Jeff Garcia: Wikis


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This article is about the Football player. For the comedian/voice actor, see Jeff Garcia (voice actor).
Jeff Garcia

Jeff Garcia during the Eagles 2006 Training Camp.
No. --     Free Agent
Personal information
Date of birth: February 24, 1970 (1970-02-24) (age 39)
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
 As player:
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
TD-INT     161-83
Passing yards     25,537
QB Rating     87.5
Stats at

Jeffrey Jason "Jeff" Garcia (born February 24, 1970, in Gilroy, California) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Calgary Stampeders as an undrafted free agent in 1994. He played college football at San Jose State University.

A four-time CFL All-Star and four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, Garcia has also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.


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 eight quarterbacks in NFL history that 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, and Y.A. Tittle. He is also one of only twelve 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 Doug 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.

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.


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.


By the 2001 season, Garcia had become the face of the franchise for the 49ers. He had a career high with 32 touchdown passes, including 21 over an eight-game span. Under Garcia, the 49ers made their first playoff appearance in almost two years, but fell to Green Bay 25-15 in the first round.


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). [2] 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. Although the two made the Pro Bowl three times along with back-to-back playoff appearances, they had a rocky off-field relationship, with much of the blame being placed on Terrell Owens for the reason. This included Owens inferring in a Playboy interview that Garcia was a homosexual by saying, "If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat," alluding to Garcia's lisp and demeanor.

Following his 2004 trade to Philadelphia, Owens began speaking out and blaming Garcia for the 49ers' offensive struggles during the 2003 season (49ers finished 7-9, Garcia 18 TD passes, 13 Ints). Garcia was constantly trying to keep Owens happy while Owens complained of not getting the ball enough.

Garcia got pulled in both directions, which is why he took exception to Owens' assertion that all the 49ers' struggles could be traced to the quarterback.

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." [3]

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. [4]

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, record breaking 49er QB, and face of the franchise was released, a salary cap casualty, 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 complete 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.

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.

First stint with Eagles

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 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.[3]

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.[4] Although his more familiar number 5 was available, Garcia decided to keep the number 7 he wore with the Eagles.

At the start of the 2007 regular season, Garcia was the Bucs' starting quarterback[5] and had the third highest quarterback rating in the National Football League.[6] 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.[7]

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

Career statistics

CFL   Passing
Season Team Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT
1994 Calgary Stampeders 2 3 66.7 10 0 0
1995 Calgary Stampeders 230 364 63.3 3358 25 7
1996 Calgary Stampeders 315 537 58.7 4225 25 16
1997 Calgary Stampeders 354 566 62.5 4573 33 14
1998 Calgary Stampeders 348 554 62.8 4276 28 15
NFL Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rating Att Yds TD
1999 San Francisco 49ers 13 225 375 60.0 2544 11 11 77.9 45 231 2
2000 San Francisco 49ers 16 355 561 63.3 4278 31 10 97.6 72 414 4
2001 San Francisco 49ers 16 316 504 62.7 3538 32 12 94.8 72 254 5
2002 San Francisco 49ers 16 328 528 62.1 3344 21 10 85.6 73 353 3
2003 San Francisco 49ers 13 225 392 57.4 2704 18 13 80.1 56 319 7
2004 Cleveland Browns 11 144 252 57.1 1731 10 9 76.7 35 169 2
2005 Detroit Lions 6 102 173 59.0 937 3 6 65.1 17 51 1
2006 Philadelphia Eagles 8 116 188 61.7 1309 10 2 95.8 25 87 0
2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 209 327 63.9 2440 13 4 94.6 35 116 1
2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12 244 376 64.9 2712 12 6 90.2 35 148 1
2009 Philadelphia Eagles 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 3 -2 0
NFL Playoffs Passing Rushing
Season Team GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rating Att Yds TD
2001 San Francisco 49ers 1 22 32 68.8 233 1 1 87.1 2 3 0
2002 San Francisco 49ers 2 49 85 57.7 524 3 4 68.0 7 60 1
2006 Philadelphia Eagles 2 32 61 50.8 393 2 0 83.6 8 23 0
2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 23 39 59.0 207 1 2 60.5 1 2 0

Personal life

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.[10] 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.[11] His maternal grandfather, "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. 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.[12] Garcia, who is of Mexican and Irish heritage, has also done various charitable work in support of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.[13]

Garcia married Carmella DeCesare, the 2004 Playboy Playmate of the Year, on April 21, 2007, in San Martin, California. They have a daughter named Presley who was born on April 28, 2008.[14] The couple welcomed their second child, a son, in June 2009.[15]

Early in their relationship, DeCesare was arrested for assaulting Kristen Hine. During the trial, DeCesare testified that Garcia, her boyfriend and at that time the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, had been involved in an affair with Hine after DeCesare's and Garcia's relationship began.[16] Garcia commented on the situation by saying, "It’s embarrassing that I am here today, to be caught up in a situation like this."[17]


External links

Preceded by
Doug Flutie
Grey Cup MVP
Succeeded by
Danny McManus
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Steve Young
San Francisco 49ers Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Tim Rattay
Preceded by
Joey Harrington
Detroit Lions Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Jon Kitna
Preceded by
Donovan McNabb
Philadelphia Eagles Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Donovan McNabb
Preceded by
Tim Rattay
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Starting Quarterbacks
(With Brian Griese in 2008)
Succeeded by
Byron Leftwich

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