Teammates praise Gabbert while coach non-committal on another start

Blaine Gabbert ended a 10-game losing streak in his first start since 2013.
Kyle Terada/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Blaine Gabbert earned some praise but no guarantee of another start from coach Jim Tomsula after guiding the San Francisco 49ers to a 17-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

But while Tomsula offered no promises that Gabbert would be under center when the 49ers return from the bye week, his teammates provided ringing endorsements after watching the quarterback emerge victorious in his first start since October 2013.

“With him not playing the whole year and then to step in like this and do what he did, I think he’s a really good player and he’s a tough guy,” said tight end Garrett Celek, the recipient of both of Gabbert's scoring passes. 

Gabbert impressed his teammates with more than just his play. He was crushed on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Falcons linebacker Philip Wheeler, but was back in the huddle three plays later following a league-mandated concussion check-up.

“He’s a take-charge type of guy,” newly signed running back Shaun Draughn said. “I don’t know if you heard or saw when he got taken out of the game. He’s a competitive guy.” 

Gabbert finished 15-of-25 with two touchdowns and two interceptions to snap a personal 10-game losing streak dating to his days with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also rushed for 35 yards on six carries, including a bootleg on a third-down conversion late in the game to help kill the clock.

“Confidence, determination and then great leadership,” 49ers fullback Bruce Miller said of Gabbert. “You can feel it in the huddle with all of our guys.”

As far as Tomsula's proclamation that he would take a wait-and-see approach and view the tape before deciding on a quarterback for a Week 11 matchup at Seattle, Gabbert was unfazed. 

“All I know is we got the victory today, we’ve got a bye week coming up and we’re going to prepare for Seattle. That’s our next game up there,” Gabbert said. “So whatever 11 guys we march out on the field, we’re going to go up there and expect a victory.”