McCown: There's no QB controversy in Jacksonville

Published June 06, 2010

| FoxSports

Three years ago, Jacksonville stunned the NFL by releasing quarterback Byron Leftwich in the preseason and promoting David Garrard to the starting lineup.

If you believe Garrard's current backup, there is no chance of a repeat scenario in 2010.

While Garrard is facing heavy scrutiny after two mediocre seasons, Luke McCown has made it clear there isn't a Jaguars quarterback controversy.

"It's David's job," McCown told me and co-host Gil Brandt this weekend on Sirius NFL Radio. "There's been a lot more made about it being a competition than there really should be. If anybody even hints to me about the idea of it being an open competition, I'm all for it. But that's not the case."

Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter had inferred the starting spot was up for grabs after Garrard and McCown split repetitions at a May minicamp. Because he was acquired from Tampa Bay just before the start of last season, McCown had little chance to showcase his talent for Jaguars coaches in 2009.

"This is a time for Luke to show he can compete with Dave," Koetter said during an interview with the team's web site. "He's athletic, he's sharp. Can he push Dave when they're hitting you for real? We like what we see out of Luke in the meeting room and what we saw of him in minicamp."

However, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio doesn't seem inclined to tinker at the position. Del Rio also seems happy with the more vocal and outgoing leadership role Garrard has taken this offseason upon his urging.

McCown said he isn't discouraged even if the first-team job isn't open.

"I gladly work my tail off every day," he said. "I approach every rep in order to be the starter. There doesn't have to be a sense of, 'It's an open competition.' I'm going to do my best to push David to be better because if he's better, our team is better.

"In the offseason, I think it's easy to get caught up in individual competitions and battles. This thing is still about being a team and going out and winning a championship. That's got to be the goal year-round. That's the goal for me."

A six-year NFL veteran, McCown has attempted only four passes over the past two seasons after starting three games for the Buccaneers in 2007. Tampa Bay traded the 28-year-old McCown for a seventh-round draft pick because of a glut at quarterback with Josh Freeman, Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson on the roster.

Garrard has started every game for Jacksonville since signing a six-year, $60 million contract extension in the 2008 offseason. Garrard, though, has failed to recapture the magic of his 2007 season when he threw 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Garrard has a 30-23 touchdown-interception ratio the past two years and was sacked 42 times in both those seasons. Jacksonville also posted a 12-20 record in that span, which has the 32-year-old Garrard squarely on the hot seat entering this season.

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