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Garrard firm in face of criticism


David Garrard refuses to be sacked by criticism of his play in the Jaguars' season-opening loss at Indianapolis.

"I want to make those plays. That's all Jack was saying," Garrard said when asked his opinion of coach Jack Del Rio's criticism of the offense's lack of points production in the 14-12 loss to the Colts. Del Rio also cited Garrard for having missed open receivers in that game.

"He usually doesn't, but that's all right. I can take it. I'm a man. I should've played better. My thing is to be a week better and to be a week better enough to get a win," Garrard told reporters on Wednesday, as the Jaguars began preparations for this Sunday's home-opener against the defending NFC-champion Arizona Cardinals.

Garrard threw for 122 yards, no touchdowns and a 61.9 passer rating this past Sunday. He was unable to produce a first down in four plays from the Jaguars' 35-yard line with 1:59 to play and victory likely only 30 yards away. That failure has produced a firestorm of criticism, as expected.

"I don't mind that. I'd rather have it on me than the other guys. Most quarterbacks are used to that. Everything is your fault, even though it's not," Garrard said.

Blame could certainly be assigned to his offensive line, which allowed the Colts' pass-rush to pour in on Garrard. That's a failure that must be fixed this week for Garrard to have any thought of improvement.

"David's a good football player. He's going to play well for us. I love my guys. I love David," Del Rio said.

"I just want to perform well, get a win. That's my number one thing," Garrard said.

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton's number one thing on Wednesday was attempting to stimulate ticket sales for Sunday's game. Peyton made an appearance at practice and used the media to get his message across to the team's fans. Sunday's game, of course, is headed for a certain TV blackout.

"We can't do anything about the economy and tickets. All we can do is win games," running back Maurice Jones-Drew said.

"We're excited to get started with the home opener. I appreciate those that can make it. We're going to focus on putting a good product out there," Del Rio said.

The Cardinals are known for having a top-rated passing game that features Larry Fitzgerald, considered by most to be the best receiver in the game. It was the Cardinals defense, however, that starred in the team's opening week loss to the 49ers, leaving the Cardinals with the number four overall league ranking and number one spot against the run.

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