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What was Jeff Garcia's early career with the 49ers like?

I forget what happened with Jeff Garcia when he came to the team. It felt like he was brought in as Steve Young's backup, Steve Young went down, and slowly but surely over the course of 2-3 seasons, he emerged as a high-level QB. It's been so long that I don't remember what it was like though.

Thoughts? I figured it'd be interesting to discuss since we have a young QB in Kaepernick who is likely to be our future if Alex Smith doesn't pan out. It'd be interesting to see how he develops in comparison to Garcia, Young, and Montana.
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shot callin' and big ballin'
Back to back 30+ TD seasons, our last 4000 yard passer, "worst" season was when he came in for Young...11 TDs, 11 INT, and a 78 rating.


And yes..I haz a sad now. Thanks.
Garcia was great. He was an ultimate competitor. The only thing was towards the end of his 49er stint, T.O. Called him a homo, and he was never the same. But Garcia was just 3inches short on a throw to T.O. in the playoffs one year and that cost us the game. He had great moments at Candlestick. But the one thing that stuck out in my mind was that throw in the playoffs, I think it was against the falcons when they went to the superbowl, he thru a deep ball to Owens that was like 3 inches underthrown. That's the closet he got to the Superbowl.
Originally posted by 80849er4life:
Garcia was great. He was an ultimate competitor. The only thing was towards the end of his 49er stint, T.O. Called him a homo, and he was never the same. But Garcia was just 3inches short on a throw to T.O. in the playoffs one year and that cost us the game. He had great moments at Candlestick. But the one thing that stuck out in my mind was that throw in the playoffs, I think it was against the falcons when they went to the superbowl, he thru a deep ball to Owens that was like 3 inches underthrown. That's the closet he got to the Superbowl.

Do you mean the Steve Young Niners when Garrison broke his ankle?
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Do you mean the Steve Young Niners when Garrison broke his ankle?

Yup that was Young. Garcia's two stints in the playoff ended at Lambeau and Tampa. And no one throw would have won either of those for us, unfortunately.
Of course, Garcia never gets a look in the NFL if he doesn't produce in the CFL. Doug Flutie vs Jeff Garcia in 1997
Go to :25 if you want to see Garcia go through a table ala Mick Foley
[ Edited by Canadian49er on Sep 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM ]
I remember him coming into games and wild-eyed doing what he could to move the ball. I remember once he was about to get sacked and he flung the ball over his shoulder down the field. I busted out laughing, but could tell he would be a baller. He was my favorite Niner at the time (next to Hearst)... even bought his jersey. He was bad at first, but you could see he would adjust and do well... and he did.
Originally posted by cortana49:
I remember him coming into games and wild-eyed doing what he could to move the ball. I remember once he was about to get sacked and he flung the ball over his shoulder down the field. I busted out laughing, but could tell he would be a baller. He was my favorite Niner at the time (next to Hearst)... even bought his jersey. He was bad at first, but you could see he would adjust and do well... and he did.

Basically this. He has a steep but quick learning curve. At first, he seemed over his head. It was kind of sink or swim. But he adjusted quickly, and as he found a way to make his skills match the NFL game, he played at a very high level.

Unfortunately, by that time we were so spoiled with HOF QBs, that we took it for granted and even looked down on it as he couldn't do what Joe or Steve could do. But he made the most of what he had and was a very solid QB.

If we had held on to him instead of blowing up the team (or even if we had to blow up part of it because of "salary cap hell", we would have been much more successful and probably way farther along with rebuilding the franchise to greatness. A good QB covers a lot of other weaknesses. Having the scrub parade at QB since then, combined with rebuilding so many other positions has really hurt us badly. I'm not saying we would have been a SB contender, but the rebuild would have gone much faster and better with a legit QB leading the way and/or teaching the next rookie/project how to succeed at the NFL level.

Instead we went with Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, etc.... and have sucked ever since.
i can sum up garcias career in 2 words.

ugly & effective
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When Young went down, Garcia came in and struggled. They finally sat him down because I think he was a little overwhelmed. But they put him back in towards the end of the season and he finished pretty strong. The next year in training camp I remember everyone saying he looked way more confident. From there on out he steadily improved. A lot of people continued to criticize him because he had "happy feet" and didn't have the pedigree of a high draft pick. But he was pretty solid from 2000 onward and eventually put up the stats to prove them wrong. Bill Walsh's last great QB find.
When Garcia first started with us, he was horrible - he looked way in over his head. Then he suddenly put it together, and by year number two, he was flirting with 100 QBR.
[ Edited by cwilson830 on Sep 1, 2011 at 6:47 PM ]
No one was sold on Garcia when Walsh brought him over from Canada. If we had a Niner board at the time, there would be a lot of WTF!? I heard Mariucci gave him time in practice but it wasn't good. He was on the smallish side who looked like he can't take a hit. His thrown ball was ugly short, medium, or long. I'm sure Walsh had to do some major selling to the coaching staff just to get Garcia on the football field. When he did get a chance on the football field he was OK at best, and actually stunk it up so badly, he was bench...I want to say 2 games? They end up putting him back in because Stenstrum or who ever it was at the time was even worse. But the lights went on for Garcia after the benching, and he end up very consistent, mobile, and very heady. His ball was still terrible looking, but they get there to the receivers. For those who didn't get to see him play, watch some of the old highlights. There was rarely any tight spirals, but you can here it quacking towards the tv screen into the receivers hands for a TD. He was at his best the last 2 minutes of the half or the end of the game. During those minutes, it was almost like playground football to him.

Walsh spoke highly of Garcia. Saying he won the Gray Cup of Canadian League football and had caught Walsh's eyes in one of the bowl game against Walsh's team. Like everyone else at the time, I just thought Walsh was so desperate for a qb and off his rocker.
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Sep 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM ]
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