David Garrard – The Soldier
By Luke Sims
I must admit, I disagree with Terry’s article. I know that I am a dissenting opinion (besides evilboy in the comments, and his opinion was so misbegotten that it is doesn’t hold much weight) but I must say that I disagree. Initially this was just a comment on Terry’s article, but it got so long and I liked what I was saying enough that I decided to post it. After all, the larger the variety of thought, the better overall thinking is done.
So here is my take on David Garrard’s play and actions as a soldier on the field.
I think David Garrard does have the faculties to be a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he is still learning. David’s learning is just taking place a later point in his career. Unlike Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, David wasn’t thrust into the starting role to heal a franchise (were the Colts or Patriots truly a threat before those two quarterbacks became who they are now?) at a young age. He was backup to Mark Brunell for a few years first. During this period he developed his physical tools to succeed in the NFL and was just gearing up to start when all of a sudden Byron Leftwich, the hottest thing out of Marshall, appears.
So, Garrard sits the bench again and waits his turn. But rather than being able to observe a solid starting quarterback and pick his brain, he had to help mentor the guy ahead of him. Babysitting the younger man rather than gleaning information from a Drew Bledsoe, like Tom Brady could.
As a result, with the departure of Byron, Garrard stepped in and played very cautious football. As he succeeded and the coaches’ faith in him grew, he assumed more control of the offense. But because his only starting year was a very cautious style of play, he hadn’t learned much true command of an offense. Now, he is being given the pieces but being commanded by the coaching staff to use them in certain situations and defer to their “better” judgement rather than allowing him to grow mentally and develop his game to adapt to true game situations.
It was more like a practice or scrimmage, but the defense was changing each week and adapting better than in a controlled environment. The result is quite poor. Perhaps with free reins he will be better. He is not a robot, but instead a good soldier. Battling for our Jaguar nation. He does what he’s told, and just like any good soldier (even one that knows better), he obeys his commander(s).
– Luke N. Sims