Now or Never: Why Jaguars QB David Garrard Faces a Crucial 2010 Season

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 06:  David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after a touchdown pass during the game against the Houston Texans at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Forget St. Louis, forget Detroit and even forget Kansas City.  When you think of a team in turmoil, the first name that comes to mind is the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A poor draft performance in the books along with a list of problems a mile long, and not to mention a struggling fan base that is lacking in even the basic necessary support, it is now fairly easy to say that Jacksonville are among the favorites to post a disappointing record this season.

For the most part, NFL fans believe that head coach Jack Del Rio is the man to pin the blame on when it comes to considering the state of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Poor decisions capped off by a lack of motivation and questionable coaching ability leaves Jack Del Rio on a hot seat that is only going to continue to burn should the Jacksonville Jaguars continue to struggle, and although his team does arguably feature some talent, it is clear now that this may be the final season we see Del Rio under the headset.  

But why has Jack struggled so badly to turn this once promising young team into a force not to be reckoned with in the AFC South?

Well some may make the argument that Jack can only do so much with the players at hand, while others show ruthless aggression toward Jack's overall coaching ability, and put forward the simple statement of "Jack out of Jacksonville".

Whichever approach you may take, some of the blame does have to be shared around Jacksonville, especially when it comes to considering starting quarterback David Garrard.

In 2009, David posted fairly decent stats.  He went to the Pro Bowl, he threw for 15 touchdowns, and although his 10 interceptions weren't at all welcome he did play a major part in guiding Jacksonville to a seven win season.

Looking at Garrard now though, it is clear that his head is screwed on tight as the Jacksonville Jaguars have been rather forward in challenging Garrard's ability in 2010.  So far Garrard has been highly motivated in working with young wide receivers, and while most NFL athletes take some time off to recover and focus on training camp, Garrard has been willing to put in the hard yards to make sure that his focus and game plan is 100 percent accurate for September.

"I think any time any man is challenged, it's going to bring something out of you," Garrard said Sunday. "It should. If another man is going to challenge you, and you are really a man, then you're going to rise to the occasion. I want to be better. I want to be greater."

Of course we have heard these words in the NFL before, and on some occasions athletes have risen to the challenge.  However, can David Garrard really turn his performance around given the enormous pressure and scrutiny that has been placed on his shoulders in the last three months?

The answer to this question is, of course, but after passing on quarterback prospects such as Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen the "fall back" type option is no longer on the cards for David Garrard or Jack Del Rio.

To quote Steve Austin, the bottom line is that the Jaguars and David Garrard simply have to perform exceptionally well next season.  The Draft has been an utter disappointment, and it's clear that most analysts have written the Jaguars off already in 2010.

Some offensive needs still remain, but as the old saying goes "It isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog".  The Jaguars aren't about to give up, and despite Jack Del Rio's woes, I firmly believe that a solid coach could set this team straight.

David Garrad has seen his ups and downs, but what quarterback hasn't?  2009 was a decent year, and with Maurice Jones-Drew proving loyal to Jacksonville there is no reason for the Jaguars not to change their 24th ranked offense into at least a top 15 contender.

With that said, big changes and big expectations need to be met.  Jacksonville are in a tough division with Tennessee, Indianapolis and Houston, so for the most part they are favorites to take the 4th seed.

David Garrard is ready though, so the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jack Del Rio are now officially back on the clock.


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