A New Kind of QB Controversy for the Jags

With the likelihood of Jaguars starting quarterback David Garrard about to miss some significant time over the next few weeks, it appears that the Jaguars need to sign another quarterback.

The official announcement over the severity of Garrard's injury won't be made until tomorrow, but it is likely that backup Quinn Gray will be the starter, at least for next week against Tampa Bay. The thought of Gray starting should strike extreme fear into the hearts of Jaguars fans, especially following his 9/24, 56 yard, 2 interception performance (11.1 quarterback rating).

So what are the other options for the Jaguars at quarterback? The most likely option would be to bring up rookie quarterback Lester Ricard from the practice squad. Ricard played fairly well in the preseason, as he showed poise in the pocket and good mobility. Unfortunately, Ricard struggled with accuracy, and isn't nearly ready for the NFL game at this point in his career. As raw as Ricard is, could he have played much worse than Gray did on Monday night? Not likely.

The team is probably making phone calls to free agents as we speak, and these are a few names that the Jaguars front office may be dialing.

    - Aaron Brooks - Aaron Brooks has physical talents and a strong arm, but he's always a guy who has made poor decisions throughout his career. I asked Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan about the likelihood of the Jaguars signing Brooks, and this is what he said-

    "Aaron Brooks had a tryout with the Steelers last year but that's about it. Teams don't think much of him and he has a bad reputation for not being consistent and not staying within the offensive scheme."

    - Craig Nall - Craig Nall has been a career backup in his five NFL seasons with Green Bay and Buffalo, and has attempted a pass in just five games (coming in 2004 w/ Green Bay). While he's short on real game experience, Nall has completed 23 of 33 passes for 314 yards, 4 TD's/0 INT's, and has a career passer rating of 139.4. Although some may be concerned with Nall's lack of experience, the Jaguars likely week seven starter Quinn Gray has played in just three career games. Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan had this to say about Nall-

    "At one time, years back, he was once seen as a potential replacement for Brett Favre but that quickly dissipated. He was easily beaten out for the backup job with Buffalo by rookie QB Trent Edwards."

    - Jay Fiedler - Jaguars fans remember Jay Fielder fondly as the backup quarterback to Mark Brunell in 1999. Fiedler's above average play landed him with a contract in Miami where he was the successor to Dan Marino. Although Fiedler has had pretty ordinary stats throughout his 11-year career, with a completion percentage of 58.7, and quarterback rating of 77.1, Fiedler won a lot of games for the Dolphins. Fiedler hasn't played since 2005, when the Jaguars ironically knocked him out of the game when he was with the Jets. Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan had the following to say about Fiedler-

    "Shoulder and overall injury problems have hampered his career, but he has a good winning percentage of games that he's started and finished. There's no update available on his health status or even if he still wants to play."

    - Todd Bouman - Todd Bouman was a career backup for 10 years with Minnesota, New Orleans, and Green Bay. Bowman has started six career games, and has a career quarterback rating of 75.3. Scout NFL Expert Adam Caplan had this to say about Bouman-

    "Strong-armed passer but not accurate. Started three games in 2005 for the Saints. Mike Tice connection could warrant a look."

The Jaguars will have to sign someone in the next couple of days and it may very well be one of these quarterbacks. As of now, all we can do is speculate, but as soon as there's any more information, JagNation will let you know.

Also feel free to check out all the free agents available in Adam Caplan's list -HERE-.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.

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