Let’s Look At Jeff Garcia – No Respect
Now and then there are players, though they may not be the greatest players in the league, they are consistent and put up good numbers while experiencing at least a decent amount of success. Some of these players, though moderately successful, end up seeming to not get the respect they deserve. One of these players is Jeff Garcia.
Jeff Garcia played collegiate football at San Jose State University, not exactly Quarterback U., though it has produced a number of NFL players. After his senior season, Garcia found himself undrafted and unsigned by the NFL and went to the Canadian Football League seeking employment.
In the CFL, Garcia was signed by the Calgary Stampeders and won a job as the third string quarterback backing up Doug Flutie and second string quarterback Steve Taylor. In 1995, Doug Flutie went down to an injury and Jeff Garcia was named the starting quarterback. In Garcia’s second game filling in for Flutie he threw for 546 yards and six touchdowns against Edmonton, setting a Calgary Stampeder record for passing yards in a game. Flutie left Calgary to sign with the Toronto Argonauts for the 1996 season and Garcia was named the team’s starter. The Stampeders’ record during Garcia’s three seasons as the starting quarterback was 35 wins with 19 losses. Garcia would lead the Stampeders to the postseason in all three of his years as the starting quarterback, winning the Grey Cup (championship of the Canadian Football League) in 1998, and earning the Grey Cup MVP in the process.
Garcia was signed by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers for the 1998 season to backup Steve Young. After Young received a concussion during the early part of the 1999 season, Garcia stepped in to finish out the year as the 49ers starting quarterback. In Garcia’s first full year as the 49ers starting quarterback (2000) he made the Pro Bowl and set the team record for most passing yards in a season (4,278 yards), though the 49ers would finish with a record of 6-10. Garcia would quarterback the team to the playoffs in the 2001 and 2002 seasons and once again make it to the Pro Bowl in both seasons. In a playoff game against the New York Giants following the 2002 season, Garcia led the 49ers to the largest comeback in NFL playoff history when they scored 25 unanswered points in the final 18 minutes of the game to win the game by a score of 39-38. The 2003 season saw Garcia hampered by back injuries and due to salary cap considerations he was not resigned following the season.
The 2004 and 2005 seasons saw Garcia put up decidedly sub-par seasons with the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions respectively. Garcia’s one season with the Browns had few highlights and was decidedly inconsistent. Following his year in Cleveland, Garcia’s one season in Detroit was spoiled with further injury complications. The 2006 season saw Garcia play with his fourth team in four years when he signed on to be Donovan McNabb’s backup in Philadelphia. Continuing a consistent theme in Garcia’s career, McNabb would soon go down with an injury and Garcia would step in and excel in his absence leading the Eagles to five wins in six games and making the playoffs. After beating the Giants in the playoffs and then losing to the Saints, the Eagles decided to offer a contract to quarterback A.J. Feeley instead of Garcia and he was left to find a fifth team in five years.
Jeff Garcia latched on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was given a shot to win the starting quarterback job, which he did. Through 11 games in the 2007 season Garcia has a QB Rating of 96.0 and has thrown for 11 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions.
Garcia has experienced success in the CFL including winning the MVP of the Championship Game, he’s experienced success in the NFL with numerous Pro Bowl appearances and team records, yet continues to be released from teams that could benefit from his services. Jeff Garcia, a fine quarterback who gets a lack of respect considering his accomplishments.