As many of you know, I first wrote on Black and Teal (Jaguars on Fansided) before coming to this site, so i’ve seen my fair share of Garrard moments: the classic run against the Steelers in the 2007 playoffs all the way up to the overtime INT to lose against the lowly 2010 Washington Redskins. Those two moments sum up Garrard’s career. An amazing team-lifting moment and a costly mistake. That’s Garrard. So, before you ask, I’ll tell you whether the Titans should kick the tires.
In short: No. The Titans are fine at QB, even though Garrard would be an amazing backup QB.
David Garrard has never played behind a top-10 offensive line and most seasons, you could reason that Garrard played behind a line that wouldn’t make the top-20 rankings. He did always have a run game, but after 2005 (most of his starts), he didn’t have receivers. There were people that lined up at the position but to call them NFL-caliber receivers would be a lie most of the time. Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Ernest Wilford–these are the kind of guys that started for the Jaguars and didn’t make other teams, aside from Wilford who the Dolphins cut a year later. These were Garrard’s primary targets.
The argument for someone defending Garrard is easy: bad line, horrible receivers and you get what you pay for. The Garrard haters, well they had the crunch-time mistakes to rally behind, such as a late INT against Indy or maybe an overthrown pass through the endzone as time ran out. Unfortunately, for most of those plays, Garrard did, in fact, have people hanging off of his body while he tried to make a throw. It’s an endless debate, but the true reason for Garrards release ultimately came down to money. Due $8-9 million this year, Garrard wound up a pretty expensive option for a team looking to ease a top-10 pick into the starting seat. Gabbert will now earn the job by the end of the season through practice and late game mop-up duty. It’s now eerily similary to the Titans with Jake Locker and Matthew Hasselbeck, whereas before Garrard was too much money to justify a benching, McCown is not. Even though Hasselbeck does make a lot this season, his role as a stop-gap ends when they say it ends. Hasselbeck isn’t a 6-year starter for the team.
Garrard won’t go down in history as a great QB, right now he barely goes down as a decent QB, but he is a solid player, a great team leader, and someone who gives you everything he has. For those reason, along with his starting experience, Garrard will find a job before the weekend.
Backup QB Luke McCown has shown in the past that he can lead the Jaguars offense well and I believe that if he didn’t get injured against San Diego in early 2010, McCown would’ve started the rest of the season. McCown is a guy that reads defenses well and gets through his route progressions. With Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield, the pressure is taken down a notch for McCown. The Jaguars passing offense may have improved, we’ll see Sunday.
Welcome back football, welcome BACK!!