Garcia gets nod to replace McNabb as Eagles quarterback
November 23, 2006 7:54pm CST
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jeff Garcia will replace Donovan McNabb as the Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback Sunday against Indianapolis. Eagles coach Andy Reid said he thinks Garcia, signed last March, was simply the best person for the job. "I think it's important that I have the confidence from coach Reid that I am the guy, that this team knows who the quarterback is going to be," said Garcia, who was chosen over A.J. Feeley as McNabb's replacement. Garcia has spent a large part of his career working in the West Coast offense. He also spent two seasons in San Francisco with current Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. "He has a lot of experience in this offense," Reid said. Garcia completed 26 of 48 passes for 189 yards after McNabb tore a ligament in his right knee in the second quarter in Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback, was a big reason the Eagles had the league's second-ranked offense. Garcia, who is in his seventh season in the NFL, has a 39-47 record as a starter. "Jeff's an experienced guy and he's been to some Pro Bowls," Philadelphia wide receiver Donte' Stallworth said. "He's played a lot of football and he's obviously very familiar with this offense. He brings some experience and leadership." Garcia takes over at quarterback for a 5-5 team that has dropped four of its last five games. It's not going to be easy going up against a Colts team that is looking to rebound from its first loss of the season. "You have to be real about the situation. It is a big game, definitely," Garcia said. "This team needs to find a way to come together as a team and eliminate the mistakes that have hurt us in the past month and a half." Reid had not said earlier this week whether he would use Garcia or Feeley, who was 4-1 as the Eagles' starter after McNabb broke his ankle in 2002. "I knew my role as the third-team quarterback when I signed here," Feeley said. "I'm sure Jeff, when he signed here, Andy told him he'd be the No. 2 guy. That's what makes Andy credible and what makes him good at what he does. If I was in the same position, I'd expect the same respect and the same treatment that Andy has given Jeff." Garcia's teammates said they have confidence in him. "In hindsight, you look back and that was a great acquisition to bring him in," safety Brian Dawkins said. "He's been through the fire. He knows what it takes to win. He's won and he knows the offense inside and out. It gives you extra confidence to believe that we can do this thing."