Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Already, We Are Seeing The Value Of Jeff Garcia -- Whether He Plays Or Not

I am loathe to talk about the preseason when it comes to the NFL, because it is the football equivalent of corporate espionage -- don't reveal anything of significance to your competitors.

Still, one thing seems to be evident already: Joey Harrington is flourishing with the heat of an experienced backup quarterback present.

Through two pretend games, Joey is 14-15 for 145 yards and no interceptions. Of course, no touchdowns, either, but there you go. Regardless, he looks comfy and in command, spreading the ball around and apparently enjoying all the weapons at his disposal.

Jeff Garcia, for his part, has been shaky, but I discount that. As far as I'm concerned, he is contributing to the cause by simply being on the roster.

I truly believe it is no coincidence that Harrington has looked sharper than ever this early into things now that Jeff Garcia is around to keep him honest. I mean, how could it be? You have a guy who's been to the Pro Bowl behind you, you tend to mind your p's and q's a bit more than if you have, say, a certain youngster from Rutgers in camp -- not to name any names.

True, defenses are not revealing all they have to throw at you quite yet, but nor have the offenses, quite frankly (to use a Stephen A. Smith term). Running back Kevin Jones, for example, has been mostly shuttered down. Wouldn't it be terrific if Harrington's comfort zone only broadens as we get further and further into the season, when all the weapons are being utilized at full capacity?

A friend of mine recently emailed me and said he didn't think Lions president Matt Millen's failure to provide Harrington with a quality backup was as crucial of a mistake as I had wailed about on this very blog and in my weekly column. Well, without crowing too much -- because you can end up eating said crow -- I submit that we are seeing, before our very eyes, that Millen did indeed foul things up and stunt Joey's growth by waiting so long to bring a Garcia type to the Lions.

Jeff Garcia doesn't have to throw a single pass this entire season in order to improve the quarterback situation here. In fact, he has already made things better. It's called an "intangible."

Or is that too big a word to use this early into the football season?


Ian C. said...

Millen's big mistake with the QBs was thinking Ty Detmer could be the Garcia type.

But I think you're right: Garcia has already proven to be a good signing. It doesn't matter if he plays (and the Lions are in big trouble if he has to). All he needs to do is to keep peering over Joey's shoulder.

It's looking like the Brees-Rivers situation in San Diego all over again.

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dolphinfan said...

Also the Lions have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. They should be explosive this season. I drafted Harrington on my fantasy team, although he will be my back up to P. Manning.