The national reaction to the Jacksonville Jaguars release of David Garrard has been puzzling, to say the least. While Garrard wasn't a terrible quarterback, he was just simply average. The gnashing of teeth nationally about the release of an average quarterback who most thought would be benched by midseason anyway, has drawn doormat like predictions for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most recently, Bill Simmons predicited the team would finish 3-13.
The same Bill Simmons who once quipped, "In retrospect, David Garrard's $60 million extension would be like NBC's giving Andy Samberg $60 million right after "Dick In a Box." You might have wanted to let that one breathe a little, Jacksonville." I guess suddenly, David Garrard was the difference in 8 wins and 3 wins for Simmons?
The assumption that Luke McCown is a significant downgrade at quarterback for the Jaguars is a rather disengenious notion.
Does this mean I'm saying Luke McCown is an upgrade at the position? Not necesarily. I don't think however McCown is that much worse, if he's even worse at all. I tend to think the Jaguars will net roughly the same results. McCown has out performed Garrard the past two training camps. He's shown and done things Garrard simply couldn't or wouldn't do. Look at the 2010 preseason, McCown frequently hit on deep passes. On the other hand, in 2010 and in 2011 any time David Garrard threw deep, it looked contrived.
It looked forced, because it was. They were predesigned deep passes.
That is a big area that will sink or swim McCown and the Jaguars this season. McCown is aggressive. He's not afraid to throw the football down the field. He's not careful, where Garrard was overly cautious. Being cautious can net great results, but as the old cliche says... without risk there is no reward. McCown offers an attacking passing style the Jaguars team hasn't seen in years, possibly since Mark Brunell was in is hay-day.
When people ask me what the difference is between the two, that's what I tell them. Luke McCown will attack in the passing game. What kind of results that will net remains to be seen. The last time McCown played significant time in the regular season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he started 3 games. In those 3 starts, McCown completed 72.8% of his passes for 815 yards with 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 100.6 QB rating.
If Luke McCown can offer anything close to that, the Jaguars will be just fine. The biggest advantage with McCown however, ...teams don't have any film on him. That helped out David Garrard significantly in 2007 and should help McCown in 2011.