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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Garcia needed to rest sore arm



Newgarcia Nobody benefitted from the bye week more than quarterback Jeff Garcia, who had been battling a sore right throwing arm.

Garcia, 37, has not started all 16 games in a season since he did it in 2002 with the San Francisco 49ers.

Coach Jon Gruden said Garcia's tired arm is similar to what former Bucs veteran quarterback Brad Johnson experienced in 2002.

"I think so. Brad Johnson went through it. All the veteran quarterbacks go through it,'' Gruden said. "We're one of the few teams right now that have had a guy go all the way at quarterback this season. We're going to do the best we can. If we have to be creative with the practice schedule, we'll be creative with the practice schedule as we have been in the last couple weeks. That's just something you have to respond to.''

Bucs quarterback coach Paul Hackett said it's common for quarterbacks to experience some arm fatigue near the middle of the season.

"Particularly with as much as he throws here, we probably throw more than most people do,'' Hackett said. "I think they all - about game nine or 10 - they're sore. This was the perfect time to have the whole week where you didn't have to raise your arm. Coupled with the fact that he's a very, very serious weight lifter. He always has been. I think that really helps them because he keeps his body in shape.

"A lot of quarterbacks at the end - when (Joe) Montana was at the end - he became more in tune to weight lifting, the high repetitions, low weights, knowing you've got another 10 to go. He knows how to do it because he's been doing it for so long, but he really hasn't played a full season since the 49ers. That's why we couldn't have planned this any better. Coach has been great about giving people time off, not having him throw quite as much. I think we're very conscious of that because we've got to be at our best in two months. That seems like a long way off.''

Garcia was unavailable for comment. But after finishing a weight lifting session Monday, he said, "I'm fine.''

(Times photo - Brendan Fitterer. Click to enlarge.) 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:52pm]


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