David Garrard (Getty Images)
There is usually some banter between teams the week prior to a rivalry game. This usually happens on every level of football, and coaches usually hate it. This week has been no different as Jaguars quarterback David Garrard spoke out about why his Jacksonville team has historically struggled against the Houston Texans.
“They have been a thorn, not a thorn, but just really getting up for our team,” Garrard said when asked why the Texans have had success against the Jaguars. “I think a lot of times before they had a lot of guys that were on our team that kind of transferred over to them so that gave them that motivation. I don’t know. I just think that there were times where you could see their record and think we are a pretty good team so we took them a little too light. I suspect that we kind of got wise from that now.”
First of all, David Garrard may be the last guy anyone would expect to speak out against a team in the media. Garrard is a laid back guy who normally exhibits quiet confidence. On top of that, Garrard is the 25th rated passer in the NFL and has already thrown more interceptions in just three games than he did all of last season.
Houston wouldn’t be considered by many as a sleeping giant, but when a team is winless and not playing well, they should usually be left alone. This may be just what Houston needed to refocus and motivate themselves.
Texans Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson isn’t surprised by Garrard’s comments.
“Coming from him, that’s something you expect,” Johnson said. “Every year there is always something said. But, we really don’t worry about that. We just go out and play the game.”
And they’ve played the games against Jacksonville very tough as there seemingly is nothing better to the Texans and their fans than beating up on the boys from north Florida. The Texans have a 7-5 record against the Jags, and a few of their victories over the last few seasons have helped keep Jacksonville from the playoffs.
Texans star linebacker DeMeco Ryans doesn’t believe that Garrard’s words will help either team.
“Is it offensive? Nah. I don’t see it as offensive because all of that talk, that doesn’t win football games,” Ryans said. “Talking during the week to the media doesn’t win games. You can talk all you want to. The team that wins is the team who is the best between when the game starts on Sunday and when it ends on Sunday. If you’re the best team then all the talking doesn’t matter.”
Ryans fired back about the Jaguars signal caller—
“Garrard, he is a guy, they haven’t been winning with him throwing the ball. They have been running the ball well.”
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t share the same sentiments as his quarterback does about the Jaguars taking the Texans lightly—
“Never from my end. Never from my end and I’d be disappointed to think that anybody ever thought that way. But we are certainly doing our very best to prepare our football team recognizing that every team in this league has the players and coaches capable of whooping you any Sunday. We’ve got to put together a good effort. We understand first of all that home games are important. Divisional games are important and when you have a home divisional game it’s huge. So, from that standpoint this is a big, big game for us.”
Both teams need a victory on Sunday and the best team, not the best talkers will leave Jacksonville Municipal Stadium with the “W.”