No Quarterback Controversy In Jax
Photo: Doug Benc/Getty
Photo: Doug Benc/Getty

Posted Aug 25, 2006


The Jaguars aren't going to have a quarterback controversy this year. Coach Jack Del Rio gave David Garrard a chance to challenge Byron Leftwich last Saturday night against the Carolina Panthers...

...when he limited Leftwich to two series and let Garrard play with the regulars.



But Garrard, who was 4-1 as a starter last year when Leftwich was injured, wasn't up to the challenge.

Instead, Leftwich solidified his position as the team's starting quarterback by completing four of four passes in his second series while posting a 118.8 quarterback rating.

Leftwich wouldn't even recognize there was a challenge.

"That wasn't the issue. I know who the quarterback of this football team (is). It wasn't about tonight. This is the preseason. It's preseason, man."

In three series in the second period against the Carolina regulars, Garrard fumbled two snaps, overthrew Ernest Wilford with a pass that was intercepted and fumbled when defensive end Julius Peppers beat Mo Williams and sacked him. Mike Rucker scooped up the ball and ran 31 yards for a touchdown with three seconds left. Twenty three seconds earlier, Nick Goings scored Carolina's first touchdown on a one-yard run.

Garrard said, "A real tough night. I haven't had one of these in quite a while. Guess it happens to the best of us. Everything was great except for those three plays (two interceptions and fumble that led to a touchdown). I'd rather have this kind of game in the preseason than when it counts."

Of his missed opportunity to challenge Leftwich, Garrard said, "I don't look at closing the gap or putting pressure on Byron. I just want to play well."

Garrard played one series in the third period against the Panthers' backups, but the drive ended with an interception in the end zone.

Garrard wound up completing 7 of 11 passes for 86 yards and a 48.1 passer rating.

Now the question is whether the Jaguars will have a good enough offense to win with Leftwich at quarterback.

Last year in two games against Indianapolis, they scored three points in the first game with Leftwich and three points in three quarters in the second with Garrard. They also scored only three against New England in the playoffs with Leftwich.

They've got just three weeks to get better before opening the regular season against Dallas.



Related Stories
Behind Enemy Lines: Byron Leftwich
 -by DCProFootball.com  Sep 29, 2006
Leftwich: "We're Opening it Up"
 -by ColtsDaily.com  Jun 25, 2006
Leftwich Focusing on Wins, Not Stats
 -by ColtsDaily.com  Jun 2, 2006

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