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David Garrard (David Douglas Garrard) was born on February 14, 1978 in East Orange, New Jersey. After going to high school at Southern (Durham, NC), Garrard attended East Carolina University. Garrard made his professional debut in the NFL in 2002 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Career Before the NFL
Garrard played for Southern High School in Durham, North Carolina. He was named an All-American choice by Prep Stars and rated the best quarterback in North Carolina during his tenure.
At East Carolina
Garrard began playing as starting QB for East Carolina midway through the 1998 season. He was a redshirt freshman. He'd prove to be reliable as a starter, starting every game during his play at EC from 1999-2001.
In his sophomore season he led the ECU Pirates to a strong 9-3 finish; the season was marked by strong wins over the West Virginia Mountaineers, University of South Carolina Gamecocks, Miami Hurricanes, and North Carolina State Wolfpack. After their victory over Miami, ECU was ranked in the Associated Press college football poll's top 25. They'd stay in the rankings for evelven weeks, climbing as high as 16th and finishing 20th. Unfortunately the Garrard and the Pirates would lose in the Mobile Alabama Bowl to Texas Christian University, 28-14.
In all, Garrard broke 28 school records, both passing and offensive, and he became one of the few college quarterbacks to achieve more than 9,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in his college career.
With the Jaguars
David Garrard was drafted in the 4th round of the NFL Draft, as the 108th overall pick. Conventional opinion assumed he was the successor to Mark Brunell. However it was not to be; Tom Coughlin was fired after the 2002 season, and the new head coach Jack Del Rio drafted none other than Byron Leftwich, who led the Marshall Thundering Herd to a thrilling victory over Garrard's pirates in the GMAC Bowl. When Brunell was injured during the 2003 season, Leftwich replaced him and Garrard continued as backup QB.
Off and On as Starter
Garrard finally got a chance to start in the 2004 season, after Leftwich was injured with a sprained left knee. His performance was brief (only 4 games) but mediocre; he finished his stint with a 52.8% completion rating, passed for 374 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and finished with a 71.2 passer rating.
After Leftwich was injured once again in Week 11 of the 2005 season versus the Tennessee Titans, Garrard started once again. This time he played 5 games of the season, and turned in an improved showing. Leading the Jaguars to a 4-1 record, he had a 58.3% completion rating, and passed for 1,117 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception; his passer rating for the season was a higher 83.9 passer rating. He also showcased his mobility, rushing for 172 yards and 3 touchdowns. However Del Rio chose to let a recovered Leftwich start the wildcard round of the playoffs instead, against the New England Patriots, a game the Jaguars lost 28-3.
In week 8 of the 2006 season, Garrard was named the starter once again after a yet again Leftwich proved ineffective. Although starting off strong, Garrard would be labeled inconsistent, as he passed for 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions, four of them coming against the Houston Texans in home loss to them, 13-10. He passed for 1,735 yards and rushed for 250 yards.
After the 2006 season and the Jaguar's collapse from a strong 8-5, including a 44-17 stomping of the Indianapolis Colts, to a disappointing 8-8, Garrard absorbed much of the blame from fans and other critics. Del Rio firmly stated in February 2007 that Leftwich would be the starter, and the issue appeared to be settled. However Garrard, determined to compete for the starting job, continued to work towards it, and with the help of Dirk Koetter, the Jaguars new offensive coordinator, Garrard would shoot to new heights.
A Season to Remember
In the preseason of 2007, although Leftwich showed brief flashes of quality, Garrard clearly showed his hard work had paid off, as he outperformed Leftwich by throwing for 456 yards, one touchdown, and rushing for another. Going on his observation and opinion that Garrard would lead the Jaguars to a better record, Jack del Rio announced David Garrard as the starting quarterback on August 31, 2007, and Leftwich was released the following day.
The decision immediately underwent a firestorm of criticism from both fans and the media. However Jacksonville's head coach would be vindicated; even after a heartbreaking season opener, where the Jaguars lost to the Tennessee Titans 13-10 (a game in which Garrard had 17 completions, no interceptions, and passed a 47 yard touchdown pass and for 204 yards), Garrard would help the team to four straight wins. In week 2 Garrard passed for 272 yards and a touchdown in a 13-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Week 3 would see Garrard lead the Jaguars to an upset of the then undefeated Denver Broncos in Denver, where he passed for 154 yards and a touchdown, while the running game led by Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew and a defensive showing all played their part. Garrard entered the bye week with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
After their bye week, the Jaguars continued improving, nearly shutting out the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium (Garrard passed for 218 yards and a touchdown), and pounding the Houston Texans at home 37-17, in which Garrard continued peaking, throwing for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. As of that victory, Garrard had yet to throw an interception.
The Jaguars entered Week 7 with a 4-1 record, and hoping to challenge the Indianapolis Colts for the division lead in the AFC South. However a disheartening turn of events would occur. After the Colts took an early 7-0 lead near the end of the first quarter, Garrard began to move the chains with a 22 yard pass to Greg Estandia and a first down pass to Dennis Northcutt. However, soon after, Garrard was sacked low by Ed Johnson and although he tried to return later to the game, he was found to have a sprained left ankle, and the Jaguars would lose that night 29-7.
Garrard would have to sit out for three weeks, and watch as Quinn Gray, the backup QB, help the Jaguars to a 2-1 record on a three road game streak, including a close win in Tampa Bay, 24-23 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a return of the favor to Tennessee, drubbing them 28-13 at the Titan's homefield. After resting and healing, David was ready to return to action in Week 11.
Despite some subdued concerns of being rusty after an extended period, Garrard immediately went back to work, gunslinging for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 24-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers, including a 36 yard laser to Reggie Williams that threaded the needle and split two defenders. The next week Garrard continued to prove himself against the Buffalo Bills in a 36-14 victory, throwing for 296 yards and another touchdown. He also reigned supreme in the turnover battle, still having yet to throw a single interception.
The next week would see a rematch with the Colts; although the Jaguars lost close 28-25 and Garrard threw his first interception in this game, he remained consistent, throwing for another 257 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Rather than let the loss drag them down, Garrard and the Jaguars immediately continued their offensive dominance, slamming the Carolina Panthers 37-6, with Garrard going for 230 yards and another 2 touchdowns.
Week 15 would prove to be even better, and is often stated as defining the season; rather than be intimidated, David Garrard and the Jaguars would fly to Heinz Field and defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-22, handing the Steelers their first home loss of the season. Garrard would have his first three touchdown game of the year, including a 55 yard strike to Dennis Northcutt. The next week would see Garrard start his final game of the season, in which he passed for 2 touchdowns and 199 yards in a steamrolling of the Oakland Raiders, 49-11. Having clinched a playoff berth, the Jaguars would David Garrard rest for the final game of the year, and prepare for his first ever playoff start.
Garrard's final stats for the season were 2,509 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, and a mere 3 interceptions, which all combined for 102.2 passer rating.
To the Playoffs
Having finished the season with a 11-5 record and the number 5 seed of the AFC, the Jaguars flew once again to Heinz Field for a rematch with no. 4 seed and AFC North winner Pittsburgh. Although they had dominated the previous matchup, no team had ever beat the Steelers twice at home before in history.
David Garrard, having yet to have a horrible game all year, threw for one touchdown and an uncharacteristic two interceptions (he'd had yet to have a two interception game all season) and finished with a 41.9 passer rating. After a 28-10 Jaguars lead turned into a late 29-28 Steelers lead, the Jaguars got the ball back with 2 minutes and 38 seconds left on the clock, and proceeded to drive up the field to the Pittsburgh 43 yard line, only to be stalled; facing a 4th and 2 situation, David Garrard, whose game so far had been mixed, made the game saving play, rushing 32 yards up the middle to the 11 yard line. This amazing play set up the game winning field goal by Josh Scobee, making the final score 31-29.
The next week saw the Jaguars flying to Gillette Stadium in New England, facing the undefeated New England Patriots. Although Garrard acquitted himself well, passing for another two touchdowns and 278 yards, with only one interception that came late in the game at desperation time, the Jaguars would lose 31-20.
|5 year NFL career||29||539||313||58.1||3543||6.57||18||13||41||169||78.9|
|5 year NFL career||29||115||637||5.5||6||0|
Fumble Recovery Stats
|5 year NFL career||29||9||0||0||0||0|