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Gabbert getting footwork down

Gabbert getting footwork down

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COLUMBIA, MO. -- Terry Shea says Blaine Gabbert has been a natural in learning to take snaps under center after taking 99.9 percent of his snaps in the shotgun at the University of Missouri.

"His footwork is tremendously fluid," Shea said Thursday at Mizzou's pro day. "I think it's a product of him being so athletic. He's got great balance."

Shea, 64, last coached in the NFL in 2008 as quarterback coach for the St. Louis Rams. His 40-year coaching career included eight years in the NFL, a year in the Canadian League, and 31 years at the college level topped by head-coaching stints at Rutgers and San Jose State.

After leaving the Rams, he became a professional quarterback trainer. He worked with Sam Bradford in preparation for the 2010 draft, and with Matthew Stafford and Josh Freeman in preparation for the ‘09 draft.

So he's had plenty of experience scripting workouts for pro days. His 64-pass script for Gabbert included 20 passes thrown outside the numbers and 23 throws of 15 or more yards -- all designed to show Gabbert's arm strength. Gabbert threw just about every style of NFL pass there is.

"It's tailored toward the NFL -- that's what this is all about," Shea said.

This offseason, Shea has been working with Gabbert at the Athletes Performance Institute (API) in Phoenix. One of the main areas of focus for him was getting Gabbert's footwork down when it came to taking snaps under center, whether it was 3-, 5- or 7-step drops, or any of the rollout and bootleg throws a quarterback must make.

"Blaine's had some background in the dropback game," Shea said, referring to Gabbert's high school career at Parkway West as well as offseason work and even practice work under center while at Mizzou.

"It's natural for him," Shea continued. "He seems to pick up things so easily. Some quarterbacks, you have to say something and their foot doesn't do what they think. He's very efficient with his feet."

Shea had a similar task last year with Bradford, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Rams, and Bradford handled his snaps under center with no problems as an NFL rookie.

"I'd say from the waist down, Blaine's very much like Sam Bradford," Shea said. "Obviously, a little bit faster because of what he was able to do in the combine."

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