JagNation Rumor Mill

Is the starting quarterback race really over? Will Eben Britton be ready to go on opening day? Which underdog receiver does the team really like? See what our numerous league sources and experts have to say in this Rumor Mill.

Garrard is the Starter? Not so fast my friend

Jack Del Rio spent much of the week claiming that incumbent quarterback David Garrard is his starter.

"I didn't do anything different then I've been doing, I've been saying that David Garrard's our starter," Del Rio stated on ESPN's Mike and Mike.

Del Rio went on to say positive things about rookie Blaine Gabbert.

"I think we have a talented young man in Blaine Gabbert who's come in here and shown all the things that we were excited about when we went in and drafted him in the first place. He's got a lot of talent and he's going to be a good football player," Del Rio added.

One thing that Jack Del Rio has avoided saying in his interviews with all of the media is that David Garrard will be the Jaguars starter on opening day. He's been somewhat careful to avoid painting himself into that corner, similar to what he did back in 2007 when Garrard unseated Byron Leftwich.

A player who could figure into the mix if he continues playing well is Luke McCown. McCown has outplayed David Garrard in two consecutive camps and looks like a better option if you just look at game tape. McCown has a stronger arm, makes smarter decisions and is better with progressions.

"Luke McCown is a good football player and has led us to a little more production than anyone else has, albeit against backups. We feel good about our quarterback situation, but we need better play out of our offense and out of our quarterback so we're saying that," said the Jaguars head coach.

Luke McCown was also praised by offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter in a meeting, when he immediately rattled off the right answers in a quiz.

"It was like, 'Bam-bam-bam,'" Koetter said in a USA Today story. "Luke just said, 'That's eight years of experience.' Blaine said, 'Well, I've been here eight days.' That kind of puts it in perspective."

With Jack Del Rio's hesitation to claim Garrard as his opening day starter, the competition still remains, and it appears to be a three-way competition.

Saddled by the Back

Jaguars offensive tackle Eben Britton has missed each of the team's preseason games and will not suit up until opening day at the earliest. Britton was said to have injured his back doing squats and it's possible he has a bulging disc that required surgery.

Our sources say that Britton's back will be a problem all season long and it's quite the long-shot that he'll be ready on opening day.

Jacksonville has been playing veteran Guy Whimper in Britton's place and Whimper has been shaky at best.

One More Big Opportunity For the Receivers

The Jaguars receiving corps is considered highly mediocre amongst league standards. With no real number one the team will have to spread the ball around which could give some younger, relatively unknown players more action.

Rookie Cecil Shorts has looked like a true professional from his first day of camp and it's likely that he will be a starter sooner rather than later. Shorts has caught nearly everything thrown in his direction and coaches and front office members are very high on him.

With the recent waiving of Tiquan Underwood, the Jaguars have finally given up on a Gene Smith experiment gone horribly wrong. Underwood's loss will be the other receivers on the Jaguars gain as players such as Armon Binns, Jamar Newsome and Dontrelle Inman will have more opportunities to showcase their talents.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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