Juan Garcia Combine Blog

Former Washington center Juan Garcia was recently invited to take part in the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, which will be held February 18th-21st at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Dawgman.com will bring you a daily exclusive look at the combine from Garcia's point of view - from the workouts leading up to the combine, to the combine itself and beyond.

DAY FIVE: Saturday 9:00 p.m., back in Arizona - Last night I stayed for a little bit, but I cut it a little short. I was in the team meeting room for about 45 minutes, but in that time I talked to three teams: The (Minnesota) Vikings, the Chicago Bears, and I talked to the o-line coach for the (Philadelphia) Eagles. He really liked me. He's from Texas and he knows Spanish, so he talked to me in Spanish.

Today during the o-line drills, he talked to me in Spanish. So that was pretty neat. He said he liked the way I play and everything.

I went back to the room and I didn't sleep at all. I just laid on the bed. I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about the next day, and then when you do pass out it's like you wake right back up. You close your eyes and you open 'em right back up and you have to be up. It went by real quick.

We had to get up again at 5:30. We had to eat breakfast and be at the stadium by 7. We warmed up and they took body pictures of us in nothing but our tights. They filmed us too, so they could see how your body figure is.

It was basically standing around until 9. Then we began our drills. It was another day you had to grind through. Testing-wise, it was probably the worst situation I could have been in.

The first thing we did was a stretching test, then we ran the 40. They had us lay on our stomach and put our forehead down and lay our arms straight out. We had to grab a stick and move it backward as far as it could go with our forehead still on the ground. Then they measured the distance from the stick to the turf. I don't remember the exact distance, but I think it was around 15 inches, which I thought it was pretty good.

They they had you lay on your stomach and you had to put your hands by your side backward and then you had to see how far you could move your hands backward. I think it did pretty good on that one. I think I was pretty cool with that event.

I think I ran a 5.48 40. It was slower than I would have liked. I think everybody's times were slow. Everybody was complaining on the way over here about how fatigued they were. But there are no excuses to be made; I wish I would have run faster. But I still have (UW) Pro Day.

Guys were running 5.3's. I haven't run this time in so long. I'm not here to make excuses, but everyone was so de-energized. (Fresno State TE) Bear Pascoe, I got to know him at the All-Star game, and he told me he ran a 4.9. Even the guys that were running 5.1's were complaining.

At this weight, the fastest I've run is 5.31, so I was hoping with the adrenalin and stuff I could hit a high 5.2, but that didn't work. The o-linemen, they really just look at your 10 and 20 anyway - they want to see your explosiveness. I'm hoping those times are quicker, but I don't know what they were.

I did pretty good in my position drills. We did about seven position drills. They wanted to see how your feet moved in space. We did a mirror/dodge drill where you have to mirror a guy, and drills like that. A coach from the (Denver) Broncos came up to me during the position drills and said, man you move pretty good in open space. I told him I have quick feet, especially now that I'm lighter. The San Diego Chargers scout also told me that I could move pretty good.

I PR'd the vertical jump. I was happy. I jumped 25 inches. That was good for me. Usually I do 22 or 23 inches. I've never been a very big jumper. And in the standing broad jump, I jumped 7'9". The longest I had ever done before was 7'4". That was pretty cool. I just wanted to clear 7 feet. Jumping is not my thing.

After those two events, that's when we did the 5-10-5 (shuttle) and the L-Cone. On the shuttle, I did 4.7. I've been getting 4.65 on the shuttles down here, so when I hit 4.7 I was cool with that. And with the L-Drill, I got under 8 seconds.

I had to do the L-Drill about six times. Somehow I would always step over a cone when I was turning. I was the last guy in my group, so it wasn't a big deal - but it was hard being a big guy doing it over and over and over. I think I ended up with a 7.9-something.

I was so happy to be done. I could breathe again. At lunch I was talking with all the other guys, and we were all like, I don't give a crap what our times are. I was just happy it was over. I was like, you can take my 5.4 and whatever. It was so fatiguing.

But I did what I wanted to do there today. I knew I wasn't going to dust anybody or set any records in the 40, but I showed them I was healthy and that I could move with my feet. Hopefully I get a shot - either as a free agent or as someone drafted in the later rounds. Either way it was a fun experience.

I got a lot of great feedback from the scouts. Some of the coaches were surprised that I could move the way I could move after what I've been through. They would say how tough I am. They talked about how I was moving my feet good and how that's what they wanted to see out of me. We wanted to see how that foot was, and it wasn't even a question. Everything you could do on that foot, I was doing it.

Once you got done, you got lunch, shake the hand of your group leader and you go to the hotel, pack your bags and leave. The next thing you know you're on a plane and now I'm in Phoenix. On the plane, all I could think about was how fast my career went. I was thinking about when I started playing football when I was nine years old. I was just going back through everything and thinking about if I get picked up and also about my Pro Day. The next six or seven weeks I'm going to bust my butt so I can get strong for mini-camps and hopefully get invited.

One thing I learned from the combine is just how tough I am. I never believed it. I just thought it was me, because of what I've been through. But other people kept telling me about it. I think I'm one of the toughest people on this planet.

One thing I noticed was that you hear about guys from certain schools are supposed to be that good, but when we test we're on the same playing field. They aren't bigger by that much, or you're bigger than they are or stronger or quicker. We're all in the same range. So it occurred to me that the reason people think some guys have an edge is because of the school they went to. Sometimes I would PR and I would wonder how good I really could have done if I wasn't so tired.

I think my route to make it to the NFL is going to be a fight. I'm not going to be able to take the easy route. I'm going to have to be the one where I'm going to have to earn my spot, earn a job and earn my name on the roster. I've been fighting all my life, so I don't see why I shouldn't keep going.

Pro Day is on March 10th. I'm going to go back to working harder. This time I'm going to keep working on my 40, my L-Drill and my 5-10-5. I'll run a faster time because I'll be fresh. I won't have to do five days of anything else. So I'm just going to go back and hit it hard.

At the end of the day, I was so honored and blessed to be invited to the combine. It really meant a lot to me. The coolest part about the whole thing was that before you did an event, they would either announce your name or you would announce your name. So I would say, 'Juan Garcia, University of Washington'. When we did the 40, I went up there and they said 'University of Washington - Juan Garcia'. It was cool that I got a chance to represent my school one last time in something meaningful.

Coming from the season I had and all the injuries, I had a lot to prove. I'm pleased with what I did. I showed them that I'm healthy and I can do it. I didn't expect to get the call. My chances after talking to scouts - I had a great chance last year going to the NFL. I don't regret nothing, and things happen for a reason, but I could have been worth quite a bit of money if I had left last year. For me to get an invite to the combine, I was really honored and happy. I don't know if I'm going to get picked up or drafted or whatever; I made it this far and I had a great career and it was a fun journey while it lasted.

I've been playing football for 15 years, so if it comes to an end I'll be sad, but I'll be happy for what I've accomplished.
DAY FOUR: Friday 8:15 p.m. - Last night I talked to the (Atlanta) Falcons, the (Minnesota) Vikings and the (New Orleans) Saints. They were asking the same questions as everyone else. They asked me to draw up some plays on paper. They drew up some blitzes and asked me how I would pick it up, what would be the best pass play. I drew up the play I would use. It was pretty cool.

I was able to get a little bit of sleep last night. The thing is, you go to sleep at midnight and you have to get up at 5:30. You can get good sleep in that time I guess, if you want to call it good sleep. Every night I talk to Alex (Mack) and we talk about what time we need to get up, so we put it at 5:30, and when it goes off and one of us is still in bed, we tell the other to get up. It's time to go.

Today, we woke up early. We did the Wonderlich test and a lot of psychological tests. The tests don't end. They seem to ask the same questions over and over, but in different ways to try and mess you up. We did that for about three or four hours.

I think they keep the answers private. Eventually I think we'll get them. With the times and the bench and all that, you're right there so you know, but when it comes to these tests, they keep them to themselves and you'll probably get them later on through their agents.

It's just starting to be a big blur now. They ask the question and I answer it. There was this one test that was 260 questions! That's ridiculous! And you can tell they are asking questions in a different way, using different formats and stuff. At some point you just try to remember what you put down the last time and just write it down.

I hate taking tests to begin with. Since English is my second language, so when I read the words it takes just a little longer to process than the other guys. There's no end to it, because once you finish one you just go right to another.

After that we went to the stadium to do our 225 (bench) test. I did it 34 times. I got the third most out of all the o-linemen and the most out of all the centers, so that was pretty good. I think Louis Vasquez from Texas Tech did the most, and I think the next best guy was 36.

I was excited. There was a scout that came up to me from Cincinnati. I had talked to him the first day I got here. He came up to me and shook my hand. He said, 'Congratulations. You did the 225 test the right way. Not like some of those other guys that bounce it off their chest and short-arm it and stuff like that. That's the way to do it.'

I got the number I wanted, but I know at (UW) Pro Day I'll probably get 37 or 38. When I was benching, I was so drained. I'm so tired, you know? And when everyone else was benching, they were saying the same thing, so there's no excuses. I hit 34 and we were all on the same level playing field. It wasn't like one guy had an advantage over another guy. But I feel like if I had been rested or had been able to get a workout in I could have hit at least 36. The weight felt light; I was just fatigued.

For the bench press, I came from out of nowhere. Nobody expected me to do that. I kept my mouth shut. I've taken the 'silent assassin' approach. I was the last guy to go in my group, and one I got up there it was like, 'Where in the hell did this come from?' They didn't see it coming. Tomorrow when we run, they'll know where I'm at - but for the bench? I got 'em today.

Right now you're just going all day. You're questioning this, you're reading that, you're measuring this - and all the time you've got to keep on a good face, show that you're having a good time. It's not that I'm having a bad time - it's just tiresome.

It's boring and draining. At the end of the day, it's a fun experience and I'm glad I'm here, but it's a lot more mental than I thought it was going to be. It's an endurance of the mind. It's a grinder. Right now the body is fatigued and you want to get sleep in. You talk to all the other guys and they feel the same way. They are like, man I can't wait to go home and sleep in until my body wakes up on its own.

You get used to it. I've been through so much in my life. That's helped me out. Even overcoming my injuries...I'm so mentally tough. This is nothing to me. It's boring as hell; there's nothing I can do about that. But I'll do this any day. I'll stay up 24 hours if they want me to, if that's what I have to do to do this. It'll be boring, but I can do it. The mental part? It's just draining. But I can handle it.

I talked to the (Miami) Dolphins tonight. They talked to me twice today. I talked to the (San Francisco) 49'ers and the (Oakland) Raiders too. The San Diego Chargers talked to me in Spanish today, because one of the scouts knew Spanish - so that was cool. I talked to my agent and people about it, and they said that the NFL does look at things like that. With teams like San Diego and Houston, where there is a large base of Spanish-speaking people, that can be appealing to them. I haven't talked to teams about it, but I'm aware of it and I know other people are too.

This will all last until about 10 or 11 tonight. I just might put a wrap on it at 10 tonight, so I can get a rest and test well tomorrow.

We have a 6 am wake-up call and we have to be at the stadium by 7. The running starts at 9. Never in my life have I run so much that early in the morning for testing, so that will be an experience. Then we'll do position drills and then they'll take me back to the hotel to get my bags and then I'll go to the airport.

We do the 40, the 5-10-5 (Short Shuttle), L-Drill - and that's for the o-linemen. And then we also do o-line drills. We also do the vertical jump and the broad jump. The quarterbacks have their throwing thing and then they only do the 40 and the bench test - that's all they do because they are quarterbacks. The DB's do the 40, the L-Drill, the 5-10-5 - everybody has their own different thing they do for the combine. Not everyone does everything.
DAY THREE: Thursday 8:05 p.m. - I didn't have to go as long today, but it's a little after 8 right now, so I'm about an hour and a half short of yesterday. I had to get up at 5 this morning to take a drug test, and then from there we had breakfast and we left the hotel at 7 to go to the stadium. I was there all day until 6 meeting up with team doctors.

They weighed us in. We stood in front of a couple hundred people - scouts, owner and GM's - in nothing but our underwear. It seemed like an eternity. They made you walk across a stage. You had to walk from side to side and then up and back and you had to turn around. They look at you like you're a cow. They put you on a scale and everyone sees your weight. There's no hiding there. I weighed in at 307, which is pretty good.

It was awkward. There were a whole bunch of o-linemen there, so it made it OK. There were about 20 of us that went in. We are so insecure about our bodies anyway. There were a few guys doing pushups before we had to go on the stage. It was funny and weird at the same time.

After that took place, we put our clothes back on and went to the other side of the stadium. All the team doctors were in six different rooms. You go in there and you take all the medical records from the day before and they look at them. They grab you. They move your arms and shoulders and see how stable you are. Any injury you have had, they look over it.

Then they take all your x-rays and put them on a big machine on the wall and then they sit you in the middle of every team doctor and they go over your injuries. Then doctors will come up to you and look at you and grab you, move you around and touch you - and you're in front of them with nothing but your underwear. Someone was grabbing my shoulder, and the next thing I knew there was someone touching my back! What's going on here?

Going into this, I definitely didn't know what to expect. But I knew this part of it was either going to make me or break me. It was 50/50. I went in there not knowing and it actually ended up good. They looked at my injuries and the x-rays of all my injuries. They only thought there were two major injuries: My broken ankle my freshman year and my shoulder when I tore it my sophomore year. Those are pretty healed. I've played three years with those injuries.

My concern was my foot, to see if it had healed. The doctors looked at it and told me that nothing was wrong with the foot. Everything was good, they didn't even waste that much time on it. They just moved it around a little bit, so I was really happy and excited about that. Every room I went to, all six rooms - I got the same opinion. So it was pretty cool.

They wanted to get an MRI on one of my shoulders, because I ended up only getting one at the hospital, so I went to the back and got an MRI of my shoulder. That took about 2-3 hours because I had to wait for the other guys in line.

Then we went and did a camera interview for all the teams. It's something they do for every player there. They ask you stuff like, 'What is the definition of determination?', and 'Besides football, what's the most important thing in your life?' It was stuff like that. It lasted 10 minutes.

From there, we had lunch and then we went upstairs to the NFL Network and did media interviews. They made everybody go through a press conference with a lot of reporters there. You stand on a stage and you have to talk. It was a little nerve-wracking, but it was neat. I think I did pretty good. That lasted about 15-20 minutes. Then the reporters got to talk to you one-on-one.

There was a reporter from the Seattle Times there, but I didn't get his name. They all asked me about the season, almost the same kind of questions that I've been getting all year. But I was really surprised. I didn't even think anyone would come up to me. There were some guys from the east coast that told me that they were following me and said they were surprised that I didn't come out last year. I told them I was a little surprised too, but that I still didn't have any regrets.

We went back to the hotel, where we had to do some psychological testing. I remember a question where they asked me if I could pick three colors, and they were all girl colors! Stuff like light blue and yellow and pink and stuff. I was thinking, I can't pick any of these colors. What were they thinking? That went on for about an hour and a half. And then we took a break.

Later I'll be meeting with more teams and GM's. I have no idea who I'll be talking to. The teams all have tables in a big room, and you walk in and stand there. If they want to talk to you, they'll just come and grab you. They'll take you back to their table and they have a 15-minute window to interview you. After 15 minutes, someone blows a horn and you are done with that team. Then you go back and stand in the corner until someone comes and gets you again.

Sometimes you wait there longer than you'd like to, like does anyone like me at all? I already did one round of this last night with the Browns, Texans, Jets and Cincinnati. Every day it's new teams.

One thing I've realized is that this whole process is really mental. It's starting to grind on the mental part of the game. I've been up since 5 and I went to bed at 12 the night before. I woke up at 6 the day before and was up doing things for 15-16 hours.

Some of the guys I've been talking to mentioned to me how the teams take everything they do to the extreme. They put us in the worst situations possible. They take their sweet time with everything. Everything is under a microscope. You can't do nothing without them knowing.

I talked to Max (Unger) and Alex (Mack) is my roommate. We just talk about what's going on. Alex hurt himself the day before he came to the combine, he sprained his ankle or did something to his back. He's not really doing any drills.

But from what I get talking to the other guys, we've all be doing the same thing. We go and train, wherever the facilities are. Here, they treat us all the same. It's going to come down to how well we perform and they start picking the guys they like.

Tomorrow is the 225 (bench) test, and more mental tests, like the Wonderlich. That's going to be all day. And then Saturday is the last day. That's when we do all the running. And when that's over, they'll take us to the airport.

On the bench, I'm hoping to get over 30 reps. Hopefully I can get 35. If I can get between 30 and 35, that will be a pretty solid number. I strained my pec two or three weeks ago, and I haven't really been able to grind on it since. Last week we let it loose and I hit 31 reps at 227 on the bar. I'm hoping that with less weight I can hit more reps.

I've never gone without lifting for something like this for this long. Usually you prepare, and even if you aren't lifting hard you kind of get your body used to working out, running and stretching. But here, they've just had us standing, talking and everything else. No lifting. It'll be interesting to see how that works out. I tried to find the workout room today, but they told me I had to go do some more psychological tests. I was like, man!

I wanted to go psychological on some weights. No doubt.
DAY TWO: Wednesday 11:00 p.m. - The NFL buys your plane ticket to the combine and home. They pay for everything. I've got two big duffel bags with nothing but Under Armour stuff in it. I've got running shoes, track shoes, cleats, jogging shoes...any kind of shoe you want. Sweatshirts, shirts and all this gear - and it's all free. And we've also got all the combine-issue stuff. I brought my suitcase too, so now I've two extra pieces of luggage I have to take home. I told my agent to take them because I can't.

I've been at the hospital since 7:15 and didn't get back to the hotel until 9:30 tonight. I got lost. They had me MIA. They didn't know where I was until they realized I had been doing MRI's for five hours. They did my foot, my ankle, both my shoulders, my back...if I had an injury in the past, they MRI'd it. I had my lisfranc, so they MRI'd my foot. I broke my ankle my sophomore year, so they MRI'd that. I dislocated my shoulder a couple of years ago in the spring, so they MRI'd that, and I tore my other shoulder, the labrum - so they MRI'd that. I had back problems, so they MRI'd that. If I had told them I sprained my pinky, they probably would have MRI'd that too.

First thing they did, you want into a room and there are a whole bunch of different doctors sitting there and they ask you about every little injury you've had in your life. And you go to different stations. You go from section to section. They take blood and urine, and then you go to the waiting room. Then you wait there until they call you and then they x-ray you and then you go back until they call you for a CAT scan. It goes like that throughout the day. And then they sent me to another building for my MRI's.

Somehow they lost me. Teams were asking for me, and they didn't realize it was going to take five-and-a-half hours. I went with the first group and they got back at 6 and I was still there for another three hours. Once I was done, they were like, 'there's Juan Garcia!' I guess they thought I might have left.

They had me down for two major injuries, but the team doctors wanted everything MRI'd, so I doubt they calculated that into their thinking. I'll tell you what though; I didn't like being lost.

They were all Indianapolis doctors and their staff. Today was the hospital visit; tomorrow will be the medical visit, where all the team doctors see all your x-rays and MRI's and everything and evaluate it.

Everywhere you go, you feel like a piece of meat. You feel like you're nothing here. It's like they are trying to pick out the best steak. And tomorrow we'll get in front of everybody in our underwear. They just send you from one place to another place. Talking to coaches here, you get that sense that you're just a piece of meat.

When I got back to the hotel, I talked to a couple of teams today. I got there late, so I'll probably talk more to them tomorrow. The (Cleveland) Browns really like me and the (Houston) Texans, they like me. The team that showed that they really like me though is the (New York) Jets. I talked to their scouts and their coaches, and they knew more about me than I knew about myself.

When I went to talk to the Jets, they had me chalk up some plays and they told me that I was a really smart center. They said on film that I'm very instinctual and I'm very aware of what's going on around me. They said they like that trait in a center.

I didn't eat anything but breakfast today. I was over at the different building, and there wasn't any food there. I got back at 9:40 and ate some lunch, or dinner - or whatever it was. Then I went upstairs and I talked to the coaches and now I'm back in my room. It's been a long day.

I've been tired most of the day, so when I get done tomorrow, I'll probably pass out. The day got me acclimated, so that when I get up in the morning, it's just going to be another day. These days are long, though. They really drag.

We have to get up at 5 o'clock tomorrow morning to take a drug test. Then they take us to the stadium, where they'll have us on stage like cows - in nothing but our underwear. They'll measure our fat and weigh us in and then the doctors do their evaluations. They'll look at our x-rays and MRI's and probe us - they'll tug at us and everything. Then we'll come back and do some tests - psychological and mental. They'll ask us questions like, what do you see yourself as, a cat or a dog. Stuff like that. They'll ask us 200 questions like that.

It's all go. I don't have any time to go work out on my own or anything. They do this on purpose from what I've been told by guys that have gone through it before. They will try and get you in situations where you are least comfortable - like getting you up early in the morning and being tired all day and then having to perform. They want to see how you perform at your worst.
DAY ONE: Tuesday 7:15 p.m. - I flew out at 11 this morning and got to Indianapolis at 4:30 tonight. Once we got here we checked in and did some paperwork and got our equipment. We went to our rooms and had dinner and now we're relaxing. We have to be up in the morning at 6:30.

It was a flight that went straight through to Indianapolis. I didn't go first class. I'm not a first class type of guy. When I got there, the guy that was waiting for me was a scout, John Peterson from the (Carolina) Panthers. They escorted us to the limos and then we went to the Crown Plaza. There were four of us in the group: Chase (Coffman), a tight end from Missouri who also flew up from Arizona; Paul Fanaika, he was a guard at Arizona State. He started for them last year. And Alex Mack from Cal.

(Mack) is my roommate. Me, Alex Mack and Max Unger from Oregon - we had dinner tonight with a couple more o-linemen, just talking about stuff - talking about our seasons and how the Senior Bowl went for them. They are basically doing the same thing I'm doing right now.

When they talk about our seasons, I don't try and bring up (0-12). It's not easy. I don't care what it is - 10 years from now, 20 years - it still sucks. They don't care. One thing I learned when I started my training in Arizona is that we are done with college. That was one part of our life and that's over. It's time to move on. With these guys, they don't rub it in at all. Even the guy from Oregon, you'd think he'd talk about how we suck and talking all this crap, but there isn't any of that at all. They are really respectful.

One thing I was interested in was their Senior Bowl experience and how it compared to what I did at the East-West Shrine game. Everything was kind of the same, but we did talk about the quarterback problem. They had three different quarterbacks and we had three quarterbacks and the snaps - they kept talking about how there were too many fumbles and it was a bloodbath over there. We had the same problem at the Shrine game, so it was nice to hear that it wasn't just a problem I was having. It was happening to other centers too.

Tomorrow we wake up early to go to the hospital and go through all the physical tests and meet all the team doctors. Later we go through the whole orientation and find out what we should expect and do some interviews.

I know John (Peterson) from the Shrine game. He really liked me a lot. He said he liked the way I played and how tough I was. When I got off the plane and was going down to the baggage claim he came up to me and talked to me for a little bit. That's as far as I went with talking with the scouts tonight. Even after the Shrine game, I interviewed with a couple of scouts there, and there were a couple that liked me more than the others. I hope to talk to them there this week.

It actually helps out a lot this week that I don't have to go through all the tests until later. You can kind of get used to all the surroundings and get used to the time difference. When I saw that I was happy because it's going to give me a day or two to get my stuff together. Hopefully with today being here and tomorrow, I should be good to go.

Tomorrow I also do my media interviews and team interviews - I get to meet some of the scouts and GM's tomorrow. So tomorrow is the hospital, media and team interviews. From what I know, you only get interviewed from the teams that want to talk to you. They don't waste time on other guys. They have their guys they want to talk to and see and run. If there are guys that perform pretty well, I'm sure they put them on their list.

I don't have any idea as to who I'm going to be talking to tomorrow. I don't have a clue. But I'll find out.
Here is the preview of Garcia's blog, which chronicles the events leading up to the combine and what Garcia has been doing to get himself prepared for what he'll face in Indy.


I went to the East-West Shrine game (January 17th in Houston), and after I was there and I was having a good week, I kind of had an idea I was going to go to the combine, but a week later they gave me the call. The (California) game was on a Saturday, and our banquet was on the following Thursday. The next day, I was gone to Tempe, Arizona, training. I was actually training for Pro Day (at Washington) and the Shrine Game. I didn't know if I was going to get to the combine then.

They were already grinding on me (in Arizona), going pretty hard in case I went to the combine. When we got the for-sure that I was going, the intensity picked up just that much more. It went from being five weeks away for Pro Day to three weeks away for the combine.

When I found out I was going to the combine, I was in Tempe, running with (former USA Decathlete) Dan O'Brien at the Arizona State track. My agent (Mike Abadir) is the same agent for (Former UW running back) Louis Rankin. Louis told me about his agent, and me and Louis have a good relationship. That's why I went with his guy. I trust him. (Abadir) told me that his speed guy was Dan O'Brien. He's the one that does the conditioning and helps you work on your 40 and all the quickness stuff. I didn't really know all that much about Dan O'Brien until I got here. I researched him on Google and he was the real deal. My strength and conditioning coach is Ethan Banning. He played in the arena league.

The reason I went with them was because I had a chance to go with other agents that would have sent me to API (Athletes Performance Institutue), but they have too many people and I didn't want to get lost in the shuffle. I decided to go with a smaller group of people where I could go more one-on-one.

I work out six days a week. Monday I go early in the morning. That's my running session. I wake up around 7 in the morning and eat breakfast and go to the track. We work on drills from 8 until 10:30. Then I go back to the house and eat lunch and take a two or three hour break. Then I go back in the afternoon and do a lifting session, work on my strength.

Tuesday is kind of the opposite. Monday is mostly lower body, so in the morning I do the same thing - wake up and eat breakfast - and then we go and do upper body work, like lifting. Then I go back home and eat lunch and take a couple of hours break to take a nap, and then go back and do more agility things, more football drills.

Wednesday is the shakedown day. I go in around 1 and do a lot of stretching, like shake down with foam rollers and stuff like that. Thursday, we're back at the track, more speed and conditioning. It's more of a conditioning day. They run me at the stadium. And then in the afternoon, I do a yoga session to get me more flexible.

On Friday, it's lower body in the morning, upper body in the afternoon. It's just strength and conditioning the whole day. And then on Saturday I go back to doing more football drills.

There's a guy there - Nader Abdullah - a defensive tackle from Ohio State. He's a pretty good guy, he should be going to the combine. And there's a safety from Duke (Adrian Aye-Darko) and we have a tackle from Maryland and other guys. Most of them are linemen from smaller schools, so I don't think anyone really knows who they are. But they are a great group of guys to work with.

When I found out I was going (to the combine), I was really happy, I was really excited, but I'm the kind of guy that gets excited for about 10 minutes and then it wears off. It's back to business. The last week I've been nervous, thinking back in my mind if I went hard enough, did I push myself. I've been going over it - over and over. I feel a lot of pressure on me, but now I'm just a little more relaxed. Hopefully I do good.

I haven't talked to coach (Tyrone) Willingham. I talk to coach (Mike) Denbock. I try to talk to him a couple of times a month. I talked to him the day I found out I was going to the combine and we had a long conversation about that. I talked to him before the East-West Shrine game and he gave me some good advice. He told me about going there and performing, and how I had some history with injuries, and going out 0-12...you have to show up. Knowing all that stuff puts pressure on me. I get nervous.

But I had confidence going into the East-West Shrine game. What I had more going for me though was a chip on my shoulder. I was pissed off. I wasn't talking to too many people. I had a lot to prove from last season, and I had a lot of naysayers from the way I played. I didn't have a great season, I'll be the first to admit to that. I'm embarrassed at the way I played last year and I knew I wasn't the same athlete I wanted to be. I didn't want to end my career on that note.

Once I trained and conditioned and hit the weight room and got my weight back down and was back to the same player I was, I had confidence going into the Shrine game. Whether I got invited to the combine, I knew I had to go there and show up, just for my own personal goals.

They measured me in at 6-foot-2.5 and 305 pounds. I came into Tempe at 327 pounds. I've been here six or seven weeks.

For me, the combine starts Wednesday morning. Sometime Tuesday they are flying me out (to Indianapolis) and I'll have the night to recover from the flight. A scout will wait for me at the airport. They have a scout assigned to every player at the combine to help handle all the paperwork and stuff. And then first thing in the morning they take me straight to the hospital. They check every injury you have. They check to see if you have any new injuries. I guess it's about five or six hours you spend at the hospital.

Here is the official combine invite list.

Here is the schedule of events for the invited players. Garcia is in Group One.


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