Garrard’s Last Awful Practice Prompted His Release Says Del Rio

David Garrard’s three-interception performance in practice Monday prompted his release, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday.

“I think that was the last straw,” Del Rio said Wednesday.

Del Rio acknowledged that the timing wasn’t ideal. Garrard was released five days before the opener and just a couple of hours after he was introduced as the starting quarterback at a chamber of commerce luncheon put together to help promote the team.

“I don’t like the idea that the timing went down the way it did, but it did,” Del Rio said. “Ultimately as an organization we’ve got to make decisions when they’re not comfortable and make the best decision for the football team. I do believe we’ve done that.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t fall the way you’d like it to in terms of timelines and things you have commitments to. From that standpoint, I would prefer it have gone down differently. You deal with things as you have to. We took that one to the last possible minute because it was something that we continued to hold out hope for.”

Garrard struggled in the preseason, completing 50 percent of his passes for 216 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked three times.

Luke McCown, who will start Sunday when the Jaguars host rival Tennessee, was better in the preseason, though it came mostly against second- and third-teamers. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards and two scores. He didn’t have a turnover and didn’t take a sack.

Nonetheless, the Jaguars settled on Garrard during final roster cuts last weekend. They released an updated depth chart Monday, with Garrard as the starter, rookie Blaine Gabbert as the backup and McCown as No. 3.

One two-hour workout shuffled everything. Players called the practice the worst they had seen in some time. For Del Rio, who grew tired of Garrard’s inconsistent ways last season, that was enough to go to general manager Gene Smith and team owner Wayne Weaver and get permission to cut Garrard.

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