Garcia In the Pocket
November 6 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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In the pre-season the Raiders came up with the idea that by keeping Jeff Garcia in the pocket they can limit his effectiveness. It was a theory that other teams had mild success with early in this season, but on Sunday Garcia proved that he can get it done from within the pocket, and use his mobility in key situations.
There was just one play, where Garcia failed from inside the pocket. In the red zone on third down, Garcia had a perfect pocket formed around him. He began creeping up in the pocket, and when he let the ball go, it was batted down. Had he stayed back in the pocket, he likely could have gotten the pass to the receiver who was open in the back of the end zone.
Garcia has taken the notion that he is ineffective from inside the pocket and defeated it. He still prefers to get outside the pocket, improvise and make plays - but the fact that he can get it done both ways gives the 49ers opponents an extra thing to think about. To keep Garcia in the pocket, you have to loosen up your coverage on the receivers, and with Tai Streets and Garcia warming up, and Terrell Owens already hot, Garcia can and will exploit the looser coverage.