David Garrard's Heir Apparent Is Nowhere To Be Found

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David Garrard's Heir Apparent Is Nowhere To Be Found
(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Picking between Todd Bouman and Cleo Lemon is like picking between a root canal and a rectal exam. Neither option is very appealing, and both are likely to cause some level of discomfort.

Fortunately for Jacksonville, the battle between Bouman and Lemon is for the backup QB role, not the starting job. If the journeymen were duking it out for the No. 1 spot, hundreds of fans would be lining up to jump off the Buckman Bridge as we speak.

The Jaguars signed Bouman earlier in the week to be Lemon's primary competition for the No. 2 role. Bouman has started six games in his career, throwing for a total of 1,683 yards with as many touchdowns (11) as interceptions.

Lemon has eight starts in his career, all of which came during his time in Miami. He has thrown for 2,185 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

As you probably remember, Lemon was one of about 20 quarterbacks who got a look during the Dolphins' dreadful 1-15 season two years ago.

In and of itself, signing Bouman to the roster and having Lemon on the team is not a bad thing. The two have been reasonably capable backup quarterbacks in the NFL.

What I want to know is: Where is the competition for David Garrard? Who is the QB in waiting?

When Byron Leftwich was in town, that QB in waiting was Garrard. He would come in during preseason games and wow everyone with his ability. When he would get into a regular season game due to a Leftwich injury or whatever, he looked serviceable, not spectacular.

But he eventually showed enough promise to force Jack Del Rio and Co. to force Leftwich out the door and move Garrard into the No. 1 spot.

I've written this before and I'll say it again. Healthy competition is good for everyone. For the incumbent, it keeps him on his toes and let's him know that nothing is forever in the unforgiving NFL.

That pushes the veteran to strive for improvement. For the potential usurper, it lets him know where he stands and what he needs to do to reach the top. It also serves as a learning experience for the youngster.

Garrard hasn't been fortunate enough to have someone push him in his first two years at the helm. There were plenty of factors that contributed to Garrard's rough 2008 season, but I wonder if complacency wasn't one of them.

It's important to note that Garrard came to mini-camp 20 pounds lighter and in superb shape. It's good that he took that initiative, but you can bet he wouldn't have even had 20 pounds to lose if some talented rookie was nipping at his heels all last season.

I'm not saying that the Jaguars should've drafted Mark Sanchez or reached for a Josh Freeman like their state counterparts did. What I am saying is the quarterback position needs to be upgraded for the good of the team, not because Garrard needs to go.

He's 31 right now, and I don't think it's too early to get a contingency plan in place. Especially if things don't go well in 2009, Jacksonville should really think about getting either Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow in the upcoming draft.

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