Garcia and Offense Start Slow, Hoping Time Will Improve Squad

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While the first preseason game of the season is usually a good time to start laying the foundation for hopefully a successful season, the Bucs first team offense with new QB starter Jeff Garcia didn’t get off to the best of starts.  Despite that, coach Jon Gruden didn’t sound too concerned during the postgame about what lies ahead for the Tampa Bay offense.  “He is a heck of a quarterback, great competitor, and we are excited about Jeff Garcia,” Gruden said. “But realize we have a long way to go.”

The 37-year-old Garcia was just 1-for-4 for 4 yards.  He also ran the ball once for four yards after he rolled out to his left and couldn’t find any open recievers.  He played two series, and didn’t go out for a third after the Pats ran out first quarter clock and some of the second quarter clock.  “Obviously, we want to come out here and perform well,” Garcia said. “I think it’s just one of those things, preseason, we are here to iron some things out.”  They will for sure need to iron things out, as Garcia is coming into a system that he is somewhat use to, but also has a lot of different wrinkles.

Timing is always a big thing in Gruden’s offenses’ and it will be the job of the 37-year-old Garcia to get the different aspects of the offense down.  “I think we were just a little bit off on a couple of throws,” Garcia said. “I think when you come into a situation like this, it’s a new place for me, you’re excited, you want to do well. You are probably moving through reads and progressions a little faster than normal because you want to get the ball into your receivers’ hands and allow them to make some plays. It was just one of those things where the timing wasn’t right, and the location of the ball wasn’t where it needed to be.”

The team and Garcia is hoping that it’s just a matter of time before they all get on the same page.  The QB has been around enough to know that being on the same page comes with being together over time. “Those are things that will be ironed out, and we will get much better,” Garcia said. “There is only one way to go, and that’s in a positive direction.”  At least that is the direction the Bucs think they are heading in.


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