First I will start with the bad. I am certain Al Davis has made it clear to Garcia face to face and man to man that Jamarcus Russell is his quarterback. I am certain that Garcia has looked Al Davis in the eye and given him his assurance that he will do everything he can to mentor JaMarcus Russell.
Yes they are different types of QBs. Garcia is a West-Coast QB and yes I wonder how he is going to fit into the vertical passing game Cable prefers. However, there are things all QBs need to know and that si the true value of Garcia. By just following Garcia's lead Russell will benefit.
How Garcia prepares, it not just watching film but how you watch and breakdown film. Garcia can teach him how to use the coaches in the booth and how to use their information to make adjustments not between quarters but from series to series. Garcia has been a Professional QB for over 15 years. His experience and knowledge about the game is invaluable.
However, Al Davis has had meetings like this over the last 5 years with several individuals and come to find out that they were not entirely honest with him. From everything I have heard Garcia still fancies himself a staring NFL quarterback.
He is a favorite of the local scribes in the Bay Area, many who are looking for any excuse to toss Jamarcus Russell into the East Bay with a 100 pound anchor around his neck. If Garcia wants to undermine the kid using the local media it will not take much.
Mention that he blew off a lunch they had scheduled to discuss (does the topic really matter?), and immediately the Russell is "lazy and doesn't get it" articles will rain down from the scribbling class of the blogosphere and media outlets.
I am going to assume Garcia has no hidden agenda. He understands he is 39-years-old and his time NFL is no longer measured in years but days. I think he will appreciate the opportunity to help the Raiders and Russell become competitive for the next decade by mentoring Russell. It would endear him to a lot of Raider fans.
I am not naive, I simply believe that we all at some point in our lives feel the need to pass something on. Jeff Garcia is not going to lead the 2009 Oakland Raiders to the playoffs. Even as a short term solution it would not satisfy any of us except the folks who need Jamarcus Russell to fail. The way he can have a real impact on this franchise is to help Russell become a professional quarterback.
While to expect Garcia to play at a high level over a 16 game schedule is misguided, Garcia can still be a wonderful backup who can play at a high level without many reps and little practice, if Russell gets knocked out of a game. However, I will be interested with how this plays out during the preseason when Garcia puts up big numbers.