- 1x Pro Bowl (2009)
- Franchise leader in career passer rating (85.8)
- 16,003 career passing yards, 89 career touchdown passes
- 39-37 record as Jaguars starting quarterback
Criminally overlooked during his nine-year NFL career with the Jaguars, quarterback David Garrard proved to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in Jacksonville history. Garrard was taken as a fourth-round pick out of East Carolina in the 2002 NFL Draft by then head coach Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin saw Garrard as the heir apparent to an aging Mark Brunell. However, Coughlin was fired after Garrard’s rookie season and the team used its first-round pick on Byron Leftwich out of Marshall in 2003. Though Del Rio liked what he had in Garrard, pressure to move off Brunell in favor of Leftwich had him lost in the shuffle.
Brunell would leave an after injury-riddled 2003 campaign, eventually winning a Super Bowl as Drew Brees’ backup with the 2009 New Orleans Saints. Leftwich would end up busting in Jacksonville, paving the way for Garrard to finally get his run as the Jaguars’ full-time signal caller midway through the 2009 NFL season.
For the next 4.5 years, Garrard went .500 as a starter (34-34), leading the Jaguars to the AFC playoffs in 2007. The Jaguars would win the AFC Wild Card Game in January over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but would lose to the then undefeated New England Patriots in the divisional round.
Garrard’s best season came in 2009 when he was named to the Pro Bowl. He completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 3,597 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. However, the Jaguars went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
His last season with the team would come in 2010. Despite going 8-6 as a starter, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, it felt like ownership had seen all it wanted out of Garrard.
The Jaguars selected Missouri Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Even though Del Rio assured everyone that Garrard would be the Week 1 starter, he was cut before the start of the regular season and never played again in the NFL.
Overall, Garrard went 39-37 as the Jaguars starter. He completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions. As a runner, he had 380 career carries for 1,746 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Though not as good as Brunell, Garrard did enough to potentially earn a spot in the Pride of the Jaguars one day. He was most certainly better under center for the Jaguars than either Leftwich or Gabbert. That’s for sure.