Jeff Garcia Can’t Save the Montreal Alouettes

Frank Doyle | Updated Aug 04, 2014

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Jeff Garcia pulled off a lot of comebacks on the football field as a player, but he might be in over his head in trying to save the Montreal Alouettes’ season.

Garcia was hired as part of the team’s offensive coaching staff Monday in hopes of igniting a stagnant attack which has struggled during Montreal’s 1-4 start to the season. Montreal is coming off an embarrassing 31-5 loss to the rival Toronto Argos last weekend and is averaging just 267 total yards and 15 points per game.

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“Jeff Garcia is a fierce competitor who has had success in every situation he has faced in professional football,” head coach Tom Higgins said in a statement. “The addition of Jeff is ideal because he brings the expertise he’s gained over his professional years from so many different systems. We are very excited to welcome Jeff to our coaching staff in his coaching debut. His CFL knowledge and comprehension of the game are key qualities that are going to be invaluable for us to improve as a team in the upcoming weeks. Over the next few days, we will be able to better evaluate all of our coaches and establish what their exact roles will be.”

If there’s anyone who could get Montreal’s offence on track, Garcia could be the guy. He was named a CFL All Star four times before he went on to four Pro Bowl season with the NFL. The thing is, the Als are running out of time and it remains to be seen whether this club has the talent within to consistently move the chains.

Last week, quarterback Alex Smith caught some heat from Higgins and the coach had every reason to get into Smith’s kitchen.

“Pressure can take you two ways: It can either put you in a situation where you’re not yourself, or it can make you a better person,” Smith told reporters before Montreal’s loss to Toronto. “I choose to not only be optimistic, but constantly be in a positive light.

“I won’t let what’s going on change my character. I want to stay positive. I know the only way we’re going to win is if I come out guns blazing and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way. Montreal hasn’t scored a touchdown in consecutive games and this Garcia signing just reeks of desperation. Maybe Garcia can help a bit, but the Als need to face the fact that they don’t have any playmakers on this team. Smith looks utterly lost with three touchdowns and three interceptions in five games and nobody else has stepped up to help him out.

At this point, the Als might be better with Garcia wearing a helmet than carrying a clipboard.

Montreal is back in action Friday night with the Alouettes host the Edmonton Eskimos.

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