Garcia Wanted To Get Hit
August 26 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Last week when Jeff Garcia was asked why he went head first instead of sliding on a play against the Broncos, Garcia suggested that he had to get hit ‘at least once’ to know what it feels like before the season started. After Saturday’s game against the Raiders, Garcia likely won’t ever look to get hit again.
Suffering from injuries, the offensive line was without to Pro Bowl caliber players again. Jeremy Newberry, out with his second injury and Ron Stone still out with his first. The players spots were filled by Ben Lynch and rookie Eric Heitmann respectively. But the pounding Garcia took was not the fault of just these two players.
The entire offensive line couldn’t contend with the Raiders pass rush. It was simple, the 49ers front five, couldn’t stop the Raiders front, be it three, four or more players. The result was gaping holes in the offensive line for the Raiders defense to rush through and hit Garcia. No, Garcia wasn’t sacked a lot, but he was hit, knocked down as he was throwing, and for the most part under tremendous pressure.
The blame of course can’t rest solely on the offensive line. The tight ends and running backs weren’t able to stop the blitz either. The 49ers are typically good at giving their passer time to throw, but not in this last game, the team simply couldn’t get it done.
The coaching staff are at fault too. They should have adapted more to stop the rush. Garcia is the team’s ticket to success this season, and the fact that he was so unprotected in this game is quite worrisome.
Jeff on the other hand doesn’t have to worry. By now, he knows what it feels like to get hit.