It’s no real secret that wherever veteran QB Jeff Garcia goes, usually for some reason he finds his way onto the field as a starter at some point. Happened in Detroit, Philly and Tampa Bay. Now the question is – will it happen in Oakland?
More than likely that answer will be “yes.” The team has young QB JaMarcus Russell, but let’s face it, he hasn’t been able to answer the call in two seasons, last year as a starter. The Raiders have to turn it around, and fast, and Garica is the answer to getting the job done quicker.
Jim Trotter of SI.com recently wrote that both Russell’s work ethic and position coach (Paul Hackett) are two main reasons you’ll see Garica under center at some point early in the 09 season. Here’s a portion of what Trotter had to say:
He struggled for most of his first 1½ seasons but finally showed flashes of promise last December, when he threw two touchdown passes in each of his final three games after tossing only five in his previous 11 games combined. He also completed more than 50 percent of his passes in those games after finishing beneath that mark in six of his previous 11 outings.
But instead of building on that, the Raiders brought in a new quarterbacks coach (Paul Hackett), a new passing game coordinator (Ted Tollner) and hired wideout and tight end coaches who’ve never been lead position coaches in the NFL. Also, instead of adding an experienced receiver who could be a security blanket for Russell, they plan to rely on rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was taken with the seventh pick in this year’s draft.
“Also those things have set him back a year,” said one of Russell’s former coaches.
So while many think that Russell is the QB of the future for the Raiders, the outlook now is that he won’t even be the starter in the 09 season.