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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has regressed each of the last two seasons, and for the first time in his career he is in serious jeopardy of losing his job as the starting quarterback.
So what do you do when you’ve fallen our of favor and don’t know how to get back on track?
Well you call former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, of course.
The Daily News first reported on Thursday that the former first-round pick reached out to Garcia after New York hired Marty Mornhinweg to replace Tony Sparano as the team’s offensive coordinator. Mornhinweg was Garcia’s offensive coordinator with both the 49ers and the Eagles.
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Sanchez, who was benched in favor of third-string quarterback Greg McElroy late in the season, called Garcia for advice and support. After a long career in the NFL, Garcia currently trains quarterbacks at the TEST Football Academy outside San Diego. He is part owner of the West Coast branch, which has been called “TEST West.”
Garcia is ready and willing to lend a hand to the embattled fourth-year quarterback.
“I’m hoping that I have the opportunity to work with the young man and help him with his on-field preparation and his off-field preparation,” Garcia told WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Thursday. “…We had a good conversation the other day … I think, just the fact that he’s reaching out, he understands that he’s going to go through a new learning curve with the new offensive coordinator, the new scheme.”
Garcia had plenty of success working with Mornhinweg in his career. He threw for a career-high 4,278 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2000 for the Eagles, and then returned to Philadelphia in 2006 to lead the team to the playoffs after Donovan McNabb went down with a season-ending injury.
“Fortunately, it’s a scheme that (Sanchez) has a little bit of a familiarity with,” Garcia said. “He has had some of the terminology in the past. But that’s a scheme, that’s a program, that’s an offense that I have been able to thrive in and that I’ve had throughout my career at the NFL level, and I think it’s something that I can really help him with.”
The USC alum struggled mightily in 2012, throwing 13 touchdowns to 18 interceptions. He completed just 54.3 percent of his passes and fumbled the ball 14 times.
After leading the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Games to begin his career, his confidence has taken a significant hit. Garcia has traveled on that up-and-down road before, and he knows that he can impart some wisdom on the 26-year-old.
“I’m a guy who played 18 years of professional football (12 in the NFL),” Garcia said. “And if you look at what I was able to do throughout my career, there’s 40,000-plus yards, there’s a couple hundred touchdown passes. All the statistics are there, but it was never handed to me. I had to grind, I had to work, I had to really challenge myself from within to prove people wrong and prove that I belong.
“And I fought and I scratched and I clawed my way into it, and I maintained it. And I think those are the things, from a coaching standpoint — from a mentality — that I can help Mark with.”
Can Jeff Garcia help Sanchez get his confidence back? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…