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Garcia QB Challenge Leader Day 1
July 14 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Looking to redeem him-self from last years last place finish in the Quarterback Challenge, held annually in Hawaii during February after the Pro Bowl (but televised at a later date), Jeff Garcia showed up big time on the first day this year. The competition ranges in a variety of events, but the first day included the Speed and Mobility Challenge as well as the Accuracy Challenge.

In the Speed and Mobility Challenge, the quarterbacks were required to run through an obstacle course, throwing a ball at a target at the end of the course. Time would be deducted according to the accuracy of the throw. Garcia placed first in the event.

In the day’s second event, quarterbacks competed in an accuracy competition. Athletes here were required to throw three balls from two different stations and moving targets, and one final long pass at a moving target. Garcia’s 22 points were not enough to beat out Aaron Brooks’ 28 in this event, but because of Brooks’ poor first event, Garcia held the lead throughout the first day.

Watching Garcia throw, there were a few good signs. Mainly his knee did not seem to be bothering him at all as he was cutting through the obstacle course. Also, Garcia was able to throw with great accuracy despite heavy winds that presented difficulties for some of the other competitors.

During the event, Garcia also took a moment to explain his favorite play. The Blue Left XX Short 300 Jet Z Sluggo, which led to a touchdown to Owens in overtime to beat the Falcons this past season. The play has Garcia taking a three step drop while Owens, the primary receiver runs a quick slant. Garcia pump fakes the slant to pull the safety off as Owens heads off the field and Garcia let’s the pass fly.

When used to beat the Falcons, Bill Walsh confronted Steve Mariucci in the locker room saying “that was Beautiful, I figured it was coming.” To which Mariucci replied in jubilance “The Sluggo!”

Capping the fun day off, Garcia was happy with his performance, but stated “It’s all about having fun”. The second day of the event will include the Read and Recognition Challenge as well as the Long Distance Challenge. The second day will also feature Direct TV’s Million Dollar throw, a thirty yard pass taken by Peyton Manning, Trent Dilfer, Steve Young and Jim Kelley.

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