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Jaguars QB situation ‘less than ideal’

October 21, 2010

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— Jacksonville’s quarterback situation looked like this Wednesday: Starter David Garrard didn’t make it to the training facility because of a concussion. Backup Trent Edwards didn’t practice because of a badly sprained right thumb. And two guys off the street, journeymen Todd Bouman and Patrick Ramsey, split repetitions.

It’s not exactly a recipe for success in the NFL.

But it’s the best the Jaguars (3-3) could cobble together after losing Garrard and Edwards in Monday night’s 30-3 loss to Tennessee. Throw in a season-ending knee injury to Luke McCown, and Jacksonville’s quarterback situation is more unsettled than the team’s revolving-door secondary.

Although the Jaguars are hopeful Garrard and Edwards could return Sunday at Kansas City, they’re preparing like neither will be available.

“It’s less than ideal,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “It certainly presents some challenges. ... As a football team, it’s about a team finding a way and we need to prepare to find a way to go up to Kansas City and get a win.”

Bouman and Ramsey officially signed contracts Wednesday, providing the Jaguars with potential fill-ins if Garrard doesn’t pass the NFL’s strict, post-concussion guidelines and Edwards doesn’t make significant strides in the training room.

To make room for the quarterbacks, Jacksonville waived safety Gerald Alexander, who started the last two games, and linebacker Jacob Cutrera.

This is Bouman’s fifth stint with the Jaguars, his second this season. It latest one could be his most important, especially since he took about 90 percent of the snaps in practice Wednesday.

Bouman watched the Monday night game at home in St. Cloud, Minn., got a call Tuesday morning and boarded a flight later that day.

“I’m not preparing any different than I have the last how-many years,” Bouman said. “You prepare every week like you’re gonna play and you’ve got to be ready to go. You never know when the time’s going to come. So you just wait to see what happens and work hard and get ready.”

Bouman hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass since starting three games for New Orleans in 2005. He has six career starts with the Saints and Minnesota, and has thrown for 1,683 yards, with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 seasons.

Bouman insists he knows Dirk Koetter’s offense, especially since he spent the 2008 and 2009 preseason with the Jaguars. But as Bouman answered questions from the media after practice Wednesday, quarterbacks coach Mike Shula poked his head in the room and said, “Can we let him study some football, please?”

Ramsey had some catching up to do, too.

He was home in Ruston, La., when the Jaguars called. Ramsey spent the preseason with New Orleans, suffered a hamstring injury and was released in final cuts.

“I knew I was going to probably have an opportunity at some point,” Ramsey said. “You don’t sit there and root for anyone to be injured and out of work, but at the same time, I knew once I got healthy I’d probably have an opportunity. This is my job. This is what I do, so I decided to stay prepared for it.”

Ramsey, a first-round draft pick by Washington in 2002, has spent time with the Redskins (2002-05), the New York Jets (2006), Denver (2007-08), Tennessee (2009), Detroit (2009) and New Orleans (2010). He has 24 career starts in eight seasons, and has thrown for 5,930 yards, with 35 touchdown and 30 interceptions.

His experience could help him get a quick grasp on Jacksonville’s playbook.

“I’ve played enough to not let it totally panic me, but I think at the same time, I’m going to press to be able to know as much as I can if that opportunity does come,” Ramsey said. “I think we can certainly find a comfort zone, things that I’m comfortable with and familiar with and concepts that I’ve run before. They have a game plan to execute and it’s my job at this point to learn it.”

If Garrard and Edwards don’t play, the game plan probably will be run-oriented.

“It’s about time,” Jones-Drew said. “Why didn’t it happen sooner?”

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