“We’re going to make sure all those guys still under contract are going to get workouts in,” Garrard said. “We’ve been meeting as leaders. We met with the coaches a few times to get ideas of how to keep this team rolling [in event of an owner lockout]. We’re not taking the whole offseason off. We’re on top of things.”
The easy part of the Jaguars’ contingency plan involves position groups working out together. But once a lockout extends into May, when teams normally begin offseason training activities, Garrard anticipates trying to get his receivers and the offense together at his local neighborhood park at Glen Kernan.
“If [a lockout] goes long enough, you have to start thinking about plays and keeping everybody refreshed,” Garrard said. “So when we report back [to team facility], we’re not too far behind. None of this is mandatory, but if you’re trying to win a championship, you expect certain things. You know the direction your teammates and fellow brothers are trying to head in. Why wouldn’t you want to be there?
“I like the game plan the leaders have put together, along with young players that have bought in to what we’re preaching. If your leader is saying he wants guys to be here at a certain place and time, I believe they’ll be there. Some guys may want to work out on their own. It’s not as strict as coaches would be, but don’t think we don’t know who’s doing their job.”
Peer pressure and peer review will be big in a protracted lockout, as there will be no coaches involved in the work teams do. Self-motivated guys are crucial.
I’ve written that the teams with the strongest leadership stand to benefit. The Jaguars called out Garrard last year at this time, talking about the need for him to do more. He responded well. But while he played better, his inconsistency was still an issue that hurt Jacksonville.
The Jaguars will draft a quarterback in the first three rounds, I expect, and that player should challenge and push Garrard from the start. He'll ultimately replace him, it'll be a question of when.
Jack Del Rio and Gene Smith have to be pleased with what Garrard said here.
Interesting too is Garrard’s stance on Del Rio, who’s basically been given a playoffs or pink slip directive by owner Wayne Weaver.
“Last year, [Weaver’s comments] were directed straight at me,” Garrard said. “I made sure to make strides in my game, though I’m still not where I want to be. When you’re critical of the head coach, you’re also directing it at the quarterback. That’s how I feel. I have [Del Rio’s] back, and I know he has mine. We’re tied at the hip. I want to step up my leadership abilities to help us get to the playoffs.”