Davis called Garcia 'skittish'
Garcia took exception on Wednesday to a comment Butch Davis made two days earlier when he described Garcia as being "skittish" during a 34-23 loss against Pittsburgh last weekend.
"I don't have a reaction to that," Garcia said when asked how he felt about Davis' characterization. "Until he plays the quarterback position, then he can understand where I am coming from."
Ouch. The Bush-Kerry presidential debate may not deliver a juicier line.
Based on his salty delivery, Garcia meant to say "can't understand." But it's not the first mixed message coming out of team headquarters as the Browns (2-3) try to salvage a season that's showing signs of slipping away.
Cleveland's offense enters this week's game against Cincinnati ranked 30th in the NFL. Theories abound to what's at the heart of the Browns' inefficiency. Is it the lack of a running game? Is it Garcia, who can't seem to stand still in the pocket? Is it the offensive line? Do the Browns have enough playmakers?
Garcia offered his take Wednesday, saying the Browns are simply missing too many chances at big plays.
While watching game film, Garcia finally sees the open receivers he's not seeing downfield on Sundays. He's seeing receivers not coming back to the ball when he scrambles, and watching potential touchdowns turn into field goals.
"That is what is disappointing," said Garcia, in his first season with Cleveland after signing as a free agent. "Because it's not like we are a bad team or a terrible offense. The plays are there to be made. We're not making them, and that's me included."
On Monday, Davis said Garcia, who has been sacked 13 times this season and was running from Pittsburgh's blitz on virtually every snap, needed to trust his protection.
"The quarterback has to have confidence that the last time he got hit was an aberration," Davis said. "He can't be skittish. He has to sit in the pocket and make throws."
Following Wednesday's practice, Davis was told that Garcia didn't seem happy about the "skittish" comment.
"He probably shouldn't have been," Davis said. "That's one of those things where the media takes one word out of 12 paragraphs and paraphrases it when it is taken out of context. Jeff and I talked about it and laughed about it.
"I will still say that when a quarterback gets hit, when he thinks that he has protection and the protection doesn't hold up, you will get skittish. That is no reflection on him."
Garcia acknowledged there have been times when he has left the pocket too early, and said that he is still "in a learning mode" with the Browns.
He's still adjusting to his new team. Slowly.
"I'm not saying that I had better protection in San Francisco, but I knew exactly where to go with the football pretty much 95 to 99 percent of the time," he said. "I knew how to get the ball out of my hands quickly and make things happen."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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