Luke’s article got me thinking…it is now widely accepted as fact that David Garrard is the most enigmatic starting quarterback in the NFL today. When David plays his best, he is on par with any quarterback in the league. When David is playing bad, oooh baby, does he stink. So what is going on with our trigger man? How can he go from so good to so bad and back again without any rhyme or reason? Why can’t he find an even keel?
Some speculation after the jump…
- David has yet to play behind a consistent offensive line? The only constant in the o-line throughout his tenure as Jacksonville’s starting quarterback has been Brad Meester. In 2007 and 2008, Khalif Barnes manned the blindside and Tony Pashos was our mauling right tackle (but was also a huge liability against the pass rush). Road-pavers Vince Manuwai, Chris Naeole, and Maurice Williams all played guard for the Jaguars in 2007, and even before the 2008 season opener hit halftime, Manuwai and Williams were injured and out for the season and David was forced to play behind a patchwork and inexperienced interior line. In 2009, both tackle positions were manned by rookies, Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe. This year, the Jaguars added oft-injured Justin Smiley to the mix, who has missed a few games already, and now Eben Britton has been placed on IR and Jordan Black will be starting at right tackle.
- David has never had an NFL-caliber receiving corp? The only Jacksonville receiver from the 2007 squad still catching passes in the NFL is Marcedes Lewis. Hmm, who else was there? Matt Jones, Ernest Wilford, Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, Greg Estandia, Richard Angulo…..OOF! We all remember the Jerry Porter experiment in ’08 (thanks for the #1 stud receiver we’ve always wanted, Shack!) and in ’09 Dave was tossing the rock to a bunch of first year players and a graying Torry Holt (sadly, a shadow of his formal self). In 2010, Marcedes has finally blossomed, but Zach Miller has been invisible and there are only four wide receivers on the Jaguars’ roster: Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas, Tiquan Underwood, and Kassim Osgood, who begged for an opportunity to become more than a special teamer. The squad is an improvement from years past, but still pretty thin.
- David is playing scared? Hey, we all remember the way Byron Leftwich tumbled out of favor in Jacksonville – being benched for an injury he was publicly disagreeing over with his coach and losing his job just before the ’07 regular season. After making a big mistake, Garrard has never been known for “playing without a memory” and more often than not, appears to go cold and rigid, afraid of slipping up again…and possibly losing his job. David was given a nice contract and has enjoyed a long leash for the last few years, but it’s gotta be burned in his mind what can happen to when the favorite son falls out of favor in Jacksonville…and how quickly it’s over once it starts.
- David’s a bit of headcase? The Jekyll and Hyde comparisons are flying this year. I truly can’t think of another quarterback that is capable of the swings David Garrard has demonstrated. He couldn’t put up points or even sustain a drive in the Jaguars’ losses this year and comes back from a concussion and two weeks in a self-described “heavy fog” to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in a brilliant performance. I mean, the guy played like the consummate field general: poised under pressure, quick and decisive reads, great touch on his throws, and unwavering command of the offense. HOW DO WE MAKE THE OTHER DAVID LEAVE JACKSONVILLE FOR GOOD?!?!?!!!
Whatever the root cause, he’s our guy for the rest of the year. So, in the Jags’ two weeks off, hopefully we see the offensive line gel, the receivers mature, and David gets plenty of his coach’s support and some quality time on the team shrink’s couch. Check those off and I’ll bet a buffalo nickle David Garrard is the NFL’s SECOND HALF MVP.