The Jaguars have a new developmental quarterback, and David Garrard believes his development into Mark Brunell's backup will be rapid.
"I've always been able to step in and get the job done. With a lot of hard work, I think I can be ready to start. I've always been in tough situations young," the East Carolina quarterback told reporters following his selection by the Jaguars with the team's first of two fourth-round picks.
The Jaguars selected Garrard to replace Jonathan Quinn as Brunell's backup, and coach Tom Coughlin said he's counting on Garrard accepting the role much earlier in his career than Quinn was able to do.
"He's got to compete for the backup job," Coughlin said.
Garrard, 6-2, 235, finds himself immediately in competition with Roderick Robinson. The Jaguars are expected to sign a veteran backup in June, though it's not likely the Jaguars will spend much in doing so.
"Very productive quarterback, in the run and in the pass," Coughlin said of Garrard, who played in an option offense at East Carolina that featured his run-pass abilities.
"Garrard was the highest-rated player on our board. Very strong arm. He can be outstanding. He's strong enough to run it and be protected. His medical record bears that out. He's got the gun. It's strong; very strong," Coughlin added.
East Carolina has developed a very strong tradition of producing pro-style quarterbacks. Garrard is the fourth consecutive East Carolina quarterback who has made his way to the NFL. It's a tradition that began with Jeff Blake, and Garrard believes he's the best of all those quarterbacks.
"There's not a record here I haven't already broken," Garrard said. "I think I can do everything any quarterback is capable of doing. I think I can take you to the Super Bowl some day, but I don't know how quickly. My job is to be a good backup right now."
Garrard's draft stock fell a bit as a result of a senior season that wasn't up to expectations. "I went where I went for a reason. With a letdown this past season, it knocked me down some," said Garrard, who had become convinced the Jaguars would be the team that selected him.