Jeff Garcia will be announced as a Nighthawk at a press conference on Thursday night (Photo by John Angelillo, UPI Photo).
Former Pro Bowl Quarterback Joins Ahman Green in Omaha
Omaha, Neb. (Thursday, August 19, 2010) – A backfield featuring four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia handing off to Ahman Green, a four-time Pro Bowler himself and all-time rushing leader for the Green Bay Packers, would be one that would certainly cause fits for defensive coordinators in the National Football League (NFL). Although this season, it will be a problem that defensive coordinators in the United Football League (UFL) will have to overcome, with the expansion Omaha Nighthawks formally announcing the addition of Garcia after signing Green in June.
“I am so ready and excited to be heading to the great city of Omaha to represent the Nighthawks of the United Football League,” Garcia stated. “I know that the state of Nebraska has a great passion for football, and I can already see that the people of Omaha have fully embraced the Nighthawks.”
The 40-year-old Garcia, whom most would agree still has the skill set to play in the NFL, feels he has enough left in the tank to continue strapping up for professional football. Additionally, a trip to the UFL may prove to be his ticket back into the NFL later this season, as UFL players are allowed to sign with NFL clubs once the season ends on Thanksgiving weekend.
“I still have the drive, commitment, and ability to play this game at the highest level, and one thing that I definitely share with the people of Omaha is a passion for the game,” Garcia continued. “I look forward to sharing these future experiences with the Nighthawks' great fans.”
Equally as pleased about the signing was Nighthawks head coach Jeff Jagodzinski.
“I am delighted to sign a clearly talented veteran quarterback who will bring experience and a winning mentality to our team,” he remarked. “Jeff is a one of the game’s true competitors and will have a positive impact on his teammates, and will be an exciting player for the Nighthawks fans to cheer at Rosenblatt Stadium.”
Overcoming adversity is nothing new for Garcia, who has made a career out of fighting his way into NFL huddles. After completing his college career at San Jose University, the California native inked a deal with the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Calgary Stampeders in 1994 after going unselected in the NFL Draft. In his second CFL season, Garcia moved to the top of the Calgary depth chart after an elbow injury sidelined starter Doug Flutie, who eventually reclaimed his job once he recovered from his setback. When Flutie signed with the Toronto Argonauts the following year, Garcia became the full-time starter. He led the Stampeders to the playoffs in each of the next three seasons, including his leading the team to the 1998 Grey Cup Championship in his final year in Calgary.
The following season, Garcia was signed to back up Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers. When injury essentially forced Young into retirement, Garcia took over the reins as the team’s starting quarterback. After each of his first three years as the starter, he was named to the Pro Bowl and threw for a franchise record 4,278 yards in 2000. After ensuing stops with the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, he landed as a backup to Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006. Garcia was once again inserted into the starting job when a knee injury cost McNabb the season, and he led the Eagles to a playoff victory. The next year, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and received the fourth Pro Bowl nod of his career after leading the Bucs to the postseason. Garcia remained with the team for a pair of seasons, and he last spent 2009 doing brief stints with the Oakland Raiders and again in Philadelphia.
A formal press conference by the Nighthawks regarding the signing of Garcia in Omaha is planned for tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Ballroom at Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. For more information on the team, visit www.OmahaNighthawks.com.