Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 at 1:15 PM

Right or wrong, Joey has to go.

I was going to put all this in the comments section, but it ended up, as usual with me, being too long winded. Therefore I decided that I will just take a moment and create a whole new post discussing why, at this point, there really is no choice but to start Garcia sooner than later.

As far as the first point goes I agree somewhat and here is why. I don't think Garcia starting would be a disservice to Detroit because I think he gives the Lions the best opportunity to win. Joey has no confidence in himself, the coaches have no confidence in him and, most importantly, the players clearly don't believe in him. By putting in a washed up Garcia it is the best option for the Lions to at least make a push towards winning this crap infested division where even at 7-9 you get in the playoffs by default. Garcia is still smart enough to run the offense, his mental capacity is still the same as the one that went to pro bowls with Mooch and this offense in San Fran. It is his physical skills that have clearly declined, but I think the knowledge of the offense will again be just enough to get us more wins than Joey. Mooch can not continue to let Joey start, the ship is sinking fast with him and he knows it. I mean offensive players get on each other all the time, but when defensive players who are clearly busting their asses off get in the face of the offensive unit (mainly Joey) then you know you are having serious problems. That is the one thing that pisses me off most about the whole situation; I just wish Mooch would come clean and tell us the truth, take control and put all this crap under the rug. The only problem with that is that in this damn society we live in today where everything has to be so cut and paste, bland and friggin’ PC Mooch knows full well he can not tell the truth. The truth is simply this and I would love for him to say it – “Look, Joey was never my guy and clearly the kid does not have the necessary skills to succeed in the West Coast Offense. As soon as I feel that Jeff Garcia is back at or near 100% we are going to make a change at QB to a guy who clearly understands this offense well enough to get production on the football field. Yes Jeff’s physical skills have declined over the past few seasons, but his mental awareness and general overall understanding of this offense makes us a much more productive offensive team as a whole.” There you go, read it and weep, that would be the honest God Damn truth, but Mooch knows full well that the only coach left in the NFL that could get away with that crap is Bill Parcells, the last of the old school, who gives a shit about PC, hard ass coaches.

Look, am I excited about Garcia coming in and being the starter for the Lions, I mean, as far as long term goes? Hell no, I may sound stupid to you guys sometimes but I really am not that ignorant! Look at what that means, it means that not only did we waste a very valuable first round pick (either #2 or #3 overall, I forgot!) it means that we here in Detroit still do not have a QB. Garcia is a decent enough answer for this year; I truly believe he gives us a better chance to win now then Joey, but what about next year? Two years from now? I admit that Garcia is about as close to empty as my gas tank, but damn he can’t be any worse than what we got now! I mean against Baltimore Joey passed for 97 friggin’ yards, last week take away the miracle to Marcus Pollard and he barely elapsed 125, for an entire game! Those are numbers that a QB with any understanding of this offense, declining skills or not, can easily surpass without even blinking. Remember too that Mooch continues to say this is a dummied down version of the offense, something tells me the playbook would expand a little as well if Garcia were under center.

Furthermore, you can not under any circumstances let Joey continue this year as a starter once Garcia is able to continue, you just can’t do it! There are too many things that point to the fact that as long as Joey remains in there you are going to have a mutiny on a large scale proportion that this organization may never recover from. The offensive players, right or wrong (I say wrong, I am not giving them a free pass either!) clearly do not believe in the guy and are sabotaging the season. The defensive players, who single handedly won the Baltimore game and all but won the Carolina game, are ready to beat Joey to a pulp if it means getting him off the field. By letting Joey continue, if there is another option, is just locker room suicide for this franchise and I think Mooch all but knows it. The only problem is, when does he make the switch, when is it the right time?

That is the last dilemma that I would like to discuss, and in Drew Sharp’s article today in the Free Press he really hit in on the head. There is plenty of blame to be spread around in various areas and whether it is fair or not the offenses lack of production always falls on the QB’s shoulders, even if it is not entirely him. Please don’t get me wrong, Mooch is to blame for a lot of this as well, and that is the point of this paragraph and the article written by Sharp and Mooch knows it. Garcia is Mooch’s trump card, wild card and last chance to prove that he deserves to keep his job after this season. If, or should I say when, Mooch decides to pull the plug and make the switch to Garcia it has to be the right time because Joey, barring injury, will never take another snap as a Lion. If Mooch is right then there are no issues, there are no concerns, because Garcia will come in and produce just enough to put offensive points on the scoreboard. But if Mooch is wrong and Garcia makes little or no difference, he was the one that buried Harrington, he was the one that was wrong and he will be the one to leave town on the same bus as Joey after the season. This is not your typical QB switch, your usual QB controversy, this not only has the season hanging in the balance but the future of his job as head coach of the Lions as well. He knows it, he senses it and he fully understands he has no choice but to be right if, or when, he makes that switch and puts Joey on his ass.

Look, lastly I would like to say, fair or not, the position of QB in the NFL comes with this type of treatment, especially here in Detroit. Does that justify the treatment of Joey Harrington? No, there is no justification in it but, as lame as it sounds, it is what it is. Joey has been given more than his fair share of chances to succeed here in Detroit, he really has been, but has done little to help his case. The QB, as with all teams in the NFL, is the focal point as far as the offense is concerned and, right or wrong, when the offense fails the QB takes the brunt of it. But people don’t look at the bigger picture, they don’t look at the fact that Joey is not a West Coast QB, they just see a guy who is suppose to lead the offense and does nothing with it week in and week out. If fans were smart enough they would boo the West Coast Offense (or Mooch) but they don’t get it, they don’t see it. Can Joey possibly go on somewhere else and succeed in the NFL? He might, but clearly it will not be here. If Mooch is maintained this team will have its coach’s identity and that identity does not fit Joey one bit. It is easier to replace a QB than a coach and a locker room full of players, which is what would have to happen if they kept Joey. That is the sad thing, but it is true, there is no way Joey can continue here in any capacity, it would require a new coach and a complete make over of the entire locker room. That is why I say, right or wrong, that Joey can not continue as QB here either for the remainder of the season or beyond. There are too many other pieces that need to be replaced, so it is just easier to replace one instead of many. Is that the right thing to do? Well, let me ask you this, when was the last time the right thing to do and the easiest thing to do were ever the same.

Later – the sports dude.

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