Saturday, October 3, 2009
Garcia: Raiders in 'unfortunate situation'
ESPN.com news services
Free agent Jeff Garcia felt the need to get away from the Oakland Raiders.
After a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, it's more than apparent why.
"I have no problem going into a situation and helping a young guy out and really trying to help the team out overall more so than anything," Garcia said Friday during an appearance on Fox Sports Radio, referring to Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell. "I just feel like it's an unfortunate situation when the entire work ethic and the entire goal of the team is really put upon one guy's shoulder."
Garcia, 39, who was cut last month by the Eagles only weeks after his release from the Raiders, with whom he signed in April, said despite Russell's talent, he "really isn't maybe ready for that situation or ready to take on that sort of responsibility."
"When you put him on the field in a one-on-one workout session he'll make every throw for you," Garcia said during the radio show. "But when it comes down to making things happen in the heat of the battle and rallying the troops around you and making a case for the team, that's where maybe things aren't where they need to be."
With Russell slumping -- he has an NFL-worst 39.8 pass rating -- Garcia could've been an option for the Raiders to re-sign.
But his comments seemed to indicate he wasn't interested in that scenario -- in which case the Raiders likely would have to turn to Bruce Gradkowski, who sits at No. 2 on the Raiders' depth chart with Charlie Frye the third-stringer.
But Garcia said the scope of the Raiders' problems spans beyond the quarterback position.
"It was to a point where I felt like guys who walked through those doors that just were there to collect a check and not really interested in putting everything that they had within themselves on to the football field," he said. "And that was the frustrating thing for me to see.
"There were a lot of good young guys in that locker room who really want to do whatever it takes to win, but unfortunately it's not everybody," Garcia added. "In order to compete at this level in this game, everybody needs to be on board."
"Maybe it's because how things have been for a number of years now out there and they just don't see the hope," he said.
Garcia, who has started 116 games in 10 seasons, signed a one-year deal with the Raiders in April and said then that the idea of backing up anyone didn't sit well.
"There was some talk about how he would fit but the best way for me to approach it is the other two played so well and we are committed to JaMarcus as our starter," Raiders coach Tom Cable said shortly after Garcia's release. "Whether or not [Garcia] was comfortable in a role as a backup, it is what it is."
Garcia said Friday that he attempted to infuse a different outlook and a "fresh new start" into his Raiders teammates.
"To see the reality of the situation and realize what I may be up against staying here for the entire year, it hurt me, it broke my heart to do that to step up," Garcia said. "But I just felt like it was something I really didn't want to put myself through anymore."