It wouldn't be the post-Mark Brunell Jaguars if there wasn't some QB controversy heading into the offseason and this one has been no exception. When Jack Del Rio went on Jim Rome is Burning and said "David Garrard is not elite", every Jaguar fan knew that this off season would provide drama at the position. Perhaps even more surprising was David Garrard agreeing with Del Rio's assessment while speaking with the Times-Union. The Jaguars themselves haven't done much to dose the flames, sending out vibes that Luke McCown would be given a shot to win the starting job. This isn't even beginning to consider that Jacksonville is having full blown Tebowpalooza. What is clear is that the Jaguars have a lot of questions at the position and the draft could possibly only add more to them.
Garrard's career in Jacksonville has been well recounted, so it would just be tedious to go over it again. Coming into the 2010 season, it is clear that he needs to be closer to the 2007 David Garrard than the inconsistent one of 2009. Garrard has been sacked 84 times this past two seasons, leading to a chicken and egg argument about whether he hangs onto the ball too long or does he have an inadequate line. The second part of that should be taken care off this season, with both Monroe and Britton entering their second years and perhaps a new guard or center to take care of Brad Meester. In addition, with Mike Sims-Walker and Marcedes Lewis coming off breakout years, Garrard will have the best receiving target's he's had since becoming the full time starter.
All of this lead's me to believe that David Garrard doesn't have any more excuses when it comes to his play. In 2007, David Garrard gave the Jaguars the play of the decade to beat Pittsburgh. In 2009, he needed 10 ft tall wide receivers in the final minutes against the Colts. That isn't what the team wants to see from the player who has the largest contract on the team.
To Garrard's credit, he has seemingly taken the message to heart. He's reached out to AFC South rival Peyton Manning to learn first hand about Manning's famously intense off season training regiment. It will be interesting to see how things go in OTA's and Training Camp because of this.
The Jaguars traded for McCown to get some much needed insurance behind Garrard last year. However, he ended up being sacked (2) almost as many times as he attempted passes (3) in 2009. Looking at McCown's career numbers, it's puzzling to think the Jaguars would give him a shot to at the starting job. McCown possesses a 1-6 record as a starter and has a career QB rating of 74.7. Granted, the majority of the time he played with either the Browns or Buccaneers, so that could skew his record.
The other theory that has popped up regarding McCown is that if he plays well enough in OTAs and Camp, while Garrard struggles, it would give the Jaguars the necessary leverage to get Garrard to agree to a large paycut or potentially release him out right. While the latter part of that is a long shot, the former is a distinct possibility.
Their are several scenarios for the Jaguars if they want to bring in another quarterback. With the Eagles seemingly dead set on getting rid of Donovan McNabb, the Jaguars could make a trade for him. However, that has become unlikely with the recent revelation the Eagles want a pick in the top 40 for McNabb. The only offer that would be reasonable for the Jaguars would be to swap first round picks and get McNabb as well. However, unless the Eagles fall in love with a guy, that won't happen.
Their has been speculation the Jaguars will try to address the issue via the draft. They were at Central Michigan's Pro Day, most likely looking at Dan Levefour. In terms of a player who could start right away, the only one who could be available at 10 would be Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. There are a lot of conflicting stories as to the kind of character he is. If he's there at 10 and the Jaguars pass on him, I think we'll know he still hasn't strayed far from the kid who took a limo to his LOI signing and then got caught in the back of a car with a 30 pack of beer.
The Jaguars quarterback position is clearly in a state of flux. David Garrard has been given a "Put up or Shut up" ultimatum and needs to deliver. Even after a "Pro Bowl" season last year, Garrard hasn't lived up to the mammoth deal he signed in 2008. Whether it's from Luke McCown or another QB, he'll need to regain his 2007 form to make sure he's not considered for the chopping block.