Much has been made not about the Jacksonville Jaguars release of David Garrard, but how it went down. Garrard attended a luncheon on Tuesday where he was introduced as the Jaguars starting quarterback, then a few hours later when he arrived back at the stadium he was met by a waiting Jack Del Rio and Gene Smith, who informed him of his release. The organization has been raked over the coals for their poor handling of the situation, and rightfully so. They should have just released Garrard on Saturday.
Gene Smith however, took responsibility for the choice in an e-mail he sent to Florida Times-Union writer Vito Stellino."Ultimately, it was my decision,'' Smith told Stellino via e-mail. "Clearly, I am not proud of how things played out on Tuesday and our players deserve better, but I think to understand the situation, you need to know the facts."
"Wayne (Weaver), Jack (Del Rio) and I did sit down Tuesday morning and the decision was finalized at approximately 10:40 a.m. Wayne and I had an 11 a.m. speaking engagement prior to the 12 noon kickoff event. I endorsed having David participate in the event due to the time constraints and circumstance. It was not my intent to be insensitive to a man and a family I have great admiration for. Immediately after the event, Jack and I (and then Wayne) sat down with David to discuss the decision that was made in the best interests of the team,'' Smith explained via e-mail. '"As it relates to the kickoff event or really any of the events that took place Tuesday, I take full responsibility. Obviously, it would have been easier and would have made the release seamless had we done it over the weekend. I kept an open mind to making the final decision on the QB decision until Tuesday, so if keeping an open mind and being dilatory in the process is a mistake, then I made a mistake," added the Jaguars general manager.