The question was put to coach Jack Del Rio in point-blank fashion: How long will he stick with David Garrard as the team's starting quarterback?
"As long as he's our best option, we'll continue to go with him," Del Rio said in response.
Meanwhile, Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith began a series of roster moves on Monday, cutting tight end Ernest Wilford and cornerback Michael Coe and re-signing safety Gerald Alexander, who the team had released in final cuts. Quarterback Brett Ratliff was also cut from the practice squad and it's expected the Jaguars will announce at least one addition at the quarterback position on Tuesday.
Garrard, of course, is expected to be the team's starting quarterback on Sunday, when the Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts in a game of more importance than we might even know. Del Rio did nothing to downplay the importance of that game, during the Jaguars head coach's Monday afternoon press conference.
"There's a lot of football ahead of us. This is a very urgent time. We have a division game coming in here and it's very important to get the ship righted right away," Del Rio said.
At 1-2, the Jaguars are on the heels of consecutive 25-point losses: 38-13 at San Diego and 28-3 to visiting Philadelphia on Sunday. Garrard turned in the worst consecutive-games performance of his career in those games and though he would seem to be the team's best option at quarterback, that may be in doubt at this time next week if he turns in another poor performance.
"He wants very badly to play well for his teammates. The last two weeks haven't gone that way for him," Del Rio said. "Ultimately, you have to get it done and David knows that. You have to stay focused on what you have to do to get it done."Amidst a firestorm of fan and media criticism, can Garrard clear his mind and sharpen his focus for a game that may determine his immediate football future? Here's another question: Will he get the help he needs from his teammates?
He didn't get that help against the Eagles. His offensive line allowed him to be sacked six times and the Jaguars pass-defense was torched for three long completions and a game-changing, 16-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left to play in the first half.
"There were a couple of times we lost the battle and there were a couple of times Dave's got to get rid of it," Del Rio said in explaining the sacks.
"I have a lot of faith in what we're doing and how we're going about it. We'll get this thing turned around and have a lot of fun this year," the embattled coach added.
The Jaguars may be facing a must-win game on Sunday for 2010 to be a fun season.