Where Will Jeff Garcia Wind Up Next?
With the release of journeyman quarterback Jeff Garcia, the Eagles seem to be indicating that they are confident that the combination of Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick can manage the team until Donovan McNabb returns.
In particular, the play of Kolb made Garcia expendable.
Kolb is 62-of-96 for 741 yards in two-and-a-half games this season. He is completing 65 percent of his passes and has a quarterback rating of 89 on the year. Against Kansas City, Kolb was 24-of-34 (a 70 percent completion percentage) for 327 yards and two touchdowns to go along with no sacks, interceptions, or fumbles.
It is that type of production, coupled with Vick's execution of the Wildcat, that made Garcia expendable.
The question is, where does Garcia go from here?
The market is not great for a 6'1", 205-pound, 39-year-old quarterback who has played almost exclusively in the West Coast system. One would have to imagine that if Garcia were to sign with anyone, it would be a team with a coaching connection to the Bill Walsh coaching tree that runs the West Coast offense.
The problem is, there aren't many of those coaches that are around and in need of a quarterback right now.
Of Bill Walsh's six assistant coaches that became NFL head coaches (Mike Holmgren, Jim Fassel, Paul Hackett, Sam Wyche, George Seifert, and Dennis Green), none are currently coaching in the NFL, and two (Fassel and Green) are coaching in the upstart UFL (more on that later).
If you look at the extended branches on the Walsh tree, most of those coaches are either out of the NFL right now (Jon Gruden, Mike Sherman, Steve Mariucci, Mike Shanahan, Brian Billick) or are coaching teams that are set at quarterback.
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles: Just cut Garcia, and he has McNabb, Kolb, and Vick.
Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings: He has some guy named Favre, I think?
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens: In Joe Flacco they trust, and Troy Smith is a decent backup.
Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans: Kerry Collins and Vince Young are locked in to their jobs...for now.
Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars: Riding the David Garrard train for as long as they can.
Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons: Some young kid named Matt Ryan? Garcia won't be relocating to Buckhead any time soon.
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben Roethlisberger is the man.
This really leaves only one of two options for Jeff Garcia. He could wind up playing in Carolina for John Fox, a distant Walsh disciple (Fox was an assistant to Fassel, who was an assistant to Walsh), who may need some new blood at QB if Jake Delhomme keeps throwing five INTs a game. That is the lone NFL option for Garcia, who may bring some poise to the Panthers' team.
The other option is going to the UFL, where I'm sure Fassel or Denny Green would love to have an experienced QB running their West Coast offenses, and I'm sure the fledgling league would like another known commodity.
I think Garcia is bound for the Las Vegas Locos (Fassel's team) or the California Redwoods (Green's team) if he does not sign with the Panthers.
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