Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Pulley

2CENTS

OK, all you Byron Leftwich-haters out there. After all the pins and needles you stuck in his voodoo dolls, one finally knocked him off the field for a few weeks.

This time he's not just banged, bruised or sore. He's out with an ankle injury, probably for four or five weeks.

And during this month, all you anti-Leftwichs will get a chance to see why the team has stuck with him despite all the calls to replace him with the more mobile David Garrard.

Leftwich has his flaws. He has the mobility of a turtle, isn't the best at picking up blitzes . . . and his "touch" passes could sometimes drill a hole through a steel safe.

On almost every team, the backup quarterback has a sizable fan club, people who are just positive that he's better than the starter. Much better.

In the Jags' case, that promise lies in Garrard. But there's a very good reason a backup remains a backup with most teams, and Sunday against the Browns the anti-Byrons might start to see why.

Certainly, Garrard has some skills, but is he really better than Leftwich? Over the next four games or so, we'll find out for sure.

SHAKING DUST OFF THE GLORY YEARS

WHY DID USC RISE FROM THE ASHES?

The resurgence of USC football has been attributed to the arrival of Pete Carroll in the fall of 2001. Maybe the ghost of John McKay (left) has played a part as well.

The Los Angeles Times has confirmed that McKay's ashes, according to his wishes, were secretly spread on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum turf after his death in June 2001.

Since then, USC has lost only two games at the Coliseum, and none since a 21-16 loss to Stanford on Sept. 29, 2001.

SOME SHORT TAKES

Air ball: Mike Austin, who is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest drive in a professional golf tournament, died last week at 95. His 1974 blast, in windy Las Vegas, traveled 515 yards on a par-4 450-yard hole.

Austin's wife, Tanya, was quoted in Travel and Leisure magazine as saying, "It was like God held the ball in the air. …

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