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Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Garcia Added To Pro Bowl Roster

TAMPA - Quarterback Jeff Garcia has played for San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay during the past five seasons. He should have enough frequent-flyer mileage for a first-class upgrade to Honolulu, and that should make getting to the Pro Bowl a lot easier. Garcia was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre. He is the third Bucs quarterback named to the Pro Bowl, joining Trent Dilfer (1997) and Brad Johnson (2002). "It's definitely an honor to be recognized by coaches and players around the league, even as an alternate," Garcia said. "To be put in a position to be invited to the Pro Bowl, it's just an exciting moment to represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It was unfortunate we didn't have anybody selected on the initial team. I kind of felt it was a slap in the face, considering how well our defense played, but that's how things go. To be on that Pro Bowl list, it's an honor." This is the fourth time Garcia has been a Pro Bowl selection, having been elected to play in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 games as San Francisco's quarterback. Favre was initially voted to start the game, which will be played Feb. 10, with Dallas' Tony Romo and Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck as his reserves. Garcia now moves to third on that list, and he has an opportunity to throw to Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona), Donald Driver (Green Bay), Torry Holt (St. Louis) and former 49ers teammate Terrell Owens (Dallas). As Tampa Bay prepares to enter the free-agent market, Garcia also might show up with Tampa tourism packets to recruit players. "I'm going to do everything I can to make this team stronger, and if that means selling Tampa Bay to free agents who can help out our team, so be it," Garcia said. "I will be as good of a recruiter as I can be, and it's not to say what we already have is not good, because it is. We have a really good thing, and I believe in all the players we have. "If we can make this team stronger and add some more weapons, talent and more competition, it will make us even better. I am willing to promote everything we're doing here." It might be an easy sell for Garcia, who thrived in Tampa Bay after signing as a free agent last spring. Garcia helped lead Tampa Bay to its third NFC South title in six seasons. He finished as the NFL's seventh-rated passer (94.6) and ranked second in the league with a team-record 1.2 interception percentage. In 13 starts, Garcia completed 209 of 327 passes (63.9 percent) with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. Garcia set a team record with 197 consecutive pass attempts without an interception to begin the season. "It's nice to be able to know I will be returning to this team. I do have a home for at least another year," he said. "It was getting old, all the traveling and changing cities year to year. That stuff wears on you. "For me to have that stability here, it feels awesome and allows my wife and I to have the impact in the community we want." Reporter Anwar S. Richardson can be reached at (813) 259-8425 or [email protected]

tampatrib.com.

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