Garrard wants to hit receivers, not the town

By Vito Stellino
Updated: June 17, 2010

JACKSONVILLE — David Garrard leads by example for the Jaguars, on and off the field.

That’s why the Jaguars don’t have to worry about Garrard emulating Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young and getting in a late-night fight at a strip club.

Garrard’s favorite activity late at night is sleeping.

“It’s hard for me to stay up past 9:30 [p.m.] now,” Garrard said. “When my son goes to bed, I almost feel like it’s time to go to bed, too. But I am an older guy now. I hate to say that. It sounds terrible coming out of my mouth.”

Garrard, 32, said younger guys are full of energy, but he wishes they would make better choices.

“I think you can look back to the old saying that there is nothing good that can happen after 12 [midnight],” Garrard said. “If they could really stick to that. That would help a lot of people. Even when I’ve stayed up late, whatever it was, I’m always thinking to myself, ‘I wish I had just went to dinner and gone home.’ “

Garrard said his days of staying up late ended in his senior year at East Carolina, and he said he didn’t need a football coach to warn him about strip clubs.

“I met Mary [his wife] my redshirt sophomore year. I got the lecture a long time ago, not to be out looking at half-naked women at any clubs, so it was easy for me,” Garrard said.

Garrard knows what’s at stake for him this season. He can’t afford a third consecutive losing season. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew said Garrard seems ready for the challenge.

“David is looking great,” Jones-Drew said. “I’ve said this all along: A quarterback is only as good as the weapons around him.”

If the Jaguars are to improve, they need big years from Garrard and Jones-Drew. “Absolutely,” Garrard said. “We definitely think about that and the weight that we’re willing to put on our shoulders.”

“You’re not going to play quarterback in the NFL and be scared to take some of the pressure and take some of the load that comes with it.”

Now that he’s in his fourth year of running coordinator Dirk Koetter’s offense, Garrard believes he knows it inside and out. “You feel like you’re in your prime,” Garrard said.

“You’re like a coach on the field. You’re already a step ahead of everybody. That’s when a quarterback is in the zone, when he sees the thing happen, the play happening before it even happens.”

Garrard thinks he’ll show the results this year.

“It’s definitely our year,” Garrard said. “Definitely our time, and there’s no more excuses. Very excited. Can’t wait. Can’t wait because I really believe this is a big year for us, bigger than a lot of people can imagine.”