Hey, Jags fans, are you angry over Garrard?
The release of David Garrard was strictly a football decision, so says Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio on Tuesday.
That said, it gets the Jags off the hook for an $8.025 million base salary Garrard was due to receive this season and casts at least some shadow of doubt on exactly what the Jaguars have at quarterback. Journeyman Luke McCown will start for now, moving from third-string to first-string and hopping over first-round pick Blaine Gabbert, who will probably have the job sooner or later.
“He just wasn’t able to get it going this preseason,” Del Rio said in making the announcement along with general manager Gene Smith. “He even admitted that when we talked today, that for whatever reason he just has not been able to find a rhythm, not been able to be his old self. And so with that being the case we just had to make a football decision and we decided to let him go, let him pursue interest elsewhere if he has that desire.
“But we thank him, we respect him, a lot of love for him. I think he’s very appreciative of the opportunity he had here to lead this franchise and to be the quarterback, and so we’re moving forward.”
Garrard started the past four seasons for the Jaguars and led the club to the playoffs in 2007. Garrard’s career totals include 1,406 of 2,281 passing for 16,003 yards with 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions for an 85.8 passer rating. He also rushed for 1,746 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The biggest current question is how will this gamble affect Del Rio's job security that has grown a bit thin. Owner Wayne Weaver has been more than patient with Del Rio over the years, but is he ready to let the coach go through yet another rebuild while Gabbert, who struggled in the preseason, learns the ropes.
But there is a short-term question in Jacksonville that relates to a longer-term problem that has always haunted the Jaguars.
The visiting Titans tweeted this morning that there were still approximately 7,300 unsold tickets left for the opening game and encouraged their own fans to buy in and attend the game.
OK, Jaguar fans, sound off here. What do you think of the move of canning the starting quarterback (and potentially punting the season) with ticket sales already struggling? Are you angry, on board, or ambivalent to what looks like a move that dooms the 2011 season before it even begins? And has your give-a-___ meter dropped to the point where Titans fans are welcome to the remaining seats on Sunday?
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com