David Garrard wasn't caught off guard on opening day when quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson told Garrard he would be the "third quarterback." And Garrard is accepting of the fact his future in the NFL may not be in Jacksonville.
"I knew from day one, once his name (was announced), the time would come," Garrard said, referring to the draft-day selection of Byron Leftwich and the inevitability Leftwich would become the Jaguars' quarterback of the future.
A year ago, Garrard thought he might be that guy. He showed promise in two outings, Mark Brunell was nearing the end of his contract and Garrard was the only young quarterback on the roster. He could be forgiven for thinking this might become "his team" one day.
Those thoughts all changed on draft day this past April. "It's hard to say that now. Byron's a young guy and he's looking good. He has a real good chance of making this his team," Garrard said.
Leftwich could do that as early as this Sunday, when the Jaguars face the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium. Leftwich took most of the snaps in practice today, Garrard took a few, and Brunell watched from the sideline with his injured left elbow heavily bandaged.
Asked following practice if his wounded elbow, which required stitches following a first-half mishap in Indianapolis that caused the bone to push through the skin, had improved, Brunell said: "Absolutely, a lot better." He then scurried away.
All appearances are Leftwich will be the Jaguars' starting quarterback against the Texans, if Brunell remains sidelined. And all indications are Brunell will remain sidelined.
Meanwhile, Garrard is focused on fulfilling his role as the Jaguars' apparent number two quarterback. "I'm one play away again; just be ready when my number is called," Garrard said.
"I'm not bothered right now. If I was an old vet; I'm young. I just have to wait for my time. The best thing for me now is to keep my head on straight. I know I can win a job somewhere," he said.