Today on ProFootballTalk.com, the folks over there floated the suggestion that the Minnesota Vikings should make an effort to acquire QB Jeff Garcia from Tampa Bay in an effort to shore up their quarterback situation.
It's not that I don't think that Jeff Garcia is a good football player. He clearly showed last season that he still has some juice left in the tank. It's the fact that pretty much all mid-season trade rumors in the NFL strike me as a bit absurd, particularly those that involve players at the quarterback position. After all, this isn't like baseball where things don't particularly change a great deal from one location to the next. An illustration:
A Major League Baseball player that's been traded meets his new manager for the first time.
Baseball player: Hey, skip, I'm happy to be here and I'm willing to do whatever you ask to help this team win!
Manager: Well. . .what we want you to do is take one of those bats over there. . .go and stand in that batter's box. . .and hit the ball.
Baseball player: Pretty much like I did for my old team?
Manager: Yep, you've got it! Go get 'em, slugger!
Now. . .to contrast. . .
An NFL quarterback acquired by his new team prior to Week 3 goes to meet his coach for the first time.
Quarterback: Hey, coach, I'm happy to be here and I'm willing to do whatever you ask to help this team win!
Coach proceeds to produce an 800-page playbook and tosses it on to his desk.
Coach: Learn this. Be ready by Sunday.
Quarterback proceeds to soil himself.
Coach: And get yourself a fresh change of underwear. Why are you still sitting here, anyway? Shouldn't you be learning the playbook?
Yes, I realize that Brad Childress' playbook probably isn't 800 pages long and, in fact, could probably be contained within a Trapper Keeper. I was talking about normal NFL teams there.
But if the Vikings were to acquire Jeff Garcia, by the time he'd really, REALLY be ready to make a significant contribution to the team, it might already be too late. He'd have to learn the playbook, learn the terminology, develop timing with his receivers, and all of that stuff. That's why teams have training camp. . .they work out all of that sort of stuff there before the season rather than trying to do it during the course of the year.
The other reason that it would be absurd for the Vikings to try to acquire Jeff Garcia is. . .and bear with me here. . .that with the way the offense is currently being called and run, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference WHO is taking the snaps. It could be Jeff Garcia, it could be Tarvaris Jackson or Gus Frerotte or anybody else. . .as long as the offensive philosophy and the way the plays are called aren't changed, nothing is going to change with the offense, either.
I'm not sure why PFT is starting the "Jeff Garcia to Minnesota" rumors, but as of right now, I think they have all the validity and legitimacy of a tampering charge filed by Ted Thompson. . .and we KNOW how truthful and honest those are.