It’s always amusing how everyone reacts to news events breaking and this is one of those times. Shortly after news broke that the San Francisco 49ers would be cleaning house, former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia openly began his campaign on Twitter for the head coach job. He followed that up on Wednesday with an interview on KNBR, further pushing for the job.
You can’t hate on the fact that he’s being very ambitious and open about what his goals are. He has tweeted numerous times in the past campaigning for job opportunities, and this past week was no different! It can be mildly ridiculous at times, but the man knows what he wants.
Of course, it is worth noting that Garcia has no personnel or front office experience and only two years of coaching experience. He spent 2014 serving as quarterbacks coach for the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL, and 2015 as an offensive assistant with the then St. Louis Rams. He was let go in early 2016.
He had a couple tweets in particular worth nothing, all of which have been deleted. The first was calling for the job, and the second was following some of the responses he received from fans.
Garcia spoke with KNBR’s The Audible on Wednesday morning and clarified his position further. Actually he kind of shouted. He shouted the entire interview. If you need to get pumped up for a workout, I suggest you listen to it. If you’re trying to go to sleep, save it for later.
He spoke about several topics, including the necessity for a good relationship between the head coach and the GM, emphasizing the lack of playing experience by those in front offices. He threw a little shade Jed York’s way regarding him having very little football experience.
I think Jed understands that he’s not an Xs and Os guy. He’s not a football, former football player, he’s not a guy who, he’s grown up in the business, but he’s not part of the interior landscape of what he really needs, that’s where he needs to separate himself from that position. He needs to look at and utilize talent around him, people around him to help him make the proper selection through the procedures that they go through, the interview process, the character checks, the accountability check, the experience check, all those things that are necessary to create a foundation of a culture that could potentially come together and create a fire of a positive effect.
When asked if he could step in as a head coach he spoke about the fact that owners would be expecting him to pay his dues first:
Let’s be honest with each other. As much as I believe and feel that I am capable of leading a team, people don’t want you to be able to take the shortcut. They want you to go through the process. They want you to start as the assistant. They want you to work your way up to the coordinator. They want you to work your way into that head coach position.
I’ll tell you what, the 17 years of professional football experience that I have had in my back pocket, and the years of growing up around a father who was a head coach, and just being around the game, have prepared me to be the leader of a football team. And that’s what this team needs, they need a leader of the football team. They need somebody who is gonna come in and is not gonna take any trash, not gonna take any instability as far as the personality is concerned, and understand that this has to be about the team. It can’t be about your individual success, it can’t be about your individual contract, it’s gotta be about the team
Yes, there’s a business side to professional sports. Unfortunately or fortunately that’s something for the GM and for his people to handle. I’m about the football side and I’m about the team concept and I’m about doing whatever is best for this team, from the scheme that we run, to the players that are gonna run it, to the coaches that I have on the staff and everybody needs to buy in to that culture, and everybody needs to get on the same page, and everybody needs to work their tail off and grind, and inspire, and motivate, and encourage, and go out and battle every single day. Not just on Sundays, every single day in practice. We’re providing, we’re creating a culture where you’re gonna compete, and the best players that give us a chance to win are gonna be the guys on the field.
One of the most interesting parts of Garcia’s comments was when he was asked about possible conflicts between coaches and GMs. He spoke about how most GMs have never played football, let alone in the NFL. As the 49ers need to fill both positions, the question remains, which comes first? The chicken or the egg? Garcia believes the head coach comes first:
You know I hate to say it, but let's be honest here. Let's look at the most of the general managers around the National Football League. How many of them have actual playing experience at the professional level? It's very rare to have a John Elway in your building. You have guys that want to make decisions on personnel, that have never played at the highest level themselves, and many of these guys have not played football at all. And now you have people making decisions on players and contracts and what fits the scheme. The only one who truly knows what fits the scheme is the head football coach and his staff. And if they are not involved in the selection process of what we are looking for and what type of players, attitudes, personality, athletic ability that can fit in our scheme we are not building the team that we need to have to be successful.