TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The man listed after Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers depth chart knows what it is like to lead a team. He has been doing it for decades as the older brother but, now, Blaine Gabbert is following the lead of a six time Super Bowl champion.
He is determined.
“My role is, at this point, anything that I can do to help him prepare and get ready for our opponent week in and week out,” explained Gabbert.
He is dedicated.
“That is what I am ready and willing to do,” Gabbert said, “and that is what I enjoy doing, helping him, and helping our guys.”
Finally, he is desperate for a taste of the day to day grind.
“Personally, I feel great,” said Gabbert. “I would like to say I am in the best shape of my life but you never know until you get back out on the football field because football shape is different than working out shape.”
Gabbert, who missed all of last season after he dislocated his shoulder in a preseason game, said he is healthy and is spending plenty of hours in his home gym.
“We have had a lot of time to focus on working out. It has been nice to be able to take your time and finish workouts and finish runs,” he said.
Gabbert is entering his tenth season in the league as a former top 10 draft pick, his second season with the Buccaneers, and his first season as the quarterback behind Tom Brady.
“Any time you can add a football player of that caliber to your organization, it is huge,” he said. “It is huge for this town. It is huge for this state. People are excited about the Bucs. They are ready to get this thing rolling just as much as we are.”
His first interaction with Brady arrived in the form of a text message.
“A quick text just saying, ‘Hey, I am ready to get things started,’ and it is always nice to hear from the guys that you sign or new additions to the team. It was just a simple text message,” said Gabbert.
It was simple but it was also significant. Gabbert is going to be able to learn from, arguably, the greatest quarterback in the history of the league.
“Just pick his brain on anything, just watch how he works, that is what I try to do at every spot I have been,” said Gabbert. “Trying to take bits and pieces of every quarterback that I have played with, every quarterback that I have been in the room with, and try to apply whatever you can to your game in any way that will help you and will help the football team so I am all ears, I am all eyes.”
He is eager to be the best to help his team be the best. He has been practicing that role on and off of the football field since he became a big brother.
“As an older brother, I tried to be a sounding board for them,” said Gabbert referencing his two younger brothers. “I just tried to show them a good, solid work ethic and show them that nothing is ever given to you and you have to earn everything you get in life not only on the football field but in life in general.”
The three Gabbert brothers played quarterback at the collegiate level. Gabbert spent three years at the University of Missouri. Tyler followed him there before transferring to the University of Central Florida, and Brett will be a sophomore at Miami University in Ohio.
“The most joy I have had on the football field, personally or in any regards,” admitted Gabbert, “is watching my youngest brother play at Miami of Ohio and watching him win the MAC championship as a true freshman. It was super cool because I was a fan at that point and it is a totally different perspective watching in the stands.”
Gabbert said the nerves of watching his brother play was more than he has ever had playing in a game himself.
“Way more than playing! It is a totally different perspective because you want him to succeed so much and that is something that you do not think of when you are playing,” said Gabbert. “It has been a lot of fun to see him play at a high level, enjoy the game, and let the game take him to college and see what happens after that.”
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