Jaguars OC Dirk Koetter Lashes Out at David Garrard Critics on Twitter
But the Jaguars quarterback does have the backing of at least one relatively important person: Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
Garrard, whose season ended Thursday when he underwent surgery on his right middle -- throwing -- finger, has come under criticism this season, particularly in the wake of two losses that have put the team in danger of missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Koetter on Thursday addressed the criticism.
"Everyone that wants to bitch about the quarterback, who do you want to put in?" Mark Long of the Associated Press quoted Koetter via Twitter. "Who is better?"
Garrard, who threw a franchise-record 23 touchdown passes, threw critical interceptions against the Colts and Redskins the last two weeks. He also struggled in early-season losses to San Diego and Philadelphia, but played solidly not only in a victory over Indianapolis, but during much of a stretch of five victories in six games that put the Jaguars to within a game of the AFC South title.
"Everybody always wants the other guy," Koetter said. "What other guy do you want over the long haul? Who would you trade him for? I promise you if something happens to Dave here, there are 10 teams that will line up to take him."
Koetter also addressed observers who are calling for Garrard to be released in favor of a quarterback selected in the draft.
"The people who want guys that have never played, that's the one that cracks me up," Koetter said. "Are you taking a chance on Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf? Remember, 50 percent of the people thought Leaf was as good as Manning.
"With Dave, you know what you've got. As we continue to play better around here, he'll look better."
Trent Edwards is expeced to start the season finale Sunday against Houston in place of Garrard. The Jaguars need to beat Houston and have Indianapolis lose to the Tennessee Titans to win the AFC South and qualify for the playoffs.
Garrard said via Twitter Thursday afternoon that the surgery "went great."