Jeff Garcia (2007-2008)
Quick trivia question. Who was the last quarterback to start a playoff game for the Buccaneers before Tom Brady? The answer is Jeff Garcia during the 2007 season. Garcia’s 2007 season is also one of only FOUR Pro Bowl seasons for a Bucs quarterback (spoiler alert: we’ll get to the others).
After miraculously leading the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFC East title in the 2006 season in relief of the injured Donovan McNabb, the Buccaneers signed Garcia on this writer’s birthday of March 3rd to be their starter. Garcia would lead the Bucs to an NFC South title but would fall to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the Wild Card round.
The following year, Garcia would be banged up leading to Jon Gruden choosing a “quarterback by committee” approach with the murder’s row of Garcia, Brian Griese, and Luke McCown.
Amazingly, the Bucs (primarily lead by Garcia) were sitting at 9-3, but would drip their final four games in spectacular fashion, missing out on the playoffs in the final week of the season, ironically against the Raiders, in what proved to be both Garcia (who would sign with the Raiders that offseason) and Gruden’s final games in Tampa Bay.
While it may be a little tough to honor Garcia in such a way, especially with some recent remarks, that’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to the quarterback position for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For two years, he was pretty solid, comparatively speaking of course.