Jacksonville Jaguars: Q&A with former quarterback David Garrard

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 05: David Garrard
PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 05: David Garrard /

A one-on-one interview with former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, and playoff hero, David Garrard.

For the first time since the 2007 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the playoffs as they take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday in the Wildcard round. The last time the Jaguars were in the playoffs, their quarterback was David Garrard, who led them to a 31-29 road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers before falling at New England in the divisional round.

David was gracious enough to take the time with me to answer some questions heading into this Sunday’s game.

Q: What are your thoughts on the 2017 Jaguars and the incredible season they are having?

"So proud of these guys! They went from the end of the preseason and having everyone think we were going to win 3 games tops this year to now being the 3 seed in the AFC, it’s been an incredible season!"

Q: You had a very illustrious collegiate career at East Carolina. How was your college experience at ECU?

"College was an awesome experience. Never thought I would do all I did at East Carolina University! Gotta thank God for that opportunity. My hunger to be great kept me focused throughout college and into the pros."

Q: You were drafted in the fourth round in 2002 by the Jaguars. How was the draft experience for you and what were your emotions when you got the phone call from the Jaguars?

"The NFL Draft was a very cool experience. Talking to Tom Coughlin on the phone when I was drafted was a dream come true for me. The Jaguars were actually the team I wanted to draft me so that made it even sweeter!"

Q: In January of 2004, you were diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and even had part of your intestine removed because of it, but was still ready for the start of the 2004 season. How did you first discover that something may be wrong and what was that whole process like for you?

"My stomach was really irritated and I needed to see a doctor to find out what was wrong. He explained to me then what I was dealing with. All I could think about was getting back on the field with my teammates! I wanted continue my dream of playing ball and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me!"

Q: You had played on and off for several seasons, but 2007 was the first year where you were the starter from the beginning of the season. You had an incredible 10-2 record as a starter (4 games were missed due to an ankle injury). What was that season like for you and what one thing will you always remember about that team?

"The 2007 season was so much fun. Everybody was bought in that year and we felt like no one could stop us. I will always reminder the birth of my son that year and how his birth fueled me to go the extra mile that year!"

Q: During the 2007 AFC Wildcard round, you led the Jaguars to an upset victory on the road versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Down 29–28 with 1:56 to go, you led the team on a winning drive, and pulled off the play of the game with a 32-yard run on 4th and 2.  What was that playoff atmosphere like and what was going through your mind on that last drive?

"The atmosphere in Pittsburgh was out of this world! In my mind, I was making the plays necessary to win the game and I wanted the ball in my hands to help our team WIN! Everyone was hyper focused on doing that, make the plays necessary!"

Q: During your playing career, who were the toughest players you had to play against?

"I went against many great players but two of the toughest would have to be Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers."

Q: Right before the 2011 season the Jaguars released you and you spent time with the Dolphins and Jets over the next few seasons but never played due to back and knee injuries. What was that time like for you and having to deal with all those injuries that late in your career?

"I just thank God it was later in my career and not early on.  I got to play in the prime of my career healthy as possible and for that I am very thankful."

Q: If you had one piece of advice to give to an NFL rookie who is just coming into the league, what would that be?

"Don’t take the league for granted, it goes by very fast. A big thing as well is to start saving your money on day one because you never know when your career will come to an end."