Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Garrard is an athlete

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Bryan from St. Augustine, FL:
Since the Jags were in their bye week, I was watching the Pats/Rams game and got confused regarding the "challenges." I know a missed "challenge" by a team gets a timeout loss, but do they also lose their right to "challenge" for the rest of the half? I thought this was true, but when the Rams "challenged" once and lost, then "challenged" another call in the same half, I was confused. Can you clarify this rule for me?

Vic: OK, let's try this again. My answer to this question yesterday was incorrect and I thank Fred from Portland, OR, for catching the mistake. Here's the correct answer, as provided by the NFL Record and Fact Book. "In each game, a team will be permitted two challenges that will initiate referee replay reviews. Each challenge will require the use of a team time out. If a challenge is upheld, the time out will be restored to the challenging team. If both challenges are upheld, a third challenge will be awarded to the challenging team. No challenges will be recognized from a team that has exhausted its time outs."

Mickey from Jacksonville:
As always, love the articles. To me, ever since the Jags division changed and we don't play the Steelers on a consistent basis, I have noticed that most fans are searching for the team to be the equivalent of the rival team we had for our first few years. It appears now that most people consider Indy as our rival. I think with their cap problems that would be an incorrect assessment. I believe the Texans to be our new rival, based on talent and a healthy cap for years to come. What do you think?

Vic: Yeah, but what you're talking about are rivalries built on who's good now. What happens when those teams are down? That's why I believe the Titans are the Jaguars' true rival. Every team needs that one true rivalry that is built on tradition and/or geography and endures in years when one or both teams are down. The Browns and Steelers have that kind of rivalry. The Bears and Packers have that kind of rivalry. For the Jaguars, the Titans are that team. They are perfect for each other: Two teams from small southeastern cities that are within driving distance of each other. One is an expansion team and the other is a transplant. Each team's history is young but richly connected to each other. It's perfect, and the Titans will be coming here in two weeks with the intent of ruining the Jaguars' season.

Martin from London, England:
It seems this year's Jaguars are falling into the same trap as last year's Steelers; becoming obsessed with the passing game at the expense of the running game. Last year the Steelers were 31st in rushing offense and in the offseason they rededicated themselves to the running game and the results are there for all to see. Is it realistic to expect the Jaguars to be able to rededicate themselves to the run in the second half of the season and achieve similar success, or will it be next year before they can dominate teams with the running game?

Vic: The Steelers' esteem is the direct result of their ability to run the ball and stop the run. It is at the heart of their existence. Right now, they are number one in the league in both categories, and it doesn't get any better than that in Pittsburgh. Last season, when the Steelers slumped to 31st in rushing, the franchise was deeply embarrassed. There wasn't any question what the emphasis would be this year and, from what I understand, training camp was one big goal line drill. That's how you rededicate yourself to the physical part of the game. You have to hit. It's too late in the season for the Jaguars to go back to "training camp," but it's not too late to commit their minds and their game plan to the running game, and I have every reason to believe that's exactly what the Jaguars did during their bye week. Monday morning, my path crossed with Jack Del Rio's and the coach and I stopped to talk for a few minutes. He was absolutely energized in his conversation about the Steelers-Eagles game. He loved the run-the-ball/stop-the-run exhibition the Steelers gave. What do you think the Jaguars' game plan is going to be this Sunday?

David from Macclenny, FL:
How do we match up with the Lions? Who has the advantage at key positions?

Vic: My biggest concern is the Jaguars' ability to deny Roy Williams the big play. He has the physical ability to create mismatches.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
With the success Byron Leftwich and Ben Roethlisberger are currently having, do you think teams who draft highly-regarded quarterbacks will be more willing to play them right away, making their "quarterback of the future" the "quarterback of the present?"

Vic: In the salary cap era, I see no advantage to bringing players along slowly. Once you commit financially to a player, especially to a quarterback, advance his career as quickly as possible. Buffalo's Tom Donahoe once put it this way: "Get 'em good or get 'em gone." I agree. In my opinion, Cincinnati wasted last season by not playing Carson Palmer.

Justin from Jacksonville:
Do you see the Detroit game being blacked out?

Vic: It is certainly headed in that direction.

Nick from Annapolis, MD:
I read your response in reference to the easy teams and I agree 100 percent. I can't think of any team in the NFL that can't win on "any given Sunday." Do you think this is different compared to 10 years ago? What do you think is in store for the future?

Vic: It didn't change 10 years ago or even 20 years ago. The real move toward parity was initiated in the late-'70's. Shortly after that, we began asking the question: "Who's good?" Before then, you knew who was good and who was bad, and bad seldom beat good. What the league has right now is exactly what the league wants, and it will do everything in its power to keep it that way.

Bryan from Richmond, VA:
What can Garrard do to help us beat the Titans this week? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Vic: His major strength, in my opinion, is his athletic ability. He has a powerful arm and body. When I first saw David Garrard in practice, he reminded me of Steve McNair with a heavy gait that makes it appear as though he's really not running that fast. But he is, and he's a guy you have to run through to bring down. Yes, his mobility is very definitely part of his game and he needs to use it. In my opinion, given the state of his limited experience, Garrard needs to be more of an athlete and less of a technician, to be successful in however many games he plays while Byron Leftwich is sidelined. Simply put, when Garrard steps into the huddle, he may be the best athlete on the field.

Fred from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Should Mark Brunell be benched? What has happened to our former local hero?

Vic: Why do football fans have such a difficult time accepting the fact that this is a young man's game? What's happened? Come on, Fred. You didn't see it a couple of years ago?

Steve from Jacksonville:
Will the Jaguars stay with their basic offense or will they try and open things up a little bit and utilize Garrard's speed and strong arm?

Vic: Open it up? Leftwich threw 40 passes in Houston and the Jaguars didn't score a touchdown. How about tighten it up?

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content