Peter King of Sports Illustrated discovered a gem in his Monday Morning Quarterback today. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who won on a David Garrard to Mike Thomas Hail Mary against the Houston Texans, don't even practice it live.
With three seconds left in a tie game and the ball at midfield, Jacksonville huddled and, as Thomas said, "basically began to think of overtime.'' Then David Garrard got the play in his helmet and announced it to the 10 guys surrounding him: "Rebound.'' That's the Hail Mary play the Jags don't work live, apparently for injury-risk reasons. "We jog through it, and we know what position to be in, and then we look at diagrams,'' Thomas said. "[Tight end] Marcedes Lewis is the point man. He's supposed to tip it to one of us if he can. I'm the scoop guy, out front.'' In other words, Thomas is the rebounder on the rebound, a couple of yards in front of the scrum, just waiting for the 1-in-100 chance that the ball would get batted to him, or ricochet to him. This time, Houston cornerback Glover Quin boxed out in the end zone and batted it straight ahead instead of down to the ground, which a defender is supposed to do. "When it happened,'' Thomas said, "all I could think was, 'Oh my goodness! Did he really just tap it to me?' ''