Garrard expects to compete for starting job

David Garrard gave the PC answer, saying he'd be OK with a backup role, but he signed with the Jets because of the opportunity to start. Hear that, Mark Sanchez?

"Honestly, they told me I'd have a chance to compete for the starting job," Garrard said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. "That's what was told to me. They all seemed to be very genuine with it. They didn't seem to be like, 'Oh, let's get him in here and then we can slot him in the two or three or four slot.' I didn't feel that."

Garrard, who impressed team brass in a recent workout, signed an undisclosed contract Monday. The key for Garrard, 35, who hasn't played in two years, is staying healthy. He's had back and knee surgeries, leading to two seasons without football. He said his back is "no issue" and that his knee is fine. The knee injury led to his release last preseason from the Dolphins. No other teams brought him in for a tryout.

On Monday, before the Garrard signing was announced, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Sanchez would have "a leg up" in any open competition. That probably was in deference to Sanchez's status (albeit shaky) as the incumbent.

"I'm not sure if anybody has an advantage," Garrard said. "I know Mark has been here for a number of years and he has played well for a number of years. I'm sure he's going into it the same way. ... I can't speak to any advantages other than he knows all the guys there."

Interestingly, Garrard bumped into Sanchez at his recent workout at the team's facility. Garrard also knows Tim Tebow from their Jacksonville connection -- Garrard started for the Jaguars, Tebow grew up there. Garrard said they worked out together a few times in "the neighborhood." He won't have to compete against Tebow, whose days with the Jets are numbered.

It'll be Garrard vs. Sanchez vs. Greg McElroy vs. another veteran or draft pick.