Jeff Garcia was throwing around a few ideas regarding the 49ers offense the other day, and most of them kept spiraling back toward the same subject: He wants to throw the ball more.
In building a 3-1 record, the 49ers have not exactly relied on their passing game as they did for the most part of the past two decades. Their offense is ranked No. 8 in the NFL, but their passing attack is only 11th. That's not bad. But it's certainly not good enough for Garcia, who threw for a franchise-record 4,278 yards last year.
"I'm a quarterback who likes to throw," Garcia said. "I played in the Candian Football League. We throw the ball. We don't run it."
The 2001 49ers have been running it. In fact, entering the second quarter of the season, they have run it more than they've passed it. San Francisco - the NFL's No. 2-ranked rushing team - has run the ball 131 times while throwing 125 passes. While the running game has been impressive, the offense has had trouble getting untracked because the passing game has been inconsistent.
"I don't know if we're holding ourselves back in ways trying to run the football," Garcia said. "I think the way this team is built and when you look at some of the talent on this team, much of that talent is in our receiving corps and could be through our passing game. Personally, I see this team as a team that throws the ball to open up a running game and not vice versa."
Garcia said that's something that could be holding back the offense. "I don't really see us as being an explosive offense as of yet," he said. "I'm not completely happy how we're playing offensively. I think we can be so much better. I think we have the tools throughout the offense to be much better."
His right arm being one of them.
"Personally, I like to air it out a bit," Garcia said. "I like to find a rhythm myself. I think that's important for your quarterback to establish a rhythm to where he's very comfortable with what you're doing offensively. "I mean, I'm not complaining about the play-calling. But I think that when I'm working at my best is when I'm in a rhythm of throwing 70 percent of the time or so. I think that's maybe not something we're going to completely get to, but I think that would benefit our offense in ways. It'll benefit me in ways, as far as my production with the football. And if I'm being productive with the football, then this offense is going to be productive."
Coach Steve Mariucci expects his quarterback to feel no other way. "When a quarterback is asked would he like to throw the ball more …well, no kidding. Of course he would," Mariucci said. For the record, Jeff is a very unselfish person. He wants to win games. He will do it whatever way we ask him to do and he does it very well. We're winning, and that's what counts."