Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 8, 2009
Garcia on being a Raider

Checking in from NBA-land...

Below is a transcript from new Raiders quarterback Jeff Garcia's appearance on "Movin' The Chains" on SIRIUS NFL Radio on Tuesday.

On signing with the Oakland Raiders:

Jeff Garcia: "That was really a major decision. First of all, there weren't a whole lot of opportunities coming my way this off season but when the Raiders expressed interest and just the fact that it would keep my family and myself in California, bringing me back to the Bay Area where I grew up, it was pretty much a no brainer. It was one of those things where I was just excited to get back to the Bay and being closer to family, friends, all those comfort zones and being with the team I grew up watching, really enjoying that part of growing up and seeing the great players that came through Oakland, wanting to be a part of that history and hopefully make a difference in some way."

Host, Pat Kirwan: "Did you get the chance to just sit with Al Davis alone and talk about football?"

Garcia: "Well, I spoke with Al over the phone. I didn't come up to meet with them prior to really my commitment as of this week. I committed over the phone. It wasn't one of those wine and dine type of deals. I'd been here two years ago before I signed with Tampa [when] Oakland was somewhat in the picture and that's when I came up and personally met with Al and talked football with him and talked about some of the great history of the Raiders. Obviously, seeing that within himself and how's he's been such a major part of that especially in that past and wanting to get the team headed back in that direction, the right direction. It's difficult to say what has happened over the past few years but I just know personally from my own standpoint having grown up in the South Bay Area and watching the Oakland Raiders throughout my life and remembering some of the great years with the Ken Stablers, the Jim Plunketts, the great defenses, the characters that were a part of this team, the team has somewhat lost that and they need to find that and bring it back."

Host, Tim Ryan: "How are you going to handle mentoring JaMarcus Russell from the sidelines?"

Garcia: "Well, I think it's already being established right now. I'm up here in Oakland right now taking part in the quarterback school with Jamarcus and Bruce Gradkowski and we're working on just the fundamentals of playing the position, the leadership qualities that you have to have, the work ethic, getting in the weight room. I think JaMarcus, being able to see how myself and how Bruce work as far as what we do in the classroom, what we do in the weight room and what we do on the field, it's something positive for him to see. I don't think he's had those types of guys around him to help him push him or help him understand what it takes to be a true professional at this level. The guy is tremendously skilled, he's huge and we just want to get him into a position where he can be better on the field if he is physically better and mentally sharper. I think those are things he's starting to see right now with me being involved this week and hopefully it's just something where the relationship continues to build. And we're going to help him as much as possible by pushing him in a positive way. At the same time I'm going to do everything I can do to make sure that I'm prepared in case I do get that opportunity or in case something were to happen that I take advantage of that opportunity and make the most in trying to help this team win football games."

On head coach Tom Cable:

Jeff Garcia: "I think Tom is just a no nonsense guy. He's a straight shooter which I really appreciate about him. He's not going to BS anybody. He's going to tell you how it is. He's going to lay it out for you exactly how he wants to see it. I think that him being a former in-the-trenches type of guy he has a running mentally. We have great running backs here in Oakland. That's going to be the type of personality this team is going to carry. It's going to be a smash mouth type of personality and I think that's great for the quarterback position in the sense that it's something that we can build off of with the passing game. Being able to utilize those running backs and utilize their capabilities and their abilities is only going to enhance and help the QB's when it comes to throwing the football down the field."

Host, Tim Ryan: "How about the accountability of a lot of the young guys on the football team? Knowing you and how you work if guys aren't holding up their ends of the bargain, and guys aren't accountable, and the young guys aren't taking their playbooks home, and guys are running the wrong routes, you're not going to tolerate it are you?"

Jeff Garcia: "That's something that just can't be tolerated especially at this level. You know yourself, having played the game for so many years, what it takes to be successful. You have to take advantage of every opportunity whether that's studying at home or being at the facility early or staying late, whatever can give you that edge, and for everybody to understand that it's so important. That's the only way that you are able to win football games especially when it comes to bringing the young guys up to another level. I don't know everybody yet in the facility. It's one of those things where I feel my way out at first, get to know that players, get to know the personalities. And then at some point it's about stepping up the level of commitment and hopefully we can do that by demonstrating what's right and it doesn't need to be said. But if something has to be said then there's a way of approaching it that doesn't put off an individual but instead brings him on and that's the way that I feel like I've always looked at things and always have tried to approach things. I don't want to create any sort of separation. I want to create togetherness and that's what it takes in order to be successful on the field."

Note: Notice Garcia didn't mention Andrew Walter as one of the quarterbacks around? Perhaps this means Walter will get the trade he's sought since 2007.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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