Hopefully the cutting of David Garrard did not come as too much of a shock to the Jaguar fan base, as BlackandTeal contemplated the release for our readership in my previous article, Practice Makes Perfect. Though, of course, with Gamblin’ Jack I suppose nobody is safe. And with Tuesday’s announcement, the David Garrard era ended and the Luke McCown era began. Whether the era lasts two weeks, six weeks, a season, or four years, is yet to be decided. So, what can we expect in this interim quarterback’s time in charge?
Before we get into what we can expect, we should first have an understanding of who Luke McCown is (besides just a quarterback with a great first name). McCown was originally from a Jacksonville, just not the one in Florida, Jacksonville, Texas. McCown was taken out of Louisiana Tech in the fourth round (106 overall) by the Cleveland Browns. McCown played in five games for the Browns in 2004, starting four. He had a 49% completion percentage on the year, 608 yards, four touchdowns, and seven picks. McCown didn’t play another snap until 2007 when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his two years with the Bucs he played in seven games, starting three, had a completion percentage of 67.6 percent for 1009 yards, 5 touchdowns, three picks.
With the Jaguars, Luke McCown has been practically perfect in practice, looking sharp and poised. His numbers thus far in the four games he has played are 54.5 percent completion percentage, 122 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions. In the one 2011 preseason game he has played in, McCown has completed 8 of nine passes for 86 yards and one touchdown with no picks.
If the entire season was practice, I guarantee the Jags would have one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league in Luke McCown. However, history suggests that we can expect somewhere around 55 percent of his passes being completed (maybe a tad higher), a slew of interceptions, and a few touchdowns to accompany it. McCown will be serviceable filling David Garrard’s shoes, but shouldn’t be expected to be a superb replacement. If his numbers turn out to be very good he may hold the job all year long and stop Blaine Gabbert from making a move to be the Jaguars franchise quarterback at some point this season.
I think that McCown has the skills to be a very good quarterback. We’ll have to see if his practice game translates well into real speed NFL games. I’m more worried about some aspects of the Jaguars offensive line and the defense than Luke McCown’s ability to get the Jaguars through the season.
– Luke N. Sims