New Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert throws a pass during a Phase 2 workout Monday.
Bruce Arians saw how Blaine Gabbert's career had played out and wouldn't have been surprised to find a player worn down by his struggles and criticism.
Instead, Arians saw confidence.
For Gabbert, who enters his seventh season now trying to win a backup job with the Cardinals after failing to live up to his top-10 draft status when he came into the league in 2011, he doesn't see why he wouldn't still believe in himself.
"Everybody is in the NFL for a reason, one way or another," Gabbert said Monday after his initial on-field work with the Cardinals. "Everyone is going to have their own input and opinion. At the end of the day, that doesn't matter. I don't really draw on the fact some guy may have a negative opinion of me. I just want to come to work every day and put my best
foot forward – be a good teammate, be a good leader and take care of business.
"I am accountable to the guys in this locker room, the coaching staff and the guys upstairs. I'm not really worried about what other people say. That's not part of my DNA."
Gabbert will get the chance to show the Cardinals something. Arians said starter Carson Palmer will not throw at practice until likely minicamp, leaving the 10 organized team activities – starting Tuesday – to backup Drew Stanton and Gabbert, Zac Dysert and undrafted rookie Trevor Knight.
Years with bad teams in Jacksonville and San Francisco have left Gabbert with a 9-31 record at a starter, 38 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. His career passer rating is 71.5.
"I loved Blaine coming out," Arians said late last week. "He was very young when he came out of Missouri, had a great arm, very athletic. Like most rookies that get put into a (bad) situation, he struggled. Then he went to San Francisco and battled his way out on to the field."
Gabbert said his top job right now is learning the system, given that he's already a month behind his teammates. That's not a big ask, not given his path. In his seventh NFL season, Gabbert is now learning his seventh NFL system – he has played under a different offensive coordinator every year.
In Jacksonville, it was Dirk Koetter, Bob Bratkowski and Jeff Fisch. In San Francisco, it was Greg Roman, Geep Chryst and Curtis Modkins – although that final season was the system of head coach Chip Kelly. Now it's Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.
Arians noted that having to work with that many coordinators was not a "recipe for success." Gabbert takes it as part of the job.
There are no promises with the Cards. Stanton is likely to remain the backup. Gabbert probably will find himself fighting for the third spot, but he isn't thinking that far ahead at this point.
"I have an opportunity here and I have to make the most of it," Gabbert said. "Now it's learning the playbook."
More images from the rookie minicamp, which was held over the weekend