Garcia says he's open to rejoining Eagles as QB Kolb's mentor

PHILADELPHIA -- If the Eagles want a veteran quarterback to mentor Kevin Kolb, Jeff Garcia is ready for the role.

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday that he has talked to the team about the possibility, but nothing is imminent.

Career Statistics
Passer Rating: 87.5

Passing Yards: 25,537

TDs/INTs: 161/83

"I would welcome the opportunity to return to Philly and be a part of the Eagles' organization and to be in front of those great fans again," Garcia wrote. "I know that I would be a great addition/mentor for Kevin as well as many of the other young guys on the team. Time will tell."

The Eagles traded six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins last week, paving the way for Kolb to start.

Kolb, 25, has started just two games in three NFL seasons. Michael Vick is Philadelphia's current backup.

Garcia filled in nicely when McNabb went down with a knee injury in 2006, leading the Eagles to the NFC East title and a playoff victory. Garcia returned for a couple games last season as a backup when McNabb broke a rib, then was released.

In 2006, the Eagles went 5-1 down the stretch with Garcia as the starter. The gritty Garcia became an instant fan favorite in blue-collar Philadelphia, and teammates praised his leadership skills. But the Eagles chose to let Garcia test free agency after that season, and he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McNabb guided the Eagles to five NFC championships and one Super Bowl in 11 seasons, but he never completely won over the fans the way Garcia did in half a season.

Garcia, 40, began his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999. He had his best season in 2000, completing 63.3 percent of his passes (355-for-561) for 4,278 yards, 31 TDs and just 10 interceptions. Garcia averaged 3,720 yards and 28 TDs between 2000 to 2002.

Garcia played five seasons in San Francisco and spent one each with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Eagles. After two years with the Bucs, he signed with the Oakland Raiders last year but was released in training camp. Garcia was with the Eagles for two games last September.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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