Jeff Garcia with the Raiders last preseason.
Jeff Garcia has repeatedly proven himself to be a winning quarterback in the NFL. The problem is that he is old and short. I understand that size matters in the NFL and I’m not questioning that theory: a taller, faster, and stronger player has a better opportunity to make more plays. True. But so does a better player—and sometimes the better player is smaller and older. So, after this week’s many debacles at the quarterback position, I take a look at the teams that should be fighting their way to Omaha to get Jeff Garcia on their team.
Most people would agree that an over-40 quarterback that barely registers at six-feet tall is not a very good long-term plan, but this is the NFL, or Not For Long, and long-term plans always need insurance, and I can’t think of a better insurance policy than a proven winner. In his last three seasons in the NFL (in which he played) he had a quarterback rating of over 90, and two of the three years, he led his team into the playoffs. Not bad for a journeyman residing in the UFL.
Derek Anderson struggling, again.
Ken Whisenhunt had a great run with Kurt Warner and now he’s left with, well, one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in the league (Derek Anderson) and an inexperienced, un-drafted, rookie free-agent (Max Hall). I know Whisenhunt was frustrated with Matt Leinart’s ability to throw the ball down field, but just because Anderson can throw the ball deep, doesn’t mean he can hit a receiver. With a team that has won the division the last two years, and is only one year out from the Super Bowl, the team still has a very good chance in the weak NFC West, the only problem is, they need a winner and a leader behind the center...not a tall guy with a strong arm and a history of bad passes and bad decisions.
Jake Delhomme...did somebody actually think this was going to work? It’s funny, I laughed, but I didn’t think Mike Holmgren or Eric Mangini to be the comedian types. After a very Delhomme-like start to the season, Seneca Wallace stepped in and led the team to, well, another defeat. Cleveland had big hopes for the new regime, and although Mike Holmgren can’t change one of the worst franchises in just one year, he can make improvements.
One improvement he needs to make is giving the team an NFL quarterback. Delhomme is funny, I admit, really funny, but let’s be serious. Is Seneca Wallace the answer? I don’t think so. Maybe Colt McCoy is the answer. I like the kid, and despite his lack of size I think he can do good things. Problem is, Holmgren said he is not playing this year—and I like that decision. So, give the kid something to strive for while he is watching from the bench, like winning games. Garcia is just up the road in Omaha, send a car, give your team a chance, and enough with the jokes. I don’t think Cleveland sports fans want to laugh right now.
The kid ain't ready yet.
It’s no secret that this could be John Fox’s last year in Carolina, let’s be honest, that’s probably why they drafted Jimmy Clausen—so that Fox could show the higher-ups that they are improving. Problem is, Clausen may not be the guy just yet, and with Matt Moore already giving up his starting job, it’s time for John Fox to make a last ditch effort to save his. Playoffs or bust, and Garcia may be the only leader out there who is capable of taking the Panthers to the postseason.
Can Young rebound from a terrible week 2?
Tennessee looked good against the Raiders, and bad against the Steelers. Last year the Titans started off 0-6, but once they got Kerry Collins out, and Vince Young in, that all turned around. Problem is, this year Young is in, and Collins is on the bench. Young played well in the first game, but terrible in the second, and Collins didn't fare much better. The Titans have a strong defense and need a guy to make plays on offense while remaining error-free. Vince Young may rebound just fine after the loss to Pittsburgh, but if not, Garcia could be a defibrillator to save the season.
He looked good in New England, but not so much in KC.
This would be a very smart move. I know the Chiefs have their quarterback of the future in Matt Cassel, but he has looked more like a fill-in than a long-term answer. They have one win because of the combination of the weather and their home crowd, and another because they played the Browns. They are atop the AFC West for the moment, and I’m sure that has Chiefs fans expecting great things this year. But their offense has stunk, and the passing game is one of the worst in the league. Why not call up Garcia and have him sit on the bench for a few weeks and be ready for the meltdown that is sure to come? Then, he can get off the bench and re-energize both the team and the fan base into thinking they can actually win games.
Actually, that would be mean, never mind.
Yes, you Jeff, you should stayed a Raider.
In the NFL, coaches and GMs are always worried about the future; everybody wants to groom a quarterback with all the right tools (Ryan, Stafford, Bradford) or get lucky and find a top-quality talent in a trade or via free-agency (McNabb, Favre, Cutler). So, when the opportunity arises, I recommend that each and every coach and GM do what they can to secure a quarterback for the future. But sometimes, the future is too far away, and you need to look at your team in its current state. If the coaches and GMs from the teams above take an honest look at where they stand today, and for this year only, they should know the obvious answer is in Omaha. For those that don’t look to fix their quarterback situation, they’ll have a great chance to do so when their team is picking early in next year’s draft. Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, or Andrew Luck, anybody?