Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network feels that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard does not have a commitment to excellence.
Lombardi was on ESPN’s “The BS Report” Wednesday and had pretty harsh words for Jacksonville’s 33-year-old starting quarterback.
“They brought Blaine Gabbert in because they don’t feel David Garrard has the eye of the tiger. They feel that when David Garrard leaves the facility that football is behind him, that he could care less about the game. They don’t feel like David Garrard is committed to [excellence]. They think he’s a good player and they like him. But they don’t think he has that innate intangible that really drives and really wants to be a great pro. Now maybe with Gabbert there, he’ll bring that intensity out of him. I’m not sure. …”
My initial reaction was that Lombardi was awfully harsh on Garrard. But after thinking about what he said, I have to say that I agree.
I never thought about Garrard in terms of not working hard off the field. Instead I’ve viewed him over the past few years as a guy who just made bad decisions at the worst possible time, but that’s not an accurate assessment.
When it comes down to it, Garrard is a veteran who has not improved his decision-making since becoming a starter in 2007. I thought it could have been that maybe he’s just not that bright. His low Wonderlic score (14) indicates as much, although Donovan McNabb had the same score and has had a stellar career (although his numbers are similar to Garrard’s aside from longevity, but there is a much different perception amongst the two in terms of ability to win.)
I personally do not know Garrard, so I cannot attest for his intelligence and I can only judge him by his poor analytical skills when under center. And if
Garrard read this blog post, I’d have to imagine that he’d be insulted that someone would question his intelligence. I know I would be if someone said the same thing about me.
So let’s give Garrard the benefit of the doubt in terms of football I.Q. just for argument sake. Let’s say he’s an above average player when it comes to gridiron smarts. If that’s the case, why else do we see this Good David, Bad David scenario play out every year?
This past season, Garrard threw for 2,734 yards and 23 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. He had a more than respectable QB rating of 90.8
But his win/loss splits are alarming. In Jacksonville’s eight victories he had 19 touchdowns to five interceptions and had a 119.9 QB rating. In losses he threw four touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
Why does Garrard struggle so much some times? Why can’t a veteran be more consistent? Without being in the locker room and knowing David personally it is hard to say. But maybe Lombardi is right.
Maybe he is complacent because he hasn’t ever faced serious competition since taking the starting job from Byron Leftwich in 2007. Perhaps he doesn’t work hard in the film room and that’s why he doesn’t make the right reads all too often.
I hope Garrard proves me and Lombardi wrong but for now I will have to assume that this quarterback with a great arm and good mobility who is still making rookie mistakes is inconsistent for a reason.
And that reason is maybe he just doesn’t work hard enough.