Jeff Garcia struggled through a 24-20 loss to New Orleans on Sunday that included a sprained ankle. Today, he went on a somewhat rambling rant to reporters after learning that coach Jon Gruden had decided to bench him for this week’s game against Atlanta. Making matters worse, he’s being replaced by Brian Freaking Griese.
Garcia, who wasn’t available for comment when the move was initially announced, claimed this afternoon that he’s fine and healthy enough to play when he spoke with local reporters at length. Great, great length.
“Right now, having only played one game, I would’ve liked the opportunity to battle through whatever I’m going through,” Garcia told reporters Thursday. “But Coach made that decision early in the week and I have to live with it.
“I understand in the game on Sunday, there were a couple plays I left out on the field. And I’m hard enough on myself to know that they could’ve been difference-makers in the game. I know I can turn that around, I can learn from whatever I didn’t do. And I think there’s been some things that unfortunately have piled up injury-wise that I don’t like to bring to anybody’s attention because I always feel I can fight through it, that I can always get through those things and not have them be a factor. Well, Coach feels like there’s some things that are factors, that are taken away from what I bring to the table. So right now, it’s his decision,” he said.
“I’ve played through a lot worse before and that’s not anything new,” Garcia said. “It’s just one thing after another and I know everybody will say, hey, well he’s old and he’s running out of gas and this is what happens to old guys … all I can do is focus on getting better and being supportive.”
Wow. That was Salisbury-esque right there, dude. However, lest you think Jeff might need to go on Vince Young watch, he says he’s totally not crazy (despite not being asked if he was):
“I feel like I’m emotionally stable. I’m not a basket case. I’m not somebody who’s going to take away what this team’s focus is … If that’s what he believes, if that’s what he feels, I need to do my best to get that back and prove to him that it’s there,” he said.
Garcia doesn’t sound like a guy who’s on board with the Bucs plan, especially considering the team was doing everything it could to bring in Brett Favre during the preseason. Gruden claims that Garcia is still his guy, just not this week, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS:
“Jeff right now is not himself,” Gruden said. “We’re going to give him a week off and try to get him ready to go. Brian Griese is a guy who’s had a good training camp. We’re going to give Brian the ball and rally around him. Hopefully Jeff can get back ready to roll soon.”
Sounds like Garcia needs a hug, preferably from some hot model. Wait, he’s married to her?
Good lord man, quit whining.