I wrote a feature similar to this last year entitled Jack Del Rio on Trial. It is still a good read and I highly recommend it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you are here today in order to pass judgment upon another member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, QB David Garrard. He is accused of being a mediocre QB who managed to parlay one good year into a $60 million pay day. Others have said that he has been a victim of circumstances beyond his control. You are being asked which one is it.
Today you will hear from the prosecution. You will hear about all of the would've, could've, should'ves that have defined Garrard's time as QB of the Jaguars. You'll be presented with the arguments as to why many feel the Jaguars need a new trigger man. You'll know why the Jaguars need a new QB.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, what we have before us is a classic case of a mediocre QB who managed to have one big year. David Garrard has been the Jaguars starting QB since de facto 2006. In that time, how many playoff appearances has he made? Just one. How many times has he sunk the Jaguars playoff hopes? Twice. How many times have we as fans said to ourselves, "Damn, I'm glad we have David Garrard under center instead of the other guy." David Garrard needs to find a new team for the following reasons...
Exhibit A. His Continued Inability to Deliver in Clutch Time
My colleague will tell of course offer you the 2007 Wild Card Game vs Pittsburgh as a defense. However, I must say that is the exception to the rule.
Everyone of us remembers the the 2006 game vs the Titans, when David Garrard managed to guarantee his place in every Pacman Jones highlight reel in existence. However, that wasn't even his worst performance during that stretch. Week 17 vs Kansas City takes that cake. It was so poor that Quinn Gray's performance made us wonder if there would be a three way QB battle heading into the offseason.
In addition, during Weeks 14 and 15 of this season, David once again showed he didn't have what it took. The Jaguars had four drives that started on Miami's side of the 50 in the 2nd half, with no points to show for it. Then, when everything was on the line vs the Colts, David Garrard needed 10 ft tall wide receivers to complete passes.
Is this what you expect to be paying a QB $8 million a year for?
Exhibit B. His entire body of work
In the four season's since David Garrard has become the Jaguars' starting QB is 26-28. He has had only one winning season in his time at QB (though to be fair he did go 4-1 in 2005). While he has a 102.2 QB rating in 2007, the other three years they were between 80.5 and 83.5.
He has only cracked the Top 10 in the QB rankings once, and had never been in the Top 10 for yards or touchdowns in his career.
Four season's as a starter is sufficient to measure the body of work a player has. David's is not bad, but there are plenty of QBs who have done better.
Exhibit C. The Defense's own logic prove's he's a mediocre QB
Every time someone wants to defend David Garrard, they say that he needs better help to become a better QB. They constantly complain about the offensive line, the wide recievers, and make it seem as if David Garrard has to do it all by himself. However, just look at our AFC South mates.
Besides Reggie Wayne, is there anyone else who is really that good on Indianapolis' offense? No. It is all done by Peyton Manning. If Mike Thomas was a Colt, everyone would know his name rather than Pierre Garcon. The Colts line is so bad, they line up 4 wide in the shotgun more often on 3rd and short than trying to pound away for a first down. What does that say about their offensive line?
While Matt Schaub has Andre Johnson, the Texans have no running game to speak of either.
In short, QB's are the players who are counted on to carry the offense. The good one's will maximize what they have, and great one's will make units more than the sum of their parts. What has David Garrard done? Neither of these.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what does David Garrard have going for him? He doesn't have many game saving moments. He doesn't put up gaudy numbers. He doesn't make the offense better. He is simply another guy out on the field, but happens to line up under center. He had a great 2007, but we can't let one year cloud our judgment. At this point, it's clear, he is simply a mediocre QB and his time as the Jaguars QB must come to an end.