The Philadelphia Eagles And Jeff Garcia: 2010 Player-Coach?

Leo PizziniAnalyst IApril 15, 2010

The last NFL player-coach was Dan Reeves in 1971. He was a running back and an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2010, could Jeff Garcia be the next?

The Eagles offensive system and play-calling has come under heavy scrutiny as of late, despite putting up franchise scoring records under Marty Mornhinweg. The offensive criticisms have encircled an inconsistency that seems to be correlated to a disconnect between the play-calling and the flow of the game.

A player-coach like Garcia may be just what the Eagles need to bridge that disconnect.

And Garcia has the fortitude to stand his ground when he knows he is right.

Aside from potential coaching/mentoring value, Garcia could fill a spot on the depth chart. The Eagles lack depth at quarterback and Michael Vick is not really the ideal passer for the Eagles system. Vick is still very much on the trading block as well.

Garcia may be 40 years old and he may not have the vertical passing game anymore, but his attitude embodies what Eagles' fans are looking for in a player, mentor, and a coach. He has passion, fire, and a no-nonsense approach to football.

He is a leader on and off the field and he knows how to get things done.

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Garcia also has an intricate and accomplished knowledge in pass-first/west coast offenses. With both the 49ers and the Eagles, Garcia has led less than ideal talent into the playoffs.

He is a four time pro-bowler with three different teams, earning his most recent pro-bowl berth with Tampa Bay in 2007 at the age of 37.

In this Eagles' offensive system, Garcia has had success. It was 2006, the year of McNabb's sports hernia, when Garcia salvaged the season for Philadelphia. He helped the Eagles turn it around by playing smart football and winning five out of the last six games in his six starts—taking the Eagles into the playoffs.

Many critics had already written him off at that point.

At this point, he would make an excellent reserve whether Vick is traded or not.

Garcia is a fiery competitor that can't be counted out. He trumped his diminished arm strength with heads-up play and desire. He inspires other players to give their all and he could mentor Kolb. His constructive criticism and practical reassurances to Kolb could prove invaluable in adverse moments. 

In the big-picture, Garcia could be a candidate for quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and potentially a successor to Andy Reid. Garcia could be a player-coach for the Eagles in 2010, filling a spot on the depth chart and managing the quarterback situation in place of James Urban.

I have to believe that Garcia would be one of the best quarterback coaches in the league. He did sport the Eagles' head-set for two games in 2009.

And if Marty Mornhinweg can't generate more offensive consistency in 2010, the Eagles could find tremendous value from Garcia as his successor. He has the fundamentals and the intangibles to be a fantastic coordinator and coach.

Garcia could help this team in 2010 and over the long-term in either a coaching or playing capacity. It's is a "win-win" situation that the Eagles could jump-on and improve both the roster and the coaching staff.

It would be a great opportunity for Jeff Garcia as well. He has always shared a mutual affection with this town.

The rumors are that discussions have begun.