Yesterday, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio sat down with Jim Rome on his television show "Rome is Burning". Del Rio had some very interesting comments, especially about his starting quarterback, and they weren't very supportive comments either.
Jim Rome is one of the best interviewers on radio or television as he's known for baiting people he interviews into actually answering tough questions. This time he didn't have to pry too hard as Rome opened up with:
"Hey Jack, is David Garrard a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback?"
Del Rio replied:
“Well, that’s a good question. I would say a quarterback like David Garrard can be that with a great supporting cast. You know, I don’t know. When you look at teams that have won multiple championships I think they’ve had elite quarterbacks. I think Peyton Manning-type guys. Joe Montana-type guys.”
That at face value seems like it's just going to be some more coach speak, but then Del Rio fired up the bus and plowed right through Jaguars starting quarterback David Garrard, backed it up, and ran him over again:
"The elite quarterback? He’s (Garrard) not that. I do think David’s a good football player. I do think he can help us if we’re strong around him to get in this kind of a game [SB XLIV] here.”
Now, what Jack Del Rio said is the truth, but it's the brutal truth. It's not surprising that the Jaguars head coach thinks this, in fact most people in the Jaguars front office JagNation has talked to feel this way. The surprising thing is that Jack Del Rio actually said it in public. Del Rio essentially told everyone that his quarterback isn't good enough, including his football team. Each year every team's ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. Well, Jack Del Rio just came out and said that's likely not going to happen... because their current quarterback isn't good enough. Del Rio essentially said everything around him needs to be great.
Many see this stance as the beginning of a campaign to get better, younger, and cheaper at the quarterback position. David Garrard is due somewhere around $8-9 million dollars in salary this upcoming season, and it's very likely the team will ask him to cut that salary in half, perhaps even further. Maybe this was a pre-emptive shot over the bow for this stance, but perhaps there is a younger quarterback that Jack Del Rio and the Jacksonville Jaguars have their collective eyes on. It's hard to believe there won't be any tension in the locker room over this, as it's going to be difficult for a quarterback and head coach to get along when one of them just threw the other off the Modis building in downtown Jacksonville.