In 2006, when Jeff Garcia was signed by the Eagles, the decision was not liked. Everyone thought – why sign up a 36-year-old quarterback with an efficiency rating that kept on declining with every game in the past five seasons? In the history of the NFL, no other quarterback with a minimum of 150 attempts had such a 5-season streak of efficiency rating going down. Certainly, the concern was valid. However, I – Ray Mirra Jr, agreed with the decision of Andy Reid to sign Jeff for the Eagles.
Jeff Garcia was signed as a backup for Donovan McNabb and was not asked to hold on to any load. Also, in case something happened to McNabb, Jeff had enough experience being in the West Coast Offense to keep running the show.
Jeff Garcia As A Quarterback
Garcia was not the same quarterback who visited Pro Bowls twice as a San Francisco 49-er, and he did not even have to be. In the Brian Westbrook, the Eagles came up with an active attacking weapon and had a solid defense. The previous star Villanova still led the team in rushing 1,217 yards and 11 touchdowns. So yes, Garcia was not on his own when it came to winning the game.
“Balance is essential. By utilizing Brian the way we used to before, there is a chance of benefiting our passing game. Also, being a guy who can do anything and anything to win a football game, I would hand over the game to him forty times over to be effective.” – Jeff Garcia
As a sportswriter and producer at NFL, I believed in what Garcia said because of a conversation I previously had with Bill Walsh. He was the coach of the previous 49-ers and knew a lot about quarterbacking than any other person in the football world. During the conversation, he spent almost an hour praising Garcia. He named him a Blue-Collar Joe Montana – which I believe is a HUGE compliment.
In Conversation With Bill Walsh About Garcia
While conversing, Walsh mentioned a few games of 1993 in which Garcia, who was a San Jose State back then, passed 380 yards while playing against Stanford. Even though Garcia’s team had outclassed, he kept them involved in the game till the end. When the game ended, Walsh ran across the field and shook hands with Garcia; to tell him how excellently he played.
After that play, Walsh also tried influencing the officials to call Garcia for participating in the East-West Shrine Game, where he was to be the MVP. Unfortunately, no NFL team voted for Garcia, and Walsh was shocked about it. He was written off by them because of his 6-1 arm size.
Even though Garcia signed with the Canadian League, Walsh vowed that if he was to return to NFL in the future, the first thing he would do was sign Garcia. Well, he did just that in 1999 when he joined as the head of the 49-ers.
Jeff Garcia As The Eagles Saviour
In 2006, when Jeff was looking for employment, Reid signed him and what he did was saving the Eagles’ season. In Week 10, McNabb went down with a torn ligament – the time when Garcia replaced him. Even though in the start, Garcia lost to Indianapolis at 45-21, he placed the Eagles in the playoffs with five consecutive wins.
During his first six starts, Jeff Garcia completed 116 of 188 passes for 1,309 yards. Energetically, he threw only two interceptions and 10-touchdown passes, which increased his quarterback efficiency rating to 95.8 – higher than 95.5 of McNabb.
Later on, in the NFC wild cards, Jeff threw a 28-yard touchdown pass towards Donte Stallworth as the Eagles defense and defeated the Giants at the Lincoln Financial Field. Overall, he completed 17 out of 31 attempts with 154 yards and no interceptions – which was an achievement everyone remembers to date.
About The Author
Ray Mirra Jr has won several awards being a recognized writer and producer since he was welcomed in the Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Ray Mirra Personality is also a famous one in Philadelphia because he has been a five-time Sportswriter of the Year. As an analyst and writer at NBC Sports Philadelphia, he also provides the Eagles fans a historic perception of football. To read Ray Mirra Biography and read his writings on the football champions, visit www.raymirra.online.