When he showed up at the End Zone, David Garrard had his family in tow (including in-laws) and was all smiles. And why not. The Jaguars had just beaten the Colts, thanks to a game winning drive engineered by Garrard. He has a new $60 million dollar contract, a beautiful wife and children and his health is good.
David was resplendent in a light grey-oatmeal suit, white suit and multi-colored white tie. His pocket square was perfect. In fact, a little too perfect. I’ve always liked David, so it’s kind of funny to see him change and try to get comfortable in his new role. He’s rich, he’s a starter and he’s considered a leader. So from back up to “the man,” Garrard is working is way through how to act.
He’s always been accessible. As the occasional starter, he was a quote machine, happy to oblige. He’s become a little “dodgy” in his current role, but generally cooperative. I’m sure now everybody wants a little piece of him, or a big piece.
He was willing to come on the End Zone, and believe me, a lot of players aren’t interested at all in giving up their Monday night to come by and talk football but Garrard stepped right up after the Jaguars first win. This might sound funny, but the advice he’s getting from his “stylist” is a little off. He’s got David wearing bow ties and chartreuse jackets, funny hats and occasionally an ascot.
When David was wearing that chartreuse jacket I told him, “Prince called, he wants his coat back.” David didn’t think that was funny. I guess I’m being nitpicky, (and I’d rather this than a New York Knicks jersey and a platinum rope” but Garrard has a chance to own this town.
Not just be the quarterback and make some money but to own this town big time.
He’s smart and is talented. He knows what he can do and maybe more importantly, what he can’t. He’ll find his way; he’ll figure it out.
On the field, he’s starting to settle into the player he was at the end of next year. For the first two games of the season, David looked like he was trying to hit a home run every time he dropped back into the pocket. He wasn’t the efficient player he was that got the Jaguars a playoff win last year. He looked like he was trying to be a star.
In the game against the colts, he was much more himself and perhaps that will be the start of a run for the Jaguars. If not for an efficient quarterback, the game doesn’t work for the Jaguars. Garrard can be that guy who gets the job done and uses the personnel around him to do just that.
One more story about David. As I mentioned, even though he’s blown me off a couple of times, I guess that comes with the territory. But after the End Zone, I had arranged for Garrard and his family to slip out the back door with an escort so as to not be accosted by the fans in attendance (yes, that happens).
Garrard was all ready to go and leaned over to me and said “I’ll feel bad if I don’t stick around and sign a few things.”
And that’s just what he did.
Garrard sat down at the autograph line and signed for all of the kids in attendance. He left after about 10 minutes, but he did stop and sign, something a lot of other players (see Reggie Hayward, et al) blow off.
Garrard’s easy to root for. I hope he figures it out, on, and off the field.