Garrard wishes he could've made things right for Del Rio, Jags

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  • By Simon Samano NFL.com
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It's no secret that Jack Del Rio, who was fired Tuesday as coach of the Jaguars, entered this season on the hot seat. And yet, he still was willing to cut veteran quarterback David Garrard shortly after the preseason and, despite a two-game cameo by Luke McCown, push in all his chips with rookie Blaine Gabbert.

The result: Jacksonville is 3-8 with the NFL's worst passing offense, and Del Rio is out of a job.

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Could Garrard have done anything to prevent this situation? He'll never know, but he wishes he'd had the opportunity.

"I just think trying to ask a rookie quarterback to go out there and make the plays for you that you need, I know Blaine is going to be a very good quarterback in this league, but I, myself, personally didn't want that to happen to him that early," Garrard said Tuesday on Sirius XM Radio. "I wanted to be the quarterback that gave him the time to learn the system, learn being in the offense, learn being in the league. Especially without an offseason for him to go through, I knew it would be tough for him to be thrown out there.

"Decisions were made before the season, and it didn't happen the way I wanted it to. And unfortunately it hasn't been happening the way the Jags wanted it to, either."

At the time, it was hard to argue Del Rio's decision. Garrard wasn't exactly living up to expectations, and his preseason performance gave little reason to believe that would change. However, let's play devil's advocate for a second.

Given the Colts' fall from grace in the AFC South and that quarterbacks around the league are performing at an all-time high, could Garrard somehow have found a way to make the Jaguars a contender and save Del Rio's job?

Unlikely. But we'll never know for sure.

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