Does David Garrard Really Have Anything Left in the Tank?

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IAugust 31, 2012

Aug. 4, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard (9) during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

David Garrard remains with the Miami Dolphins... for now.

According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post:

Source says QB David Garrard is STAYING in Miami “for the time being.” We’ll see what this means for Matt Moore and Pat Devlin.

This is certainly an interesting set of circumstances, because the Dolphins really don't need Garrard at the moment. With Ryan Tannehill being named the starter last week, per Nate Davis of the USA Today, Matt Moore as the backup seems like a foregone conclusion.

After all, the man did play respectably well in 2011.

So not only is keeping Garrard on board a surprise, but also there isn't much the guy has to offer.


An Aging Veteran

Right now, David Garrard is 34 years old and he's clearly not an elite NFL quarterback.

Even during his best seasons from 2007 through 2010, Garrard was above average at best. And when we think of aging quarterbacks, only the elite remain legit as age 40 closes in.

Legends such as John Elway, Dan Marino and Brett Favre seemed to get better with age. In today's NFL, the quarterbacks defying age are Tom Brady (35), Peyton Manning (36) and Drew Brees (33). Clearly, Garrard is not on their level as a signal-caller and he's well past his prime form.

His best numbers season was in 2010 with 23 touchdowns to 15 picks, a 64.5 completion percentage and a 90.8 rating. From any top-tier gunslinger, though, this would be a significantly underachieving performance.

Garrard is an aging veteran, but nothing more at this point.

Injury Prone

Per the South Florida Times-Union in August of 2011:

Jaguars quarterback David Garrard injured his back, then left the practice fields through a back exit during Thursday night's training camp practice.

After tearing ligaments and tendons in the middle finger on his throwing hand, Garrard had surgery on the finger during the last week of the [2010] season.

Then, back surgery according to

David Garrard has a herniated disk and is going to schedule back surgery this week, he told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

And we come back to the 2012 NFL preseason where Garrard underwent another surgery, but there is optimism as well. In an article by R.J. Rico of the Miami Herald before Tannehill was named the starter:

The most pressing issue, of course, is deciding upon a starting quarterback now that front-runner David Garrard has been sidelined with a knee injury. Garrard confirmed on Twitter that he had surgery.

Now, yes, all this does pale in comparison to Peyton Manning's health concerns from the past year, but Garrard's concerns can't go overlooked. For one, the Dolphins were also in a much different situation after Manning joined the Denver Broncos.

Holding the No. 8 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and having a potential starter in Moore from 2011, Miami needed to get younger. Tannehill may have been a reach inside the top 10, however, Moore needed camp competition to force his ability to improve.

With that not being the case as we close in on the regular season, Garrard can't help any by remaining fragile.


Turnover Concerns

From 2008 through 2010, Garrard played in 46 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars and turned the ball over 53 times (38 interceptions, 15 lost of 32 total fumbles).

Despite his strong arm, Garrard never was a true pocket-passer and quite a bit of his yards and completions came courtesy of Maurice Jones-Drew. During that three-year span, MJD caught 149 passes and gained 1,256 receiving yards.

That's nearly 17 percent of his completions going on checkdowns and screens.

In addition, Garrard scrambled quite often, as evidenced by his 924 rushing yards on 216 attempts his last three seasons. Given the more aggressive front-sevens in the AFC East, success from scrambling will be scarce for any quarterback.

The Dolphins need to spread the field to develop the young receivers and keep opponents from keying in on Reggie Bush, as well. Garrard, unfortunately, doesn't offer that potential as emphatically as Tannehill or Moore.


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