By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – At 42 years-old, Jeff Garcia is at the point where he has to at least consider retiring from professional football. But if the Eagles come calling, he says he has the approval from an important advisor to accept the offer.
“You know Philly is the team my wife will let me go back and play for. She’s the only one who can approve the move so to speak,” Garcia told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow. Garcia led the Eagles to an improbable run in 2006 when he filled in for an injured Donovan McNabb. They went 10-6, won the division, and beat the Giants in the playoffs before losing to the Saints, 27-24.
Though he only started six regular season, and two playoff games in Philadelphia, he still feels a special bond with the city. “Our experience there in 2006, for me as a player one of the best experiences I’ve had as a player. We had some ups and downs that season, but the way we finished off, and the way that city embraced us and embraced me, is just one of the greatest experiences that I’ve ever been through.”
Of course Eagles fans love wins, but Garcia thinks the connection was more than about just victories. “I think there was a true appreciation for what I brought to the field. I think the fans could relate to me as a player. And just the grind it out mentality, the toughness I brought on the field.” When the Eagles played three straight road games, “it wasn’t just going on a road trip, it was about seeking and destroying,” Garcia said.
Even though Garcia hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2008, he said he’d jump at the chance to play with the Eagles and back up Michael Vick. “[If the Eagles call] I’m picking up the phone and saying ‘Andy [Reid] how much do you want me to pay you so I can come in and get things fired up around there!?’ I’d pay to play, that’s just me,” he said. “I can be that person who can continue to motivate and inspire and help teach and educate. And if given the opportunity to step on the field I’m going to give everything I have find success, no matter how it happens.”
Garcia started the company Beyond Wealth Inc., and he said he’s been able to stay in shape by training young quarterbacks. “I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve been throwing the football twice a week for the last three months,” he said.