If there is a quarterback controversy in Oakland, then Jeff Garcia is unaware of it. He might think he’s still got what it takes to lead an NFL team through a 16 game season, but the reality could be a harsh awakening.
Garcia attempted to make a public plea for the starting job after his first OTA with the team. Then, Al Davis must have called Garcia into his office.
Now, the veteran quarterback is trying to say all the right things when he speaks of his young pupil, JaMarcus Russell.
He’s my teammate, first and foremost, so I’m going to support him, and try to push him as much as possible as far as being the best player he can be for this team.
Upon reporting to training camp in Napa yesterday, Garcia took a moment to do an interview with Jerry McDonald.
Hopefully, the gravity of the situation has finally sunk in for Garcia. He’s no longer the wiry playmaker throwing darts to Terrell Owens. Instead, he’s holding a clipboard and tutoring Russell.
I think moreso than anything, my whole thing is just leading through example, work ethic
Of course, none of this means Garcia’s dream of being a starter is over.
There’s not a single guy on this team, no matter what their role is, that is OK about not starting. We all want to be starters.
Just take this a Come to Favre moment for Garcia. He’s finally at the point where he needs to realize that the quarterback he is in his mind is not the quarterback his on the field any longer. The NFL is no country for old quarterbacks and at 39-years of age; Garcia’s 10-yard sideline throws won’t turn heads like Russell’s 60-yard bullets.
So, what exactly is Garcia’s job?
My job is to make certain decisions hard. JaMarcus’s job is to make the decision easy and to go out there and be the guy that this team has invested in to be, and that’s to be a leader, to be a player that is accountable and that everybody looks toward to basically carry the team on his shoulders and lead this team to victory.
If you read between the lines, you can hear the Brett Favre in Garcia’s tone. He’s happy to rest his old bones on the sideline during camp, but come the regular season, you can expect to see close-ups of Garcia’s mug for his reaction after every mistake Russell makes.
Just know that Garcia also realizes that he’s not Favre and no franchise is banking on him for a Super Bowl. One more visit with Mr. Davis could be the last moment of his NFL career.
As the New York Jets learned the hard way, you can’t win for losing when you’re betting the franchise on the arm of a myopic veteran quarterback with delusions of grandeur.
Subscribe to JBB
Follow JBB on Twitter