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David Garrard ready to compete for starting QB job

David Garrard practices with the Miami Dolphins during

David Garrard practices with the Miami Dolphins during training camp in Davie, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2012) Credit: AP

David Garrard said he would’ve been fine joining a team as a backup quarterback. But when he saw an opportunity to compete for the Jets’ starting gig, he had to take a shot.

“They just told me that I have a chance to compete for a starting job,” Garrard, 35, said on a Tuesday conference call with reporters. “...They all seemed to be very genuine.”

Despite offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s comments about incumbent Mark Sanchez having “a slight leg up” in the QB competition, Garrard believes he’ll have a fair shot at the starting QB job.

The former Jacksonville and Miami QB hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010 due to a back and knee injury. But Garrard said his knee is “great” and joked that he’s not worried about taking any hits because he’s as big as most defensive players, except linemen.

“If I have to get a first down, I can,” he said with a chuckle, when questioned about his mobility.

Garrard’s main competition this offseason will be Sanchez, a quarterback who’s committed 26 turnovers in each of the past two seasons. Garrard had nothing but positive things to say about Sanchez, whom he bumped into at the Jets’ training facility during his workout two weeks ago.

“This game is all about competition,” Garrard said, adding that if Sanchez outperforms him, he’ll support Mark. “I understand that and I think he does too.”

Despite the many question marks surrounding the Jets roster (particularly on offense) Garrard -- a New Jersey native – called his new team “a good fit.”

“Just being out of the league a couple years I just wanted to be a part of an organization, get back in the league. I didn’t have a problem with going somewhere and possibly being a backup if that was the role that a team wanted me to be in. But when I saw an opportunity to be able to compete for a job, I thought that was good for me and my family.

"I’ve seen the Jets from afar and growing up in Plainfield, NJ for a little while, I know a little bit about the organization and what they believe in. So, for me, it was a good fit.”

Garrard said he expects the open QB competition to include every signal-caller on the Jets roster, including Greg McElroy.

Asked if he expects to win the Jets’ starting job, though, Garrard said: “I just expect to go out and compete and try to help the team in any way possible.” 


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