Coach Jack Del Rio joked about contesting quarterback Quinn Gray's one-yard touchdown run that ended tonight's intrasquad scrimmage, but Del Rio's voice quickly turned serious when he was asked about starting quarterback Mark Brunell's performance.
"Brunell was not very sharp. He had two three-and-out (series) and didn't move the sticks at all. (That's) not what we're looking for," Del Rio said.
It was an event that drew an estimated 9,000 fans to Alltel Stadium and finished with an autograph session. The atmosphere was light and fun-seeking, but Del Rio was not pleased that his number one offense, with Brunell at the helm, gained only eight yards in six plays and completed none of its five pass attempts.
Meanwhile, number two quarterback David Garrard came to life in the second half of the scrimmage, and finished the evening having completed seven of 13 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown. That score came on a flea-flicker pass that went 29 yards from Garrard to wide receiver Donald Hayes. It was the kind of razzle-dazzle play the fans had come to see, and it may have saved the "day" in what was an otherwise dull offensive performance.
"Don't write too much about (that play). We have to use that play," Del Rio said.
The offense claimed a 32-16 victory in the eight-series scrimmage. The only other touchdown scored in the scrimmage immediately followed a pass-interference penalty against safety Abdual Howard on the next-to-last play of the game. It put the ball at the one-yard line, from where Gray rolled around right end for the score.
"We have to subtract the last score. Musgrave ran the quarterback in a quarterback-not-live drill," Del Rio said, referring to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's play-calling.
Gray completed two of five passes for 29 yards. Rookie running back LaBrandon Toefield topped the rushing stats with 35 yards on five attempts.
Del Rio offered this overview:
"I thought that as the night went on (Garrard) got better. As he got going he made some nice throws. (Cortez) Hankton made a nice grab. Jimmy Redmond made a nice grab. Toefield ran well up inside. Marcus Stroud is poised to have a big year. Paul Spicer did some things."
Wide receivers Kevin Lockett and Matt Hatchette, running backs Fred Taylor and Elvis Joseph, and cornerback Fernando Bryant did not participate in the scrimmage. Defensive end Lionel Barnes strained his groin muscle and rookie fullback Malaefou MacKenzie twisted an ankle.