David Garrard was a solid, and I think underrated, quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He led the team to a playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007, and the Jaguars became the first team to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh twice during the same season. Gee, that sounds familiar. He also was responsible for one of the most memorable plays in Jaguars history, with the incredible Hail Mary win against the Houston Texans.
Anyway, Garrard is well-respected by most Jaguars fans. So, when he speaks we should listen. And he thinks the 2018 Jaguars are a Super Bowl-caliber team.
Jaguars.com has been running an intriguing content series called “Eleven On Eleven,” which features 11 former Jaguars talking about 11 current Jaguars and the team in general.
In the most recent edition, digital reporter Ashlyn Sullivan spoke to Garrard. She asked the former signal-caller a variety of questions about Blake Bortles, what the Jaguars’ 2017 success meant to him and what life has been like for Garrard after football. But there was one question-and-answer that caught my eye, for obvious reasons.
A. As a former quarterback, I realize how much success you will have depends greatly on the play at that position. I think if Blake plays at the same level or better, we have a great chance to make another playoff run. We have a Super Bowl-caliber team.
Garrard believes his former team has what it takes to make, and even win, the Super Bowl. Of course, Jacksonville is yet to accomplish such a feat, but with one of the most talented rosters in the league, and a coaching staff entering its second full year, expectations and hopes are high in Jacksonville.
The culture has changed in Duval. Which is a complete 180-degree change from this time last year, when the Jaguars were coming off of their sixth straight losing season. The squad then looked uninspired, and unimpressive, in preseason play. This was another thing Garrard hit on in the interview. He was just as shocked as the rest of us.
Question: As a former Jaguars quarterback, what did it mean to you to see the team’s success last season?
Answer: I was very surprised. After the preseason performance, I did not anticipate them doing that well. After game seven [the team’s bye week near midseason], I was totally bought in. The defense was playing at an out-of-this-world rate and the offense was holding their own, too. I am so happy that good football is back in Duval.
This is not the Gus Bradley era anymore, folks.