INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Garcia did not land his first NFL coaching job, but he left a strong impression on St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
The Rams hired Chris Weinke this week as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Fisher also interviewed Garcia and Steve Walsh for the position on his staff. Weinke and Walsh also played in the NFL. Weinke was the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner, and finished his career with a start for the 49ers in the final game of the 2007 season.
Weinke was chosen for the job in large part due to his work as a director at IMG Academy, where he has worked with Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill and others, Fisher said.
Garcia had the most distinguished professional playing career of the candidates. He made the Pro Bowl four times in his 10-year NFL career, including in three consecutive seasons with the 49ers. Garcia still holds the 49ers single-season record with 4,278 passing yards in 2000. He was undrafted out of San Jose State and did not get his first NFL opportunity until Bill Walsh gave him a chance with the 49ers after five seasons in the Canadian Football League.
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Garcia, 44, has worked with high school, college and such professional quarterbacks as Mark Sanchez, Tyrod Taylor and Matt McGloin in San Diego in recent years. He spent several months last season as quarterbacks coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
Fisher said Garcia’s energy and enthusiasm impressed him during their day-and-a-half meeting. Fisher said he hopes Garcia lands an NFL coaching job.
“It was almost as if he was getting ready to go out and play a game,” Fisher said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s just that guy. He’s so competitive. Throughout his career, people said he couldn’t do what he did. He takes great care of himself. He’s passionate about the game. He loves the game. His dad was a coach. It’s in him.
“He understands the system, the West Coast system and how it’s morphed. He’s familiar with it. He understands how difficult it is to see. Back there, taking snaps, it’s hard to see. But he also understands the game and preparation and loves competing.”