David Garrard retired yesterday from the NFL, saying his knees just couldn’t hold up and he could no longer play the game that he loves. But while he’s retiring as a player from football, Garrard hasn’t closed himself off from the game entirely and is actually considering returning to the New York Jets as a quarterback coach intern. According to Jim Corbett of USA Today, Garrard is mulling a coaching offer extended from the Jets and mentoring Geno Smith could be something that lures him back into the game in a coaching capacity.
“I think Geno’s going to be great,” Garrard said, via USA Today. “He still has a lot to learn in the NFL. He definitely has to work. But he has what it takes. Now he has to go out and prove it.”
The former Jaguars quarterback said that his knees were the reason he retired and not the possibility of being the odd-man out in a three way quarterback battle between Smith, Mark Sanchez and Garrard. Some drew a correlation between Garrard abrupt retirement yesterday and the Jets’ drafting of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, but the fact that Garrard is willing to come back to New York specifically to mentor Smith says a lot about how he already feels about the young man.
“The one thing the kid has is he’s definitely the guy of the future,” Garrard continued. “He’ll get a whole lot more attention from the fans, because they definitely want to see that new guy, especially since Mark has had a rough (52 combined turnovers) couple of years.”
Mark Sanchez apparently sent a text message to Garrard when news broke of his retirement, gushing about how much he admired the quarterback and how he conducted his career. With both Sanchez and Smith cozy with Garrard, a return to the Jets is very likely, but Garrard says all things must go through his wife first.
“The Jets offered me the chance to come back if I want to take a shot at that coaching thing with an internship in training camp,” Garrard said. “I told them I’d talk with my wife about it, so I could still work with those guys. It’s definitely something I’m considering.”