The last time Jeff Garcia was in Detroit, he was around a losing attitude, a broken locker room, and a miserable franchise.
And the worst part? He was right in the middle of it. On Sunday, however, Garcia's return to the Motor City will feature turnarounds for both parties.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia acknowledged the bickering in the Lions locker room when he was in Detroit two years ago.
"Obviously there were a couple players in the locker room that had issues (with quarterback Joey Harrington), but I think that was something that had built up over the years of frustration, having been there together, having not been able to win football games," Garcia said. "That creates a frustrating situation, and it's hard to fight through that when it's year in and year out, and I think that's what created some of the explosion that took place within the locker room. But it wasn't like it was completely out of control. I thought that guys, for the most part, tried to work through it. They tried to give their best. They tried to create a winning effort. And it just, unfortunately, wasn't happening."
Garcia has proven that his own troubles in the Motor City may not have been his fault, with a successful stint in Philadelphia before leading Tampa Bay to its current 4-2 mark.
Garcia also scolded his former wide receivers for their lack of work ethic.
"I can't force players to take their playbook home with them," Garcia said. "I can't force players to get in the weight room. I can't force players to watch more film. That's up to each and every individual player. And that was something I'm sure was talked about at the time and it's just unfortunate that for whatever reason when you're not winning football games, you're trying to search for answers as to what can we do to be better."
Garcia is not surprised coach Rod Marinelli cleaned house when he took over in 2006.
"I think that you have to create a certain attitude, and if the attitude is bad or wrong, then you need to clean it up in some way or another," Garcia said. "And if that means that you have to bring in fresh faces and a fresh perspective and a fresh attitude, then that's what you have to do.
"I think that coach Marinelli has done a great job. I think that he has a great staff underneath him and he has players who are believing in what they have to coach and teach, and that's so important in order to be successful or have a chance to compete on Sundays, is that your players have to believe and they have to believe in everything that they're taught and they have to believe in each other. You see that this team is really beginning to believe or is believing in each other and that's what's given them a chance to win on Sundays."