Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback David Garrard (4) looks on from the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Number 3. David Garrard
There might not be a more polarizing quarterback in franchise history than David Garrard. He started his career as a developmental backup behind Mark Brunell, then he proved to be a serviceable starter when he filled in for Byron Leftwich, so much so that he forced the front office’s hand and convinced them to cut Leftwich and start him in 2007.
It turned out to be the right decision..
Garrard had a very good year, posting an absurd TD-to-INT ratio (18 TDs to only 3 INTs) as he led the Jaguars to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Garrard also provided one of the more iconic moments in Jaguars’ history – a game-clinching 4th down run in Pittsburgh to win the wild card round that season:
Some fans would say that moment was the beginning of the Jaguars precipitous decline to the bottom of the NFL.
After his breakout season, the Jaguars signed Garrard to a huge contract extension, cementing him as the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, Garrard never developed into more than a game-manager who occasionally made some plays with his legs.
You can’t blame Garrard too much given what he had to work with. His supporting cast was filled with failed first round picks (Reggie Williams, Matt Jones) and other team’s castoffs (Dennis Northcutt, Troy Williamson).
While Garrard certainly wasn’t a “great” quarterback (although he did make one Pro Bowl), the Jaguars haven’t been good since he left.
Next: Number 2...