Time for Bucs to mend fences with Garcia

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did all they could to stamp out speculation about their interest in Brett Favre, except they waited until after Favre was traded to do so. That miscalculation could cost them with their own starter, Jeff Garcia, if the Bucs don't heal those wounds now.

Reading a Bruce Allen press conference is like reading Sanskrit — almost impossible.

The only thing I could glean from his words Thursday were that the Bucs really never got to the "interest" level when it came to Brett Favre, who was traded on Wednesday night to the New York Jets.

So, half of the well-respected NFL media corps was wrong when they said the Bucs had offered a third-round pick and a player for Favre? Not bloody likely.

It's more apropos to believe that Allen was in damage control mode. He knows as well as anyone the damage the speculation of the past two weeks has wrought on his starter, Jeff Garcia.

Why else would Garcia tell the Tampa media he was a "dead man walking" on Wednesday as he left the practice field? Joking or not, that's probably what he felt like.

Yes, Garcia heard everything, I'm sure, including his franchise's silence every time a reporter asked Jon Gruden if Garcia was his guy.

Allen said Garcia's teammates respected him and supported him. I don't doubt that. Garcia's a great teammate and led them to a division title.

But Allen and Gruden? I have to wonder.

They could have ended all of this days ago by telling the media that the Bucs were fine with their FIVE quarterbacks, including their own 38-year-old starter. But they never quite did that, not outright anyway. A reporter told me that when he asked Gruden that very question last week, Gruden's reaction was "that wouldn't be fair to Brett Favre."

Huh!? And when Allen was asked why the Bucs didn't come right out and say Garcia was their unquestioned starter and had no interest in Favre — and Allen now says the Bucs had little interest — he dodged the question.

"I'm not going to get into specifics," Allen said.

And, oh yeah, apparently Favre and his agent have both said the Bucs were involved in a possible deal.

Allen, at times, can make it difficult to believe what he says. You usually just get his version of the truth — and he admirably sticks to it. He's always on message.

But a suggestion. Allen and Gruden should re-introduce themselves to the guy that saved their jobs last season, to the guy that could lead them to the playoffs for a second straight year and to the guy who actually WANTS to be with the Buccaneers.

That's Garcia. You remember him, right guys? It's time to start mending fences, whether you believe you need to or not. Because if this season goes south, you could point to this whole episode as the reason.

Or, you could just go out and sign Chad Pennington. He's available now.


Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of bucsblitz.com.

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