Saturday, November 9, 2013
Two-minute drill: David Garrard
By Rich Cimini
Our weekly Q & A is with quarterback David Garrard, who returned to the New York Jets last month, in part, to serve as a mentor to rookie Geno Smith:
It has been nearly a month since you came out of retirement. Being back in the locker room, what are your impressions of this team?
Garrard: Great resolve. It's been a little bit of a rollercoaster -- that's been self-explanatory -- but to be able to bounce back, it shows this is a team that can put things behind them and move forward. It's a young team because there have been those dips in certain weeks, but you have to start learning from them and not allowing them to creep back in. I know we're heading on that path, but we have to prove it. We just can't talk about it.
Geno's passing numbers against the New Orleans Saints were ugly, but he didn't have any turnovers. Do you think he's learning how to manage a game?
Garrard: Talking to him during the game, I told him, 'This is how this game is going to be. I've been in quite a few of these, where the defense is playing great and you're running the ball really well, so we put our pride to the side.' In a game like that, it's not about slinging the ball downfield, because you don't want to make a mistake and give the ball back to a potent offense. Let the big horses pound the rock. You don't want to do that as a quarterback, but there are times when you have to. That's what you have to learn as a young guy. That was huge. That was a good learning lesson.
Geno put up prolific numbers in college. Do you think this is a tough transition for him?
Garrard: He's never been in that situation, where you had to let the running game take over -- but you have to. In this league, you have to do whatever it takes to win. Sometimes, as a quarterback, you have to swallow your pride and hand that ball off. Whenever you can take a team's will like that, which is basically what we did, you have to do it. It was our will against their will, and we took it.
Geno has made some big plays with his legs in the last couple of wins. What do you think of that aspect of his game?
Garrard: Me being a mobile guy most of my career, I tell him all the time, 'Defenses hate a quarterback that runs.' He wants to be a quarterback that throws it. He says that. But I'm like, 'Dude, you have the wheels to get it done. You ran a 4.5 (in the 40).' I ran a 4.7. He has the wheels, he has the instincts. In the red zone, if you can make it third-and-3 with your legs, it makes it so much easier to pick up the first down. He's seeing that. When I was recruited by Rex [Ryan] to come here, in our first meeting we sat down and he was like, 'You take care of the ball and you use your legs. Those are the two things I love about you.' As a defensive coach, you know a mobile quarterback hurts you and stresses your defense.