JACKSONVILLE – In a 2018 offseason jaguars.com series featuring 11 former players talking about 11 current players, former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard talks with digital reporter and host Ashlyn Sullivan about the Jaguars’ ‘17 success, the team’s current quarterback situation and the team as it moves forward….
Question: As a former Jaguars quarterback, what did it mean to you to see the team’s success last season?
Answer: I was very surprised. After the preseason performance, I did not anticipate them doing that well. After game seven [the team’s bye week near midseason], I was totally bought in. The defense was playing at an out-of-this-world rate and the offense was holding their own, too. I am so happy that good football is back in Duval.
Question: Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been through a lot so far in his four NFL seasons. With an impressive performance in the playoffs following the 2017 season, what are your thoughts on his development?
A. Blake is continuing to prove the doubters wrong. It’s so unfortunate how he gets treated publicly by players on other teams. Another good year and he will have proven to everyone that he can play at a high level and deserves to be a long-term starter for this team.
Question: Let’s look around the Jaguars quarterback room with Bortles, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler and rookie sixth-round draft selection Tanner Lee. What do you think of the Jaguars’ quarterback group?
A. I don’t know too much about the other two quarterbacks (Lee and Kessler). I am sure they are hungry to make a name for themselves. Hopefully they can help Blake continue to improve upon his game during the season.
Question: Enough about the Jaguars. What has been keeping you busy lately? What is David Garrard’s life like after football?
A. Currently, I own two gyms in town called Retro Fitness. I am also working with a handful of athletes that are transitioning from college to pro football and helping them with the learning curve that comes with that change. Also, I’m spending a lot of time with my family.
Question: The Jaguars are coming off a season where they were crowned AFC South champions before losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Can this team repeat their success?
A. As a former quarterback, I realize how much success you will have depends greatly on the play at that position. I think if Blake plays at the same level or better, we have a great chance to make another playoff run. We have a Super Bowl-caliber team.