Jaguars QB Garrard: ‘I was not elite last year’

David Garrard is no stranger to competition at the quarterback position. In 2007, coach Jack Del Rio unexpectedly named Garrard the Jaguars’ starter, usurping Byron Leftwich, who had been the team’s No. 1 QB for the previous four seasons.

Three years later, Garrard finds himself on the other side of the coin. Two less-than-stellar seasons as Jacksonville’s starter has Garrard looking over his shoulder at backup Luke McCown, who with six seasons under his belt has the opportunity to move up on the depth chart.

Del Rio’s recent comments, in which he said Garrard is in the “middle tier” and isn’t an elite quarterback, all but confirmed that the QB’s standing as the team’s starter is on somewhat shaky ground. On Thursday, Garrard didn’t dispute Del Rio’s opinions to the Florida Times-Union.

“Listening to his comments and thinking about what he said, he was right,” Garrard said. “I was not elite last year. I don’t think he meant David can’t be elite. As he said, David didn’t have an elite season and can do better. … So I definitely need to be better. I was middle of the road [last season].”

Garrard also acknowledged that he will feel the heat from McCown in training camp.

“I’m not stupid. I’m not naive. I definitely need to go in and play my best,” Garrard said. “Competition is always healthy and always a good thing. If I can’t do enough to outplay the guy that is backing me up, then absolutely it should be his job.”

Some more notes from around the Web on Friday:

  • Jake Delhomme wants to start for the Browns, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • Emmitt Smith has asked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to present him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.
  • Giants safety Kenny Phillips, who’s recovering from surgery on his left knee, said he’s on track to start training camp.
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