How the Release of David Garrard Affects the Titans' Gameplan

Chad Minton@@chad_mintonCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 04:  David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. Many players and officials in the NFL wore pink as part of breast cancer awareness month.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Some big news came out of Jacksonville earlier today as the team announced that it would release long-time starter David Garrard, a player that the Tennessee Titans have gotten to know well over the past four seasons.

The news comes as a shocker to many, and now the Titans will have to shift their defensive game plan somewhat for a quarterback that plays much different in Luke McCown.

Not only are the Jacksonville Jaguars looking into the future with rookie Blaine Gabbert most likely becoming the starter at some point this season, but they could also be looking into the immediate future because now the Titans have very little time to plan for a different quarterback.

This switch most likely should've happened during the second week of the 2010 season, but McCown suffered a torn ACL that squandered those hopes.

The Jaguars believe that McCown gives them the best chance to win, but there has to be something else to this.

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio will say everything he can to show confidence in McCown, but this move was made more for Gabbert to start at some point in 2011.

For at least the Titans' first meeting with the Jaguars, McCown will be the guy under center, and he'll be a lot easier to sack for the Titans' defensive line.

One thing that always made Garrard so frustrating was his ability to convert long third downs because he simply couldn't be brought down very easily.

A major knock on McCown is that he doesn't respond to pocket pressure very well, and he also doesn't have a great deep-ball arm.

The Titans will definitely have to guard well against the dump-off pass, which is usually an average quarterback's best friend.

Add onto that the fact that Maurice Jones-Drew is an excellent receiving running back and you've got a recipe for disaster if the Titans don't figure out a way to stop it.

The Titans just need to create as many long third downs as possible, and that will obviously start by shutting down Maurice Jones-Drew.

McCown may have had a good preseason, but so did a handful of other unproven quarterbacks. He played against second and third-stringers for most of the preseason.

There's a reason McCown has only started seven games since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2004, and frankly the timing couldn't be any better for the Titans.

Unless McCown has an epic revival of his career, the Titans should have little trouble making the Jaguars one-dimensional in the season opener.