Back in the saddle

"We can't look at what is going to happen at the end of the year without taking care of business right here, right now. It's Thanksgiving week, there is a sense of people maybe relaxing, eating too much and not really being focused on what they need to be focused on, and that is where the men are going to separate themselves from everybody else, that is where the challenge really is for this team to come together and do what they have to do in Baltimore and take care of business."

Q: How's your health now that you're back practicing full speed?

Garcia: I felt like I had my quickness, the arm strength, the zip on the ball and just the freshness of being out there again. It feels great to be out there, to be competing, to be contributing in certain ways. I just hope that it continues to maintain and even get better. It is going to be one of those things where playing with pain is something that I am use to doing and I am sure that I am going to play with some soreness and some aches but I think that it is to the point where I am ready to get back out on the field.

Q: Are you feeling the healthiest now that you have all season?

Garcia: Going into training camp I had the lower back problem which really isn't a problem anymore. Then it seemed that I had one injury after the next throughout the season, so after this month of basically laying low and being off my feet and trying to recover from the ankle sprain it has allowed everything else to heal up too. I really feel good coming into this weekend as far as my overall health, it is probably the best it's been since before the season. So that's a good thing.

Q: How was it to take a month off during the middle of a season?

Garcia: I really haven't had any sort of situations like that ever and we would have to go back to an injury in high school to where I really had to sit because of an injury. Yes, there have been times with red-shirting of watching other people play, but as far as being the starter and being able to contribute, having to sit out for a month is just something that just does not sit well with me as far as being a competitor on the field. So that is something that I had to deal with and just really support my teammates and support Tim (Rattay). He did a great job in the three games that he was able to get out on the field and that is something that he has worked extremely hard to finally get that opportunity and I think that he made the most of the opportunity, and now it is time for me to get back out on the field and hopefully do some things and help this team win some games down the stretch.

Q: Wouldn't you say your teammates have seemed to welcome you back?

Garcia: Well, we have gone through a lot together and we have been a playoff team in the past and I have been fortunate to be at the helm during those times. So it just a matter of getting back in the mix of things and reestablishing myself as far as the tempo goes and just my energy level and excitement for the game and that's all there. I think that in ways that fire was able to regenerate itself just from watching from the sidelines and being somewhat frustrated or disappointed that I wasn't out there on the field helping my team.

Q: How hard was it to watch from the sidelines?

Garcia: It was difficult, it's difficult anytime you get to this level and you realize what it takes to get to this level as far as what you have to go through both mentally and physically and to not be able to be on the field and contribute, and as much as I tried to contribute in other ways not being out on the field actually playing the game is very hard, it's very difficult and so I just had to be somewhat patient and deal with what I had to go through and be supportive and now I feel that I have been patient enough and I am ready enough to come back out on the field and compete at the highest level.

Q: What were you able to learn while Tim was playing?

Garcia: In ways I was able to learn things from Tim. I think that Tim does some things different on the football field that I do and he had some success doing those things. And so, in ways I was able to learn in watching Tim play and just gain a new perspective in sitting and watching from the sidelines, and you learn a lot, you have to take the attitude of trying to learn as much as you can when you are not in the game physically. For Tim to get out there and finally get those opportunities as much as I want it to be me out there he has worked extremely hard over these past four years to finally get an opportunity on the field, and so in that way it was great to see. It was great to watch Tim go out there and have success, lead this team to two wins and he experienced some difficulties last week in Green Bay, but that is going to be a positive thing for him in the future as far as the learning experiences that he got on the field and for me it was a learning experience also, that is how I took it, that's the attitude I had during the stretch of a month, and now it is time for me to take what I learned and hopefully the health that is now back in place and go back out on the field and put it together and make some things happen.

Q: How difficult is the road ahead for this team?

Garcia: We have a difficult run in front of us, obviously three games on the road, we haven't won on the road all season long. None of these games are going to be easy, they are all going to be difficult, but every game in the NFL is difficult. But one game at a time, obviously a great challenge in Baltimore this weekend, a very good defensive team, obviously put up great points offensively last weekend against Seattle so it's going to be the ultimate challenge to try to be a playoff team, but we can't look at what is going to happen at the end of the year with out taking care of business right here right now, and that means everybody in this locker room has to step up. It's Thanksgiving week, there is a sense of people maybe relaxing, eating too much and not really being focused on what they need to be focused on, and that is where the men are going to separate themselves from everybody else, that is where the challenge really is for this team to come together and do what they have to do in Baltimore and take care of business.

Q: What are the differences that you and Tim Rattay present for opposing defenses?

Garcia: In many ways we are different styles. As much as we are similar body types and maybe there are some similarities as far as arm strength or certain things like that were are just different styles. I am a little bit more frantic in the pocket, I move around, I somewhat make things happen on the run he is more calm in the pocket and allows things to develop. In the two games where he had success he was allowed to do that. He was able to allow routes to develop and he was able to put the ball where he needed to put it, and I think that at times that needs to be my game as far as needing to be a little more patient and in so many ways that is something that I took from watching Tim, he was patient he allowed things to develop, he made plays and if I can do that at times and not be so quick to move around, granted much of the first part of the season we were playing with back up offensive linemen, we were still trying to get everybody on the same page and so things were a little bit different but there are no excuses there. There are things that I can learn from Tim and I can grow from that situation from that situation, from that opportunity of being able to sit and watch from the sidelines and see how this team plays the game and how we were able to have success on the field and hopefully I can put it to use in my way.

Q: Do you feel like you sometimes were getting a little to frantic in the pocket?

Garcia: No, I am not saying that, there were times that I definitely had to move to make things happen. I think that we were fortunate in ways to get the line back together at a time when Tim was stepping in and everything seemed to work out well and he took advantage of it and that is why I can say that I learned from those types of things. Anytime you start to get pressure and you start to feel the heat in certain ways, whether it is through blitzes or anything like that you are naturally going to be a little more quick to react to certain things, you are not going to be as calm in the pocket, whether I was that way or not, who knows, but I know there were times when I had to move and there wasn't a whole lot of stability at times. We are all working together to get better as an offense, to be come more stable as an offense and for myself to become more stable as a quarterback.

Q: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Garcia: Well I am thankful to have my health again, and I am always thankful for my family and to be able to be here close to home so that my family can be a part of what I do, and experience these dreams coming true.

Niners Digest Top Stories