The quarterback "competition" is officially over! Jack Del Rio today reaffirmed to the media that David Garrard is the Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback. So, it's over right? If David Garrard goes out and struggles and turns the ball over again against the Buffalo Bills and Blaine Gabbert lights it up, there will be absolutely nothing to talk or think about, right?
"Yeah. David's our starter. I said that all spring,'' Del Rio told the media when asked if Garrard would start the season opener.Pardon me for being overly cynical with the Jaguars quarterback situation, but we've seen this dog and pony show before. Say what you want about how similar or different the situation is from the 2007 season, but we've seen Jack Del Rio endorse a quarterback all the way up until the cut day deadline, then make the switch. It's very likely David Garrard is the Jaguars opening day starter, but I don't believe for a second it's set in stone at the moment. I'm not going to believe who the starter is until after final cuts have been made, because that's the only time we'll know for sure. Even in 2007, no one knew until the day of final cuts.
There is still something to be played out at the quarterback position, don't kid yourself. A lot can change between now and final cuts.
Del Rio also discussed deep ball execution, since there was a bit of a controversy about David Garrard throwing wide receiver Mike Thomas under the bus for Garrard's pass that was picked off by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Brent Grimes. Del Rio obviously avoided commenting directly on that, but he did say a few interesting things.
"We continue to call up shots, just either get off them and don't throw them, or don't throw them well or don't connect on them enough," Jack Del Rio said about the team taking deep shots in the past. "But as we do it'll become a stronger part of our offense."
Del Rio was asked if there would be more emphasis on taking shots down the field, "...we went into that game Friday night with the idea that we would take some shots down the field. We took a couple early and I'd like us to be more efficient." Del Rio added, "When you look down the field if it's not there, drop it down and make a positive play."
Del Rio seemed to indicate that these shots down the field have been called in the past, but just haven't materialized. "Sure, and then the more you're successful at it, if you dial one up and you take a sack then it doesn't make you feel real good about calling another one. The play-caller is going to react how the plays are being run, how effective we are at carrying out the assignments and if we're carrying out the assignments at a high level you'll see more of it," said the Jaguars head coach. Del Rio continued, "But in the end you've got to be able to execute and you've got to be able to move the ball and score points."
Also, I've been told Del Rio was praising Luke McCown on his radio show this afternoon, noting how McCown has been the best quarterback in camp and really taken on the mentor role with Blaine Gabbert in the film room, etc. I personally haven't listened to it yet, however.