Last week when he said “he’s my quarterback,” it didn’t get the same volume.
It should have here, so I apologize to you, to Garrard and to JDR for not finding and getting to it more promptly and hope we can do a better late than never.
Friday on "The Pete Prisco Show" in Jacksonville, Del Rio spoke again about Garrard.
And asked if Garrard was certain to be under center for the opening snaps of 2010, this was the answer:
“We’ll always keep our option open in terms of being able to add talent. I think the likelihood of somebody coming in here that’s better than David Garrard and take a snap from center this year, I think that’s unlikely to happen. You just have to look at available players, and the likelihood of one of those players… I don’t think that Sean Payton is going to do a player-for-player swap.
"I think you have to be realistic about how you’re able to upgrade positions in this league. David is a good player and we’re very fortunate that we have him. There are teams that don’t have a quarterback as good as David Garrard, I’ll tell you that right now. And I’m going to support the guy we have.”
A few more pertinent snippets:
“I think he’s a good player, I think we can win with him, I think we have to be really good around him. I think that there are few elite quarterbacks in the league like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and some of those guys that are able to carry their teams and we don’t ask David to do that and I don’t think it would be fair to ask David to do that.”
JDR also said “I think he’s a good, solid player” not a “great” one. “I hope he becomes that, It would be great for me, it would be great for us as a football team. …I think we have other more pressing issues.”
Here’s part one of the interview. Move up to roughly the 5:20 mark to get started.
Here’s part two.
If Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen is somehow available at No. 10 or 11 when the Jaguars draft, I think they’d have to take him if they like him. If not I still think they’d be wise to draft a quarterback to begin to develop as an alternative.
Because while they can win with Garrard, it’s going to be hard for them to be great around him. The more direct route to postseason success is to find one of those elite quarterbacks and the Jags' collective head should be on a swivel to find someone who has more potential to become one than Garrard does.
For a column on the Jaguars' offensive line you’ll see Thursday, I spoke with left guard Vince Manuwai and also had a chance to ask him about Garrard.
He was a bit roundabout, but basically said the $60 million contract Garrard got after the Jaguars went two rounds into the playoffs in 2007 changed expectations.
“I know the money that they pay him now people want a quarterback who sits in the pocket and is a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning,” Manuwai said. “So David never had to live up to those expectations, but now it’s getting tougher because of the money that’s involved, I guess.”
“People want 3,500 yards passing, 4,000 yards passing, you know? Or over 20 touchdown passes. It’s definitely tough on Dave trying to do what he wants to do but also trying to make people happy.”
That’s why, no matter how much deposed personnel chief James “Shack” Harris and Del Rio thought Garrard was the guy, overshooting on the contract actually served no one football-wise.