Next Step for Jaguars

Now that the Jaguars have locked in David Garrard at the quarterback spot for the next seven years, they can turn their attention to improving their offense behind Garrard.

While Garrard enjoyed a strong season in his first year as a starter, finishing with the league's third-best passer rating at 102.2, the Jaguars finished 17th in the league in passing. There were no concerns with the running game, which wound up with the AFC's best rushing mark of 149.4 and second overall, but the passing figure of 208.0 was average.

Garrard thinks that with the year as a starter behind him now, things will only get better. Garrard believes he and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter are on the same page.

"With Dirk coming in and keeping the system somewhat the same, that really helped out big-time, because I think trying to learn a whole new system definitely would have put me and the offense behind," Garrard said. "There were times where a play would come in and I would think, 'man, this is exactly what I was thinking in my head.'

"I think he does a great job with that and then just getting the guys ready each week. He and Jack definitely do a great job of that.

"Hopefully we can continue to add to what we've done. I think we did a great job last year, but it's time to move forward and to just win ball games. If you go back and look at the way the Giants did things last year, they probably weren't breaking a whole bunch of records other than doing pretty good on the road, but being able to hoist that Lombardi trophy is the number one thing."

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has pointed to Garrard's consistency and what an asset it is to the team. Garrard said it's a matter of staying within the game plan and not trying to do more than what's expected of him that enabled him to display such consistency.

"I think as long as I stay within the system and rely on my teammates and not try to push the envelope too much but to do exactly what my coaches are teaching me and telling me to do because they have the best interest for all of us, then we'll be OK," Garrard said.

The Jaguars quarterback also said he was pleased with the Jaguars first action in the free agency. That's when Jacksonville signed former Oakland Raiders receiver Jerry Porter to a long-term deal. While Porter had issues with the team's management, there's no denying his talent. Porter had back-to-back years with just less than 1,000 yards receiving.

"I was pretty happy even though I thought we had a great group of core guys," Garrard said. "I said all last year, we just need to add icing to the cake. We have a great group of guys that can really take it to another level.

"I really believe we've done that and I'm sure they have more moves to make with other situations. But that's their job and I'm just happy they've brought in some guys to really be explosive on offense."

Jags Illustrated Top Stories