Brian Griese vs. Jeff Garcia: Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Quarterback Controversy

Toby ValoraContributor IOctober 14, 2008

After Sunday's game in Raymond James Stadium against the division rival Carolina Panthers, you would have thought that Jeff Garcia has been the No. 1 quarterback for Tampa since Week One.

Hasn't he been?

After the Week One loss to New Orleans, Coach John Gruden decided it was in the best interest of the team to replace quarterback Jeff Garcia for Brian Griese.

Griese was originally with the Bucs from 2004-2007 and signed with the Chicago Bears when he was released. After that transaction, the Buccaneers soon acquired Garcia from Philadelphia.

Bucs fans were a little confused during the offseason this year when Tampa resigned Griese after cutting him the year before—especially since first-year Garcia led the Buccaneers that year to their first NFC South victory since the Super Bowl in 2002.

I believe that now is when Coach Gruden needs to make a quarterback decision.

It's not healthy for a young team not to know who is going to be under center come Sunday.  You need to have your quarterback working with the offense all week long, because this is how you build chemistry and timing.

Both of the featured candidates would be a suitable fit for the starting job, but which really has what it takes to bring Tampa Bay further into the season?

For the past few years under John Gruden, the Buccaneers have been the using the "West Coast" style offense.

I think that in today's NFL, it is no longer just about precision, passing, and accuracy for a quarterback. It has also became more about mobility, the ability to make the big throw when the game is on the line, and the ability to convert on 3rd-and-long.

I think Garcia is a stud for this position, but his inconsistency is what lags him behind in the depth chart.  We have all seen what he can do when he plays up to his potential.

They have announced that Garcia will be the starter this Sunday at home against another injury-infested team, Seattle.

If Garcia can rise up and take hold of his legacy in the NFL with the remaining time he has left in his career, I think he has the ability to become an elite quarterback and really take the Buccaneers places.

Along with their defense, of course.