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Jaguars QB David Garrard's Conference Call With Nashville Media


(on what they did during the bye week)

We did some practicing. We got after it a little bit, worked Wednesday and Thursday and then me and the family took a little bit of time off and went down to Disney and just enjoyed ourselves a little bit.

(on surprising a few outsiders with their start)

We have a good group of guys around here in this locker room, even though we are pretty young at some spots. The guys that are there are hungry and focused and happy to be here. They are always coming to work every day ready to work. I think that is something that has been lacking just a little bit around here. We have fixed it with some veteran guys and guys with youth, but guys that are chomping at the bit to get out there every play and every snap and try to make a difference.

(on whether mindset and effort can outperform apparent talent on a given team)

Definitely. You can't just have popular guys. You have to be pretty solid all the way through. That is what makes a good team. You have to be able to count on everybody, even back-ups at times because guys get hurt. When you have that, have guys that have bought in as a team, that definitely helps you play a little bit better. It doesn't always mean that you are going to win all your ball games, but it gives you a chance. I think we have a good group of guys here, a good core group of guys and guys that are just trying to do their best every time they get a chance.

(on bouncing back from their 41-0 defeat against Seattle and how it was done)

You really have to think about it as just one loss, whether you lost by one or 50. You have to think about it as just a loss and you have to be able to regroup your mind and regroup your team. I know Jack (Del Rio) has done a good job of always getting us back and prepared from an ugly loss or a tight loss. Sometimes those one-point losses either hurt just as much or hurt even more because you use so much energy to try to win. You have to be able to take every game, every week and play it as that one game and pretty much forget the past, forget what happened to you last week even if you won. If you start getting too high on yourself then you are setting yourself up for a loss that next coming week too. You just have to be prepared each week for each team.

(on whether they have gotten as much as any team in the league from their rookie class)

He (Gene Smith) has done a great job. Even when we saw the picks being made we thought man those are some really good picks. To see them go out there and to watch them develop into the players they are and know they have even more ability once they get more and more games under their belt, I'm happy for them. I'm happy for Eugene (Monroe) and Eben (Britton) as my tackles and my young receivers too. They are doing a great job and they have someone like Torry (Holt) and Mike Sims-Walker to be able to look up to and learn from every day out here at practice and even in the classroom. That is good for them. Jack (Del Rio) and Gene did a great job, like I said, bringing in some good, young, talented guys and guys that are smart and hungry that want to play and play well.

(on playing with two rookie tackles and whether he has to be conscious of their experience level)

Absolutely. I think you have to be conscious of guys like (Kyle) Vanden Bosch and (Dwight) Freeney and those kind of guys any time with any tackle that you have out there. Definitely when you have some young guys and it is their first time ever playing in the league, they have a lot going on in their head, but I thought our guys handled it very well. The times that I did get any kind of pressure on me, I felt like watching film I could have helped them out just a little bit more and maybe got the ball to the check down or something like that to have made it even better for them. They are playing well and I'm happy for that. They have to continue to get better. They are not seasoned vets yet, but they have a lot of potential and they are definitely headed in the right direction.

(on how hard a quarterback controversy is on the guys involved)

I think what is good for you guys is that Vince (Young) has been the starter before. Everybody knows that he was young, so they kind of understand maybe he had some growing pains and that kind of stuff. I actually was listening to (Keith) Bulluck talk on the radio the other day saying he always still has been a leader on the team. Even when he wasn't starting he has been speaking up and saying things which I think is good because guys are still going to look at him as a leader. Whenever he steps out there, as long as you are making plays, guys are going to respect you and follow you and they are going to treat you as a leader. I think it won't be as hard as some people are thinking for him, but it really all comes down to getting on the field and making plays. If you do that, everybody loves you.

(on whether it is hard on the relationship of the guys involved)

It can be tough a little bit, but I think if you are decent friends with that guy and are able to work with and somebody is not a jerk or anything, you can work with pretty much everybody. People are going to handle it professionally. A lot of times you have no one to blame but yourself in a lot of cases, but then there are cases where maybe politics come into play or injuries come into play and that kind of stuff. Whatever the case may be, if you are out there and you make plays, that is all that matters. If you get your chance to play and you make plays, that is all anybody cares about. I don't think he is sitting there next to (Kerry) Collins thinking man I would love to have his job which was my job, thinking about that kind of stuff. You are not really worried about that. You are just thinking about your next opportunity and what you are going to do with it.

(on what has helped Mike Sims-Walker be productive this season)

Just being healthy. I've said it for a while now, all the way back into OTAs and even last year, when Mike is on the field and playing, he is one of the best receivers in the league. A lot of people didn't understand why I was saying that and couldn't really feel that, but we have known it around here. He has shown the moments in games in the past. He has just never been able to put it together consecutively because every time he would show up big, he would get injured. I just know and I knew that before that he is a very, very talented player as long as he is on the field. If he is on the field, he is one of the best.

(on spreading the offense around to include more than just the power run game)

I think we have been able to be a power team and just kind of force the ball down on people in the run game but we would much rather be 50-50. We would much rather have a play here or there that surprises you. I just think it keeps defenses on their toes and not allow them to key in on and take away one part of your game and then you are stuck having to rely on another part and maybe that part is not a strong part. It shouldn't be like that. You should be able to run the ball, if that is what they are giving you, but if they are taking the run away because they are putting too many in the box, you have to be able to throw the ball. It is just the NFL and we have professional players on this team and as long as a quarterback is given time he should be able to get the ball down the field, and receivers should be able to catch it. That's how we want our offense to be. We want our offense to be whatever you guys give us, we'll take it.

(on Dirk Koetter having more of a stamp on the offense)

I think Dirk has always been able to call what he wants. I think when you have a Fred Taylor and a Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield, you want to give them a few more calls which is smart because they're two very, very talented players. I just think now with Torry Holt on the team and Mike Sims-Walker playing the way he is and Marcedes Lewis. Now you have to give them the respect and try to get the ball in their hands as well. You still don't want to take away from Maurice because he can be explosive on any given play. That allows you to be more 50-50 which is exactly what Dirk wants to be.

(on if he expects the Titans secondary to be different)

They should be like what we've played before in the past. I'm sure (Cortland) Finnegan is going to be back and (Vincent) Fuller, those guys will be back. We've played against those guys before. They're very talented players. I'm sure their secondary is going to be a lot stronger, but we still have to go out and execute our plays. I've got to be able to get the ball in my receivers hands and let them do what they do best and that's be explosive and make plays. If we can do that and do some of the same things we did in the last game, just be efficient and execute the plays, we should have a good chance again.


(on being the underdog versus the Titans)

It doesn't really matter to us. I've never really seen a spread the whole time I've played football, even since Pop Warner and I'm sure they still had spreads then. I don't even think about that. I just think about trying to execute my plays and if the people down in Vegas think we're underdogs then so be it. We still have to go out and play the ball game.

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