Jeff Garcia

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Jeff Garcia
No. --     Free Agent
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1970-02-24) February 24, 1970 (age 42)
Place of birth: Gilroy, California
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College: San Jose State
Undrafted in 1994
Debuted in 1994 for the Calgary Stampeders
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
TD-INT161-83
Passing yards25,537
QB Rating87.5
Stats at NFL.com
Career UFL statistics as of 2010
TD-INT10-11
Passing yards1,321
QB Rating61.9
 
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Jeff Garcia
No. --     Free Agent
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1970-02-24) February 24, 1970 (age 42)
Place of birth: Gilroy, California
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College: San Jose State
Undrafted in 1994
Debuted in 1994 for the Calgary Stampeders
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
TD-INT161-83
Passing yards25,537
QB Rating87.5
Stats at NFL.com
Career UFL statistics as of 2010
TD-INT10-11
Passing yards1,321
QB Rating61.9

Jeffrey Jason "Jeff" Garcia (born February 24, 1970) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He played college football at San Jose State University.

A four-time CFL All-Star and four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, Garcia began his professional football career with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) as an undrafted free agent in 1994. In 1999, Garcia debuted with the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers. Since 2003, he has also played for the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland Raiders. In 2010, Garcia played for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. He was recently named to the advisory board for the new United States Football League, which is set to start play in the spring of 2013.

Contents

Early years

Garcia attended Gilroy High School in Gilroy, California and was a letterman in football and basketball.

Professional career

Garcia is one of only nine quarterbacks in NFL history who have achieved two consecutive thirty-touchdown passing seasons (2000 and 2001) at least one time in their career. The others are Steve Bartkowski, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Tom Brady and Y.A. Tittle. He is also one of only thirteen quarterbacks to throw a 99 yard touchdown pass.

Calgary Stampeders

Garcia was a standout quarterback while attending Gavilan College and San Jose State University. He started his professional career in Calgary with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. He won a place on Calgary's roster as their third string quarterback behind Doug Flutie and Steve Taylor when he threw two fourth quarter touchdowns in his exhibition game appearance in 1994. Soon he was named backup to Flutie. Garcia took over as starter in 1995 when Flutie was sidelined midway through the season with an elbow injury. In his second start filling in for Flutie, Garcia set a team record with 546 passing yards and six touchdown passes in the Labour Day game against Edmonton touching off an eventual quarterback controversy among some fans when Flutie later returned. Flutie ended up starting over Garcia in the Grey Cup that year which the Stampeders lost. After Flutie signed as a free-agent with the Toronto Argonauts in 1996, Garcia took over as the Stampeders' starting quarterback. During Garcia's three years as starter, the Stampeders finished with records of 13-5, 10-8, and 12-6.[1]

In 1997, Garcia won the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy, an award given to the Most Outstanding Player in the CFL Western Division. Garcia led the Stampeders to the Western Final in 1996 and to the Western Semi-Final in 1997. In 1998, he led the team to a Grey Cup victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was named Grey Cup MVP. Garcia's performance included an 80-yard, game-ending drive to set up the game winning field goal on the last play of the game.[2] Garcia was also named as the 1998 CFL All-Star at quarterback.

Garcia was inducted to the Stampeders Wall of Fame on September 14, 2012 along with 5 others (Rudy Linterman, Gerry Shaw, Kelvin Anderson, Sig Gutsche, Normie Kwong).[3]

San Francisco 49ers

Following the Grey Cup victory, Garcia was signed as a backup to Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. Over the summer, he had been fighting for a spot on the roster, but early in the 1999 season, Steve Young was hit by Arizona Cardinals CB Aeneas Williams and suffered his final professional concussion, knocking him out for the year. Garcia stepped in and shared time with former Stanford quarterback Steve Stenstrom finishing the season.

Garcia won his first NFL start against the Tennessee Titans 24-22. After being benched for poor performances, Garcia was reinstated as the starting QB and in the final 5 games of the regular season, finished by tossing 8 TD passes to only 2 interceptions. Garcia finished his rookie season with 11 TDs and 11 INTs.

2000

The following season, with Young retired, and despite the 49ers drafting two quarterbacks (Giovanni Carmazzi in the third round and Tim Rattay in the seventh), Garcia kept the starting quarterback position and made his first Pro Bowl appearance. He set a new 49ers' team record with 4,278 passing yards in the 2000 season, although the team finished with a 6-10 record. Garcia finished the 2000 season, his first as a full time starter with 31 TD passes to only 10 INTs. Garcia began the season on a tear, after 7 games, he had thrown for 19 TD passes, including 3 games of 4 TD passes.

2001

By the 2001 season, Garcia had become entrenched as the 49ers' starting quarterback. He had a career high with 32 touchdown passes, including 21 over an eight-game span. With Garcia at quarterback, the 49ers made their first playoff appearance in almost two years, but fell to Green Bay 25-15 in the first round.

2002

2002 saw Garcia's offensive production drop from 31 and 32 TDs in the previous 2 seasons, to only 21. But even though Garcia's numbers dropped, the 49ers won the NFC West for the first time since 1997, with the Division clinching game coming on a last second TD pass to Terrell Owens against the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers trailed the Cowboys 27-17 with under 7 minutes left in the game before Garcia picked apart the Cowboy secondary for 2 TD passes (1 to Tai Streets and the game winner to Terrell Owens). [1] Garcia completed 36 of 55 passes for 276 and 3 4th quarter TD passes in leading to the Division clinching win.

On January 5, 2003, during the 2002-2003 playoffs, Garcia led the 49ers to a comeback win over the New York Giants, the second largest comeback victory in NFL playoff history. In the third quarter, the Giants were up 38-14, with about eighteen minutes left to play. Once the 49ers regained possession of the ball, they began a comeback that saw 25 unanswered points, with San Francisco taking a 39-38 lead. The Giants lost an opportunity to retake the lead after a controversial call, and the improbable victory became the signature game of Garcia's 49er career. He threw for 331 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and also ran for 60 yards and 1 touchdown.

Garcia-Owens: 49er Duo

Garcia's favorite target while with the 49ers was WR Terrell Owens. In 2003, Garcia and Owens's relationship turned sour upon Garcia taking issue with Owens's public praise for the play of backup quarterback Tim Rattay. Garcia responded with a cryptic "we can not let the sickness spread" remark, prompting Owens to wear a surgeon's mask at the following practice. Following Owens's trade to Philadelphia, Owens was asked if he thought Garcia was gay, responding by implying that he thought he was in a Playboy interview by saying, "If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat."

Following his 2004 trade to Philadelphia, Owens began speaking out and criticizing Garcia for the 49ers' offensive struggles during the 2003 season (49ers finished 7-9, Garcia 18 TD passes, 13 INTs).

Garcia revealed on multiple occasions that the pressure of following in the footsteps of Joe Montana and Steve Young had gotten to him.

Upon his departure, Garcia said, "Have somebody step into my shoes and feel what I had to deal with throughout that whole time in San Francisco. The dust would start to settle, and all of a sudden, more fuel was thrown into the fire. It was such a negative situation." [2]

In Owens' first season with Jeff Garcia as his quarterback, Owens caught 60 passes and went on to have campaigns of 97, 93, 100 and 80 receptions over the next four seasons, two times leading the league in TD catches. [3]

2003: Final season with 49ers

The 2003 season was a disappointment for Garcia and the 49ers. Following their 2002 playoff thumping at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 49ers fired Head Coach Steve Mariucci and replaced him with former Seahawks Coach, Dennis Erickson, who promised a wide open and vertical passing game.

Injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, and the often reckless play of Jeff Garcia took a toll on him, as he was forced to miss 3 games during the season. The 49ers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the 1st time in 2 seasons.

Following the disappointing 2003 season, Garcia, the three-time Pro Bowler, was released, along with several other key 49er players including RB Garrison Hearst and WR Terrell Owens.

Garcia had thirty-one and thirty-two passing touchdowns in the 2000 and 2001 seasons (respectively), more than any other quarterback over those two seasons, and was the 1st 49er QB in history to have back-to-back a 30 TD pass campaign. Garcia went to the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons from 2000 to 2002.

Cleveland Browns

Garcia signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns on March 9, 2004. Garcia was released by the Browns after the 2004 season, in which he struggled to find any consistency and battled with injuries. On Sept. 19, 2004, Garcia completed 8 of 27 passes for only 71 yards and 3 interceptions in a 19-12 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, resulting in a career-low passer rating of 0. Despite his struggles, Garcia was able to tie the record for longest career pass play (99 yards) on a completion to André Davis on October 17, 2004, in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Detroit Lions

He was signed by the Detroit Lions to a one-year contract on March 12, 2005, to play for his former San Francisco head coach, Steve Mariucci, but Garcia broke his fibula in the fourth pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills on September 2, 2005. He started his first regular season game as quarterback for the Lions on October 23, 2005 against his former teammates, the Browns. Garcia led the Lions to a 13-10 victory completing 22 of his 34 pass attempts for 210 yards, with one touchdown and zero interceptions.

After the win, Mariucci named Garcia the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, over Joey Harrington, the longtime Detroit starter. Garcia struggled later in the season and Harrington returned as the starter. Following the season, the Lions did not offer Garcia a new contract. While with the Lions Jeff Garcia threw one of the highest passes in NFL history. He literally dropped back and launched the ball almost vertically in the air in a late game attempt to make a comeback. The pass had so much hang time that the cornerback mistimed his jump and dropped the interception.

First stint with Eagles

Jeff Garcia gets set to take a snap against the Redskins on December 10, 2006.

On March 15, 2006, after consecutive frustrating seasons for the Browns and Lions, Garcia signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to serve as the primary backup to Donovan McNabb in the 2006. Because McNabb was already wearing number 5, Garcia would end up having his jersey number changed to 7, previously worn in Philadelphia by former quarterback Ron Jaworski.

Following McNabb's season-ending knee injury in a game against the Tennessee Titans on November 19, 2006, Garcia entered the game. Coach Andy Reid named Garcia as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season over fellow backup A.J. Feeley, despite Feeley's popularity in Philadelphia.

After a loss against the Colts on Sunday Night Football, many sportscasters (namely Jimmy Johnson) predicted the Eagles to be out of contention for the rest of the season. However, Garcia led the Eagles to five consecutive victories and the NFC East division championship. The rejuvenated quarterback threw ten touchdowns and only two interceptions, while posting a QB rating of 95.8 in eight total games played. He also made the front cover of Sports Illustrated following his five-game winning streak. On January 7, 2007, Garcia earned only his second ever playoff win, throwing for 153 yards and one touchdown in a 23-20 victory over the Giants. On January 13, 2007, Garcia and the Eagles lost to the New Orleans Saints by a score of 27-24. He threw for 240 yards and a touchdown - a 75-yard touchdown pass to Donte Stallworth - the longest in Eagles' postseason history.

Though he stated that he would love to re-sign with Philadelphia, the Eagles decided not to offer Garcia a new contract after the season. The Eagles opted to instead sign the younger A.J. Feeley to a three-year deal.[4]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After his run with the Eagles, Garcia signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 3, 2007, to compete for their starting position.[5] Although his more familiar number 5 was available, Garcia decided to keep the number 7 he wore with the Eagles.

For most of the 2007 regular season, Garcia was the Bucs' starting quarterback. He also brought the Bucs to the playoffs. The Buccaneers lost to the eventual Super Bowl winning Giants 24-14 in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs on January 6, 2008, with Garcia throwing for 207 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. On January 24, 2008, it was announced that Garcia would be replacing Brett Favre in the Pro Bowl, making it his first Pro Bowl since 2002. Garcia suggested in 2008 that he might stage a holdout of the Buccaneers if they didn't meet his contract extension demands. He was in the final year of the two-year contract. He was expected to make $2.75 million that season, including a $750,000 roster bonus.[6]

Garcia in the shotgun formation in Tampa Bay

Jeff Garcia stayed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and started in the 2008 opening game against the New Orleans Saints. After a poor performance, he was demoted to third-string on the depth chart and placed on the inactive roster. However, following an injury to quarterback Brian Griese in the fourth week of the season, Jeff Garcia started in his place. During a victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Garcia surpassed 40,000 yards for his career when combining his statistics from both the CFL and NFL, becoming the twentieth player to accomplish the feat.

Oakland Raiders

Garcia signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on April 6, 2009.[7] As he did in Tampa Bay, Bruce Gradkowski changed his number to 5 to allow Garcia to wear number 7. He was expected to back up JaMarcus Russell in the 2009 season, but was released during final cuts on September 5, 2009.

Second Stint with Eagles

After Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb suffered a fractured rib in Week One, the Eagles signed Garcia to a one-year contract on September 14, 2009.[8] He was released on September 29, following Michael Vick's return from suspension. During this short stint with the Eagles, he wore jersey number 9.

Omaha Nighthawks

Garcia was one of the signature players of the United Football League and his former team, the Omaha Nighthawks. He won two offensive player of the week awards during the 2010 season having produced a game-winning drive in two separate games.[9]

Houston Texans

On December 6, 2011, Garcia signed with the Houston Texans, following an injury to starting quarterback Matt Schaub.[10] Jake Delhomme was also signed by Houston, as both he and Garcia would backup T.J. Yates.

Career statistics

CFL Passing
SeasonTeamCompAttPctYdsTDINT
1994Calgary Stampeders2366.71000
1995Calgary Stampeders23036463.33358257
1996Calgary Stampeders31553758.742252516
1997Calgary Stampeders35456662.545733314
1998Calgary Stampeders34855462.842762815
NFLPassing Rushing
SeasonTeamGPCompAttPctYdsTDINTRatingAttYdsTD
1999San Francisco 49ers1322537560.02544111177.9452312
2000San Francisco 49ers1635556163.34278311097.6724144
2001San Francisco 49ers1631650462.73538321294.8722545
2002San Francisco 49ers1632852862.13344211085.6733533
2003San Francisco 49ers1322539257.42704181380.1563197
2004Cleveland Browns1114425257.1173110976.7351692
2005Detroit Lions610217359.09373665.117511
2006Philadelphia Eagles811618861.7130910295.825870
2007Tampa Bay Buccaneers1320932763.9244013494.6351161
2008Tampa Bay Buccaneers1224437664.9271212690.2351481
2009Philadelphia Eagles10000000.03-20
NFL PlayoffsPassingRushing
SeasonTeamGPCompAttPctYdsTDINTRatingAttYdsTD
2001San Francisco 49ers1223268.82331187.1230
2002San Francisco 49ers2498557.75243468.07601
2006Philadelphia Eagles2326150.83932083.68230
2007Tampa Bay Buccaneers1233959.02071260.5120
UFLPassingRushing
SeasonTeamGPCompAttPctYdsTDINTRatingAttYdsTD
2010Omaha Nighthawks813225551.8132191160.59
CFL/NFL/UFLPassingRushing
SeasonTeamGPCompAttPctYdsTDINTRatingAttYdsTD
1994–1998CFL1249202461.7164421115294.9
1999–2009NFL1312264367661.6255371618387.5
2010UFL813225551.81321911
1994-2010COMBINED3645595561.24330028114689.04

Personal life

The tribute to Garcia at San Jose State University's football center.

Garcia is the third of seven children born to Bob and Linda (née Elder) Garcia. His father is a former athletic director and football coach at Gavilan College in his hometown of Gilroy, California.[11] A pair of twin girls died before Garcia's birth. His younger brother Jason drowned on a family camping trip in 1977 when Garcia was seven, and fourteen months later his younger sister Kimberly died after falling out of a truck. His two surviving sisters, Jene and Melissa, were born after the deaths of Jason and Kimberly. Garcia has said that much of his drive stems from trying to make his parents happy after the deaths of his siblings.[12] His maternal grandfather, Maurice "Red" Elder, was a football star at Kansas State University in the 1940s; both played in the East-West Shrine Game while in college, the only grandfather/grandson duo to do so.[13] Elder was a longtime coach at Gilroy High School. Garcia donated money to refurbish the athletic field at the school, and the field was renamed Garcia-Elder Field to honor both of them.[14] Garcia, who is of Mexican and Irish heritage, has also done various charitable work in support of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.[15]

Garcia married Carmella DeCesare, the 2004 Playboy Playmate of the Year, on April 21, 2007, in San Martin, California. As of June 2012 they reside in Rancho Santa Fe, California with their two daughters, Presley and Faith, and two sons, Jason and Jax.[16]

References

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Doug Flutie
Grey Cup MVP
1998
Succeeded by
Danny McManus