GLENDALE Ariz — If Blaine Gabbert wants to prove

first_img GLENDALE, Ariz. — If Blaine Gabbert wants to prove that he is the Cardinals‘ quarterback of the future, the next four weeks would be a good time to show it.In three starts, Gabbert is 1-2. He has thrown six touchdowns to five interceptions, he’s been sacked nine times and he has looked very much like a career backup.“Up and down,” coach Bruce Arians said in assessing Gabbert’s three starts. “I think he has had his really good moments and then some poor decisions and poor moments — mostly not decisions; more throws. A lot of that can come with chemistry with guys but I think that roller coaster, you’d like to just see it even out a little bit.” Gabbert offered little insight on his self-evaluation when asked after Sunday’s game.“It’s so week-to-week,” he said. “I’m just trying to improve each and every week. There’s going to be bumps in the road, but my biggest focus right now is being a leader in that huddle; being a leader for this football team.”At least publically, the Cardinals continue to profess confidence in their QB.“Blaine can make all the throws,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “This is the second week in a row now he’s been able to extend plays with his legs and get valuable first downs for us. That’s what he’s always done throughout his career.“I think it’s a big help that Blaine is playing. He has started a lot of games (in his career) so nothing really rattles him out there. He’s got a great understanding of what we’re trying to do conceptually and we’re going to continue to build around him.”With little left to play for other than evaluation, Arians said there will be no going back to Drew Stanton, who lost his starting job to Gabbert after injuring his knee against the Seattle Seahawks. The Los Angeles Rams’ defensive front is formidable, but Gabbert had some help from the running game in the first half of Sunday’s 32-16 loss at University of Phoenix Stadium. He couldn’t take advantage.Gabbert completed 18 of 32 passes for 221 yards but he threw two first-quarter interceptions that got the Rams off and running, allowing them to play with a lead throughout the afternoon.The first of those picks came on the Cardinals’ first drive when Gabbert threw on the run instead of opting for better technique. He underthrew J.J. Nelson and Lamarcus Joyner picked it off.“Just a bad decision to throw the ball on the run,” Arians said. “He knew he had the post and he knew the post was going to be open. Roll out and get your feet set. Don’t try to throw it down there on the run.”Gabbert’s second interception was a pick-six to Alec Ogletree that gave L.A. a 16-0 lead. He missed a chance to make up for it when he overthrew Ricky Seals-Jones deep down the left side on what would have been a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Phil Dawson’s 45-yard field goal attempt that followed was blocked.Just as troubling as the interceptions is Gabbert’s career pension for taking sacks, an issue that hadn’t cropped up in his first two starts. His mobility is one of his greatest assets, yet on a couple occasions Sunday, he seemed paralyzed by indecision instead of just getting rid of the ball and living to play another down. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “That’s a really good front but you’ve got to get the ball out of your hand, too,” Arians said.In some ways, this late-season evaluation of Gabbert is unfair. The Cardinals offensive line is playing shorthanded, running backs David Johnson and Adrian Peterson are injured, and the receivers — aside from that guy who’s been doing it for 14 seasons — haven’t contributed much to the cause.Imperfection is reality in the NFL, however, and Gabbert won’t have many more shots to shed his underachiever label.“After the first quarter he settled down,” Arians said. “I would have liked to see a little more composure right there at the end. We didn’t handle the ball when he got it back at the five-minute mark and we needed to get two scores. As a whole unit, we crumbled right there.”Gabbert isn’t under contract next season. He knows these final four weeks are part of a critical audition, but he is trying to maintain a big-picture approach.“Not every play is going to be perfect,” he said. “You’re going to throw interceptions. It’s my job to minimize those. At the same time, you’ve got to keep swinging. You can’t let one bad play turn into 10 bad plays. You’ve just got to flush it and move on.” 22 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) throws as Los Angeles Rams defensive end Morgan Fox (97) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “We’ll stick with Blaine right now and see what happens,” Arians said. “He’s been improving each week. We’ll see what he’s got.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img read more

Businesses Consider Best Strategies To Cover PartTime Workers Spouses

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Decisions by Target, Home Depot and Trader Joe’s on workers’ insurance have implications for the success of the law.  Politico: In Target’s Wake, Businesses Plot Obamacare Paths Target became the latest big company to follow the old drill: drop health coverage for some workers, blame Obamacare and watch Republicans pounce. Home Depot and Trader Joe’s made similar changes to their health plans last year, and UPS limited coverage for spouses. … While each situation was a little different, the initial conclusion that Obamacare was leaving consumers worse off starts to gets squishy when the details are unpacked. … since many employers are still figuring out how to respond to the new law, it’s worth discerning lessons from Target’s announcement this week (Nather and Winfield Cunningham, 1/24).Also in the news – The Wall Street Journal: H&R Block Tackles Health-Care OpportunityIt is said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. A third might be that someone will try to make a buck off the first two. After all, the Grim Reaper doesn’t show up absent some illness or injury, while Uncle Sam requires lots of paperwork to assess his take. Both usually involve professional assistance. And the Affordable Care Act means the $2.8 trillion health-care and $19 billion tax-preparation industries just got much more complicated. Having faced uncertainty, health insurers and hospitals looked like winners in the overhaul. But tax preparers such as H&R Block could be surprise beneficiaries of the law’s heretofore messy implementation (Jakab, 1/26). Businesses Consider Best Strategies To Cover Part-Time Workers, Spouseslast_img read more