The middle of the season and the bye week coincide this season for the Jaguars. That allows us to get a few extra looks at where the team is and what has to happen going forward. Today, we'll start off with the quarterbacks and work our way to each group.
The play of the Jaguars quarterbacks this season has so paralleled the play of the team as a whole it's eerie. In the Jaguars four wins this season, David Garrard has accounted for 14 touchdowns (12 throwing, 2 rushing), completed at least 76% of his passes, averaged 192 passing yards, and thrown only one interception.
If Garrard would put up those kind of numbers every week, Jaguar fans would be having no issues with him. However, it is the dichotomy between "Good" David and "Bad" David that has so many fans up in arms. In the three losses Garrard played in, he accounted for only one touchdown, which was in garbage time. In addition, David accounted for 6 interceptions, never completed more than 65 percent of his passes, and was sacked nine times.
It's been the same way with Garrard every year since 2008 and nothing is going to change at this point. He's going to have his good games and he's going to have games that will push Jaguar fans to the Modis building's ledge. It's no coincidence most of his "good" games have also corresponded to with the Jaguars running game's best performances this season. Give him a good running game and receivers who can make plays, and "Good" David appears. Try to win a game with him single handily, and "Bad" David shows up.
Outside of David Garrard, the Jaguars QB position has been an interesting one to watch. Luke McCown had an excellent start to the preseason and at one point was pushing Garrard for the starting job. However, he eventually cooled down. Then came the San Diego game. Coming in after Garrard's worst game since the 2006 Nashville meltdown, McCown played pretty well. A potential QB controversy seemed imminent until McCown ended up with his second torn ACL of his career.
Of all the players on the Jaguars, I feel sorry for McCown the most. He had a golden opportunity in front of him and instead his career quite possibly came to an end in San Diego. Would the Jaguars be 7-1 or 6-2 with Luke under center? Probably not. Just wished to see what he could do.
After the Philadelphia game, things got more interesting when the Bills released QB Trent Edwards. It says something about the Jaguars QB play at the time that Jag fans were screaming for a player Bills fans had nicknamed "Captain Checkdown."
Jaguars fans eagerly awaited hearing if the team would claim Edwards off of waivers. Instead, the got something better. Keith Null! I kid, I kid. Null was promptly discarded a few days after Edwards was claimed off of waivers.
Fans didn't have to wait long to see what Edwards brought to the table. After David Garrard went out with a concussion vs Tennessee, Edwards finished the game to a resounding sound of "Eh?". Considering he was running plays he never even ran in practice, his peformance was pretty solid. However, there was nothing to show he had any long term viability as a starter.
A Jaguars season wouldn't be complete without some kind of cameo from Todd Bouman and he gave it his all. Replacing Edwards vs Kansas City, Bouman was playing the game of his life for 2.5 quarters. Then he proceeded to throw a pick six and things went down hill from there.
The current state of the Jaguars QB position is at best ok for the time being. The current group has two guys who are "good enough" to get it done in the NFL, and another guy can be a decent stand in. While none of them are world beaters, at least the Jags don't have Carolina's QB situation.
However, there is a reason Gene Smith keeps harping about getting a QB in next year's draft. No one of the current roster has the potential to be a franchise QB. Garrard ending up being a $60 million Leviathan for the franchise that potentially set it back just as much as the Leftwich pick did. Todd Bouman is a 38 year old journeymen for a reason.
Depending on the cost, Trent Edwards may be an option for the future as a back up/stand in for whichever QB the Jaguars select, but that's about it.