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Garrard hopes he's showing enough for backup role

8/24/2002

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- David Garrard wants the job as Mark
Brunell's backup. He knows it's an apprenticeship that can only
make him a better player.

"I hope I made another step toward that because I'd really like
to be behind him and learn from him and maybe follow in his
footsteps one day,'' Garrard said Friday night after guiding the
Jacksonville Jaguars to a 24-16 comeback preseason win over the
Chicago Bears.

"I thought our reserves did a great job of responding to the
pressure,'' said Garrard, a fourth-round pick from East Carolina
who completed 9 of 18 passes for 165 yards after replacing Brunell
in the second quarter. "I haven't had a win since my third game
last year in college, so that was great to get past.''

Garrard capped a quick 68-yard drive and gave the Jaguars (1-2)
a 17-16 lead with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Henry Douglas with
7:35 left.

The Jaguars then put the victory away with 3:05 remaining when
John Henderson sacked Bears' fourth-team quarterback Ken Mastrole,
forcing a fumble that Javor Mills recovered in the end zone for a
touchdown.

"We had some things we felt we needed to accomplish and of
course winning was one of them,'' said Jacksonville coach Tom
Coughlin, who earlier suggested his team has less "raw talent''
than the 1995 version that went 4-12.

"Garrard showed better poise. He's getting close to grasping
the speed of this league,'' the coach added.

The Bears (1-2) remained winless in two games at Memorial
Stadium, where they are playing this season while Soldier Field is
rebuilt. A crowd of 36,535 watched Friday night's game.

With Jacksonville trailing 13-0 at halftime, Stacey Mack's
33-yard run and a pass interference penalty helped the Jaguars get
back in the game in the third quarter. Garrard threw a 5-yard TD
pass to Bobby Shaw, breaking a six-quarter Jags' scoring drought.

Hayden Epstein's 45-yard field goal after a 33-yard
Garrard-to-Damon Gibson pass cut Chicago's lead to three points
after three quarters.

Marcus Robinson, who missed all but five games last season after
tearing knee ligaments, caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Chris
Chandler to give Chicago the 13-0 lead.

"I didn't have any doubt. The biggest thing is cutting and
coming out of the breaks,'' said Robinson, who set Chicago's
single-season record of 1,400 receiving yards three years ago.

"You're going to have contact. When the football is in the air,
you jump and you catch it,'' Robinson said. "I just didn't think
about it.''

Bears coach Dick Jauron viewed Robinson's return this way:
"Marcus looked like Marcus,'' he said.

Robinson finished with four catches for 55 yards.

"It just feels great to come out and play football like I
did,'' Robinson said.

Paul Edinger's third field goal of the game, a 50-yarder, gave
Chicago a 16-10 lead with 11:17 left.

Edinger kicked first-half field goals of 38 and 45 yards and
both hit the left upright before falling through.

The Jaguars appeared to get a break in the first quarter, when
Detron Smith came up with a punt return fumble by Nate Jacquet at
the Chicago 17. But the Bears won a video replay challenge, keeping
the ball when officials ruled Smith didn't have possession as his
shoulder hit the sideline.

Bears receiver Marty Booker left the game in first quarter with
a chest contusion and Jacquet left after spraining his ankle on the
punt return.

Jacksonville linebacker T.J. Slaughter was forced out after
dislocating his elbow in the second quarter, and Gibson was on the
ground for five minutes before leaving the game in the third after
his 33-yard catch. Wide receiver Darnay Scott also had to leave
with a shoulder injury and was in a sling after the game.

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