Little-used Garrett ready to go if needed

Ex-Cowboy has two rings, but not much experience

January 21, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nothing changes this week for New York Giants backup quarterback Jason Garrett.

Though he has seen the Ravens' defense knock out each of the past three starting quarterbacks in the playoffs, Garrett is not doing anything out of the ordinary in anticipation of playing in Super Bowl XXXV.

But if the Ravens maintain their recent trend of battering quarterbacks, Garrett has a good shot of replacing starter Kerry Collins.

Denver's Gus Frerotte, Tennessee's Steve McNair and Oakland's Rich Gannon all missed time during their games against the Ravens because of jarring hits by defenders.

"I'd like to think my approach is what it needs to be every week in terms of my preparation physically and mentally by knowing the game plan and with the film work," Garrett said. "You try your best in Week 1 or the Super Bowl to get yourself ready to play."

Garrett's work this season has basically been limited to mental preparation.

He played in only two regular-season games, both in the fourth quarter of blowout wins. His first pass of the year came in the fourth quarter of last week's NFC Championship win over Minnesota, a 4-yarder to Ike Hilliard that converted a first down and helped preserve the Giants' 41-0 shutout.

Getting to the Super Bowl is nothing new for Garrett, an eighth-year veteran out of Princeton.

He was a member of the 1993 and 1995 championship Dallas Cowboys teams as the third-string quarterback. Garrett spent the bulk of his Cowboys career as the No. 3 guy before getting promoted to backup in 1998. He filled in five games for Troy Aikman that season and went 3-2.

Garrett said he can see similarities between the Giants and the championship Cowboys teams.

"I think a lot of the elements are the same," Garrett said.

"Guys committed to winning. Guys you want to be around. Guys who handle the adversity of the season really well. To have the opportunity to be here again, it's tremendous."

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