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Mission impossible?


On paper, Quinn Gray appears to be attempting the impossible, but that's not the way he's approaching it. Gray wants to persuade the Jaguars to keep four quarterbacks.

That's what it would take for Gray to make it with the Jaguars. Mark Brunell and David Garrard are clearly one and two at quarterback, and the moment first-round draft choice Byron Leftwich signs a contract he'll vault into the third spot. And Gray will, well, you know.

Not so fast.

"Being that (Leftwich is) not here, it's given me a chance to show what I can do. I think I've shown the coaches I'm willing and able to learn at a fast pace and be able to apply it to a game situation. I think that's one of my strong points as a player," Gray said.

It hasn't been lost on the Jaguars coaching staff that Gray comes from a great football background. His father was a legendary high school coach in south Florida who produced several NFL products, including Isaac Bruce, Lorenzo White, Calvin Jackson and Frank Sanders.

Gray is a big, strong, poised passer who has a special arm and a true football intellect. He has a genuine chance to make it in the NFL and Jaguars offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave would like to think he could sell head coach Jack Del Rio on the concept of four quarterbacks.

"He's so sharp. His dad is a highly-respected football coach. You should see (Quinn's) notebook; the most meticulous, thorough notes I've ever seen. He wasn't here in April, May or June, but he's up to speed. When he's in there, things stay right on track," Musgrave said.

Gray wasn't in Jacksonville this past spring because he was in Germany, where Gray helped lead the Frankfurt Galaxy to the NFL Europe League World Bowl title. All of a sudden, the Jaguars' depth chart at quarterback became the league's best.

But while Gray was in Germany honing his skills for what he thought would be a shot at the number three job with the Jaguars, the Jaguars selected Leftwich with the seventh pick of the draft. Gulp! Gray knew what that meant.

"I thought about it for a day or so," he said.

At the time, Gray wasn't adapting well to the Europe League game. "I really wasn't comfortable with the offense at first. It was like a mini-camp when they install everything so fast. That's what the first 3-4 weeks were like," he said.

He progressed, splitting time with former Texas quarterback James Brown. Gray played the second and fourth quarters; Brown the first and third. It was a winning formula for a team that loved to run the ball.

Then, in the final weeks of the season, Gray came to life, which is said to have put the Galaxy over the top. "The final six games were probably the best six games I've ever had in my football career," Gray said.

That boosted his confidence and sent him into a Jaguars training camp in which Gray knew the deck was stacked against him. He decided to take an aggressive stance.

"I'm competing to make this team, regardless of the situation. Maybe I can persuade them to keep four quarterbacks. That's how I have to look at it. I'm competing to make the 53-man roster," he said.

Musgrave was part of a four-quarterback system in Denver in the mid-'90s, so he won't discount the possibility of it happening in Jacksonville. It's quarterback. It's sports' most critical position and talented, young passers are at a premium.

"We want to keep him somewhat quiet. I don't want you to say too many good things. I'm being selfish," Musgrave said.

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