Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QB Dilemma Makes Jaguars Look Indecisive

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QB Dilemma Makes Jaguars Look Indecisive

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

So now the Jaguars have a franchise quarterback making $6.75 million not only riding the bench, but possibly being demoted to third-team status in Week 5 of the NFL season.

Basically, the message given to Mark Brunell by Jack Del Rio yesterday is that he is yesterday's news. Make way for the new gunslinger because, in the coach's own words, rookie Byron Leftwich gives the Jaguars a better chance to beat the San Diego Chargers than an 11-year veteran who hasn't thrown an interception this year and has just one in his last seven games.

To quote John McEnroe: "You cannot be serious!"

The winless Jaguars have taken wishy-washy to a new level with their deplorable handling of the quarterback situation. First, they decide to try to stay competitve by bringing Brunell back and signing some high-priced free agents. And now, after four games and one shaky Leftwich start, they decide it's time for Brunell to ride the pine.

Is this Del Rio's definition of a "plan?"

Del Rio denies that this decision was influenced by owner Wayne Weaver or player personnel vice president James Harris, though both gave serious consideration to cutting Brunell in preseason after the four-game suspension came down for receiver Jimmy Smith.

Whoever is pushing this button doesn't change the fact that it makes the Jaguars look painfully indecisive. If you honestly believe Leftwich gives you the best chance to win -- even after throwing three interceptions and fumbling the game away against the mediocre Houston Texans -- then what was the point of keeping Brunell around?

If this was late November and the Jaguars were 3-8, then there's no reason why Leftwich shouldn't be starting ahead of Brunell. At some point, the Jaguars were going to move in that direction anyway.

But at a time when Brunell insists his health is a non-issue and Leftwich couldn't beat the Texans despite fabulous protection from the offensive line? …

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