David Garrard’s back. Now a few questions would involve whether his back and his knee are back along with him.
The newly signed veteran Jets QB chatted with beat reporters in a conference call this afternoon, and one of the first questions involved those two parts of his anatomy, which in part led to his not playing the previous two seasons.
Brian Costello of the New York Post came in with Question No. 2 regarding Garrard’s training room scene on last year’s Hard Knocks.
“Yeah, that was a tough situation for me,” the personable Garrard said. “I feel like I had come back great from my back. My back is no issue. I was really battling down there, having a lot of fun, being on the field, doing what I do. Then my knee starts creeping up a little bit swelling up. I needed [arthroscopic] surgery.
“But my knee is great now. I’m really excited to get back in the league, playing ball. I’m very thankful the Jets have given me this opportunity.”
Needless to say, the opportunity can head in several different directions. One topic on Jets fans’ minds regarding the signing is the state of his body. Is he starting to break down, as virtually all athletes great and small do at some point? Indeed, in that key Hard Knocks episode, Garrard reported to the Dolphins trainer that turned to watch one of his children swimming in the pool and “felt something crunch in that knee.”
“Didn’t bang it on anything, didn’t fall on it or anything,” Garrard said then. “Maybe it’s father time.”
Today he had no reservations about his health. Perhaps it’s March machismo, but Garrard, who is a good-sized (6’1″, 239) QB, says despite the “nicks and knacks” of the past two years and the celebration of his 35th birthday last month, he’s still got what it takes to maneuver the ball down the field.
If I have to get a first down, I can, I can tell you that much,” he said. “As a quarterback, as you continue to get older, you have to be smarter with your body, smarter getting the ball out. Really the No. 1 thing for me as I continue to grow in this league, I’m realizing if I can get the ball to my back or dump it to the tight end, they can probably get as many yards and maybe more and I take less of a beating. That’s just the way the game is. As a quarterback, they don’t want you to be all broken up, sore, can’t move around in the pocket. I’m definitely smarter with the ball.
“But if I have to get a first down to keep chains moving or get the ball in the end zone, I’m going to do what I have to do.”
Yet the most healthy thing of all, on first listening to Garrard’s first public remarks as a Jet, is his outlook on the Jets’ starting job. He’s clearly for winning it, but first and foremost he’s clearly for his new team’s success.
“I just expect to go out and compete and really try to help this team out in any way possible,” he said. “If the way I play on the field allows that to happen, then I think great. If it doesn’t, I’m going to still be the best teammate I can be and help out this team as much as I can. It’s a team spot. not just me and the other QBs. It’s everybody pulling together, helping this ballclub out as much as possible.”
“All I know is I can compete and I’m going to have fun and make the team better.”
Tags: David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars, Mark Sanchez, Miami Dolphins
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