert was by far the best quarterback in training camp and the preseason – he really earned the starting job. While his hand injury isn’t considered serious, it’s probably hampering him in some sense due to it being his throwing hand. He is currently slated to start the game this Sunday barring any further setbacks.
AK: Is Gabbert’s future with the organization in jeopardy if he doesn’t step up this season?
DL: As I stated above, Gabber definitely earned the starting job. That said, Gabbert is going to have to play demonstrably better than he has in his first two years for the Jaguars to not consider a quarterback in the first round next year. Even if he does “step up” this season and look average to above-average, general manager David Caldwell is probably going to want to get his guy in next year’s loaded draft.
AK: How are you feeling about the Jaguars defense this season?
DL: I’m excited but with tempered expectations to watch the Jaguar defense this season. We have a lot of new starters and young players on defense, particularly in the secondary. They’re going to make a lot of mistakes and give up plenty of points as a result, but they should grow incrementally as the season goes on. Safety Johnathan Cyprien is an exciting prospect coming out of FIU.
AK: Is Maurice Jones-Drew still an elite back in the NFL?
DL: Elite in the sense of Adrian Peterson? No, but he’s probably in the next tier of running backs somewhere around Ray Rice and Frank Gore. He looked fresh and ready to go in the preseason and should put up some big numbers in his contract year.
AK: What kind of change should we expect from the Jaguars organization this season?
DL: Much like the Chiefs, the Jaguars have an entirely new front office and coaching staff. Head Coach Gus Bradley has a very competitive mindset like his colleague Pete Carroll in Seattle and his demeanor has really excited the fanbase and the team. The team is definitely in a rebuild so this year is probably going to be rough, but the next few years should look a lot better.