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Garrard on competing with Gabbert: 'Best man will play'

Some players get upset when their team uses a high draft pick to select a college hotshot at their same position.

Quarterback David Garrard could have been that guy after the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Blaine Gabbert 10th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, but it's not his style. To Garrard, there's nothing wrong with a little competition.

"I think competition's healthy," Garrard, the Jaguars' regular starter since 2007, told *The Florida Times-Union* on Saturday. "You never shy away from competition. That's just sports."

Garrard enters 2011 at a position of strength, coming off his best statistical season since his breakout 2007 campaign. He threw a career-high 23 touchdown passes in just 14 games, posting a 90.8 rating. He sounded like a man who believes his abilities will settle any discussion of who the starter in Jacksonville should be.

"My thing is the best man will play. The cream will rise to the top," Garrard said. "All those different sayings. That's true, you want the best person out there on the field. To give the team the best chance. That's what I believe. If it's not me, then it's just not me.

"If Blaine comes in and he is above and beyond just better than me, then best of luck to him. Because the best person who is going to give this team a chance to win should be out there. I've always believed that. I'm going to work my tail off to make sure that it's me. I'm sure he'll be working hard as well."

Garrard knows Gabbert is the Jaguars' quarterback of the future. In fact, Garrard speaks highly of the 21-year-old, who had a successful three-year run at Missouri.

"He seems to be a great kid and he's someone that this community will really rally behind one day and come to appreciate," Garrard said.

But Garrard makes it clear that the Jaguars would be better suited in the present with him at the controls.

"I'm sure he's a guy that wants to get out there and run some plays, wants to be part of the team," Garrard said. "I think he understands that it does take time. The best opportunity for this team is having a veteran quarterback. We'll make sure he's prepared for whenever his time comes in the future."

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