Del Rio cancels Garrard's weekly show
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard thought hosting a weekly radio show would be a good idea. He was meeting fans, answering questions, giving away tickets and previewing the team's upcoming game.
Maybe he should have discussed it with coach Jack Del Rio first.
When Del Rio learned about Garrard's Friday show, which aired the last three weeks, it was canceled faster than a network television dud.
Del Rio's main issue was the timing of the show.
"Less than 48 hours away from the game, it's not even a question," Del Rio said. "I don't even understand how anybody could ever advise somebody to think about doing something like that. It makes no sense."
Garrard clearly thought it fit into his schedule.
He chose to do the show on Friday because it's rarely an NFL travel day, didn't interfere with his family time and wouldn't conflict with team meetings, film study, workouts or practice. But his mistake may have been not keeping Del Rio in the loop.
Garrard said Del Rio found about the show when he was flipping through the radio dial and landed on Jacksonville's WJXL-AM two weeks ago. Garrard was live on the air at a local sports clothing store, taking calls, interacting with fans and talking about the Arizona Cardinals.
He even shared his thoughts on Florida quarterback Tim Tebow's NFL prospects. Team owner Wayne Weaver told The Associated Press a few days earlier that he would consider drafting Tebow to help the franchise sell tickets in a difficult economy.
Del Rio was less than impressed, mostly because Garrard was talking about things unrelated to the next opponent two days before the game. So the coach went directly to Garrard and squashed the weekly segment.
"He said, 'As a father figure, I'm just trying to tell you this isn't good late in the week like this," Garrard said. "'You can field things early in the week and ... rehash the past game. But late in the week, you want to be studying your film, you want to be with your family and you want to be off your feet, relaxing.' I totally understand where he's coming from."
No quarterback in the league has a weekly radio show so late in the week, and Del Rio didn't think Garrard needed to be a trendsetter. There also is a clause in Garrard's six-year, $60 million contract stipulating that things like that had to be approved by the team.
Garrard has completed 55 percent of his passes this season for 618 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. He also has been sacked five times -- numbers that suggest Garrard could use more time studying his playbook than sharing his thoughts over the airwaves.
"I've let my feelings be known to David about what's most important late in the week," Del Rio said. "It's very important for us as a football team to, when you're less than 48 hours from the game, to make sure your attention is on the game, your focus is on the game.
"If you're not studying film, you ought to be relaxing with the family. So, those are my thoughts. I conveyed them to him."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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