Training Camp Preview: The Quarterbacks
Clearly, the most important thing to watch during the Jaguars training camp is the progress of our passing game. The key to that passing game is the Quarterback, or in this case the embattled Byron Leftwich. Byron gets to learn his third offense since joining the team under his third offensive coordinator.
That aside, I learned something recently that says a lot about the character of Byron and his devotion to winning. We all remember Byron breaking his ankle in 2005. What you might not know is that he turned down having surgery after the season because it might have required him to miss time at the start of the 2006 season. He chose to rehab instead, so he wouldn't miss time. Now, in retrospect, this doomed him to the problems of 2006. It probably cost the team a few games, and it certainly didn't help Byron as he heads into a possible contract, but his devotion is clear, he wants to play now and win now.
So Jack Del Rio says that Byron Leftwich is "the man", but he also says that the team has discussed the possibility of acquiring Daunte Culpepper. Nothing like a mixed message to start of training camp. There are really only two possible storylines that could happen between now and the opening of camp: Jaguars sign Reggie Nelson and Jaguars sign Daunte Culpepper. As each day goes by, the latter becomes more and more unlikely, thank god.
I'm 100% against Daunte, by the way. I like Gray as our number 3, and Garrard as our number 2, and I'm even OK if they switch that order up a bit. Garrard is clearly destined to be a backup quarterback, as serious game situations cause him to make mistakes. Big Ones. (i.e. the Titans game of late last season). This is the training camp where both Gray and Garrard make statements about their future. If Gray can step up, you might see David used as some trade bait depending on injuries to other quarterbacks (Can you say Atlanta?)
Actually, that begs an interesting question. I've heard through Battle Red Blog that the Falcons were considering offering two first round picks for Matt Schaub to come back. I wonder if the Falcons would be interested in a slightly more experienced and mobile quarterback for a first round pick? Something to consider as we get closer to the start of the season.
Anyhow, because I'm doing this position by position, here's my prediction for the Jaguars depth chart at Quarterback.
- Byron Leftwich
- Quinn Gray
- David Garrard