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Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Garcia has bad memories of Lions

Injuries cost Jeff Garcia the Lions starting job in 2005, and the Bucs lost in Detroit last season.

Injuries cost Jeff Garcia the Lions starting job in 2005, and the Bucs lost in Detroit last season.

TAMPA — Forgive QB Jeff Garcia if he has no love in his heart for Detroit.

Garcia was the Lions starter in 2005 but fractured his fibula and sprained his ankle in the preseason finale. He regained the No. 1 job for three games only to be demoted to third string for the final two.

Last year, Garcia returned to the Motor City with the Bucs and wound up on the losing end of a 23-16 decision despite completing 37 of 45 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns and tying a franchise record with 18 straight completions.

"It's another game for me as far as I'm concerned, and I'm going out there hopefully to do better things than what happened last year," Garcia said Wednesday. "We … didn't play to the best of our abilities. We had some crucial mistakes that cost us a chance to win that football game.

"We have to be aware of those same things this year, knowing that records are out the window."

In other words, Detroit's 0-10 mark means nothing to Garcia.

"It's not a matter of where a team stands going into a game," he said. "You know that they are pros also. They're at this level for a reason; because they have the ability to play the game.

"And right now, they're in a position where their backs are truly against the wall. They don't want to make history in a negative way, so they're going to come out and give us everything they have."

MARINELLI'S VIEW: Lions coach Rod Marinelli said he is pleased with how his team is handling its winless start and sees signs of progress.

"You'd be proud of them in terms of how resilient they are, in terms of practice and preparing," the former Bucs defensive line coach said. "I'm extremely proud of these men and how they're attacking this adversity.

"We're just off sometimes: a detail here, a detail there, a spill here, a spill there. And that's coaching and players both. I think we're getting better offensively. Defensively, it's kind of up and down. One week, we're humming, one week we're not quite."

on Culpepper: Marinelli also praised QB Daunte Culpepper, 31, who came out of retirement to sign on Nov. 4 and started five days later.

''Daunte has been a jolt for us, not just because he's a talented guy who can make plays,'' he said. ''But he's got a tremendous way with the players in terms of leadership that's really good."

NEW LINEBACKER: The Bucs re-signed Matt McCoy when Geno Hayes went on injured reserve with a knee injury sustained Sunday.

McCoy played three games for the Bucs this season before being released Oct. 18. He has played 33 career games with 10 starts, amassing 81 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Hayes, a sixth-round pick out of Florida State in April, played nine games and made a big mark on special teams — tied for fourth with seven tackles with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown against the Panthers.

NEW RB: With Earnest Graham going on injured reserve, Noah Herron was signed. The 5-foot-11, 218-pounder out of Northwestern played with Pittsburgh and Green Bay in 2005. In 16 games with the Packers in 2006, he carried 37 times for 150 yards and a touchdown.

He didn't play in 2007 after suffering a major knee injury before the start of the season. His totals: 85 carries, 273 yards and three touchdowns with 29 catches for 211 yards and two scores.

INJURIES: Backup QB Brian Griese (elbow) did not practice. RB Warrick Dunn (back), WR Ike Hilliard (shoulder), S Jermaine Phillips (forearm) and TE Alex Smith (ankle) participated on a limited basis.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Garcia has bad memories of Lions 11/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 21, 2008 7:51pm]

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