Jags: Dumb and Dumber

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , , ,

I still think cutting David Garrard five days before the start of the season is one of the dumbest football decisions ever made.

This isn’t a knock against rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Even with Garrard, Gabbert may well have forced himself into the starting lineup. In only two professional starts, Gabbert already has flashed enough good signs to increase speculation that’s he’s a franchise quarterback in waiting. Understand its way too early give him the franchise label. He’s made he share of mistakes, but not all of his mistakes can be blamed of his rookie status. His accuracy needs to get a lot better. He has a tendency to throw off of his back foot. He tends to hold onto the ball too long. I give him a C+ grade at this point.

Would the Jaguars be better than 1-3 with Garrard? No one knows that answer, but they’d be scoring more than 9.75 points a game – last in the NFL – and the focus of the fan base would be more on the team’s vastly improved defense and winning the AFC South than on firing Coach Jack Del Rio NOW! . . ., questioning general manager Gene Smith’s ego as the smartest man in the room and already playing for next year.

Cutting Garrard sent a clear message there’s a lack harmony inside Everbank Field, a message not lost in the locker room. (News flash: Del Rio and Smith are not on the same page.) It also amped up the pressure by speeding up the clock on Gabbert, who faces more pressure than just being a rookie and a 10 draft pick. Gabbert didn’t have the benefit of an off-season to transition from being a “spread” quarterback to a pro-style quarterback. And, remember, Gabbert is 21 years old and started only two seasons at Missouri.

There’s no doubt the decision to cut Garrard was at least partly because of money. No team wants to pay a backup at any position more than $8 million a year. But the Jaguars made no effort to rework Garrard’s contract. Some critics don’t think it’s ever a good idea to have a veteran starter suddenly backing up a rookie. That argument was valid in ’07 when Byron Leftwich lost his job to Garrard. Leftwich was as selfish as his throwing motion was slow and long. Garrard, however, is a class act. He’d have handled the situation like a true pro.

Keeping Garrard also would be prevented the Luke McCown fiasco.

I hear you screaming. If Garrard is so competent why hasn’t he signed with another team? I’ve heard he isn’t certain he wants to continue playing. There’s speculation his back ailment has scared off some teams. There’s speculation Garrard has decided a year’s rest will resolve his back issues and he’ll continue his career next season. There’s speculation he wants a deal where he’ll get an immediate opportunity to start. Take your pick.

Bottom line is the Jaguars would be in better shape with Garrard than without him. The AFC South title was theirs for the taking. It still could be, but the odds have increased dramatically.

Unfortunately for Jaguars fans, those odds get even bigger this week when Cincinnati comes to town. The team already has beaten long odds once this week when enough tickets were sold (?) to prevent a television blackout. Two such miracles in one week are too much to ask for. Gabbert’s education as an NFL quarterback stays on a bumpy road as the Bengals win 17-10.

  1. I’ll disagree by saying Jaguars 24 Bengals 17. However, if the offense does not show marked improvement this Sunday, the wheels on the Jaguar bus may soon fall off. Coaches and team better all be on the same page for this game. Otherwise, this season may last too long for everyone.

    Excellent post!

    Every Sunday I ask myself, what if this is the week the Jaguars need to bring in a long-gone David Garrard. Like a Halloween evil spirit, David Garrard’s shadow lingers over the Jaguars, until the team’s record of success, negates any need for his presence. Not sure any average quality NFL quarterback has haunted a team’s season like this. Stay healthy and perform well, Blaine Gabbert. Be as prepared and healthy as possible, Luke McCown. Even David Garrard signing with and doing something good for another NFL team this season may haunt the Jaguars too. Very very strange year!

  2. Randy says:

    no Blabbermouth picks this week?

  3. Musta got blown out to sea by the Noreaster or whatever it is that’s hit Jacksonville this week. Might still be reeling from the ‘Bama stomping of the Florida Gators, too.

    I just hope the Jaguars can handle a little water Sunday without drowning in turnovers.

  4. producewiz says:

    Trouble begins with Mr. Weaver.Fact of life.Dumb Shaq.Yeah, dumb.Look at Detroit.Mike Smith at Atlanta and we have Del Rio.Have never replaced Smith and Mc Cardel.In the NFL, you can’t find a go to receiver after all these years.Give me a break.His business model of building a NFL team is not working.Has to be scrapped.Start all over and hire somebody that can do it.Who is the savior?Beats me, but it’s up to Weaver to make a good call for once. Al Davis (RIP) might have lost it with age but certainly had it.We’ve never had it.

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