Davis called Garcia 'skittish'

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia has
taken enough hard hits this season that he wasn't about to take
another one from his coach.

Garcia took exception on Wednesday to a comment Butch Davis made
two days earlier when he described Garcia as being "skittish"
during a 34-23 loss against Pittsburgh last weekend.

"I don't have a reaction to that," Garcia said when asked how
he felt about Davis' characterization. "Until he plays the
quarterback position, then he can understand where I am coming

Ouch. The Bush-Kerry presidential debate may not deliver a
juicier line.

Based on his salty delivery, Garcia meant to say "can't
understand." But it's not the first mixed message coming out of
team headquarters as the Browns (2-3) try to salvage a season
that's showing signs of slipping away.

Cleveland's offense enters this week's game against Cincinnati
ranked 30th in the NFL. Theories abound to what's at the heart of
the Browns' inefficiency. Is it the lack of a running game? Is it
Garcia, who can't seem to stand still in the pocket? Is it the
offensive line? Do the Browns have enough playmakers?

Garcia offered his take Wednesday, saying the Browns are simply
missing too many chances at big plays.

While watching game film, Garcia finally sees the open receivers
he's not seeing downfield on Sundays. He's seeing receivers not
coming back to the ball when he scrambles, and watching potential
touchdowns turn into field goals.

"That is what is disappointing," said Garcia, in his first
season with Cleveland after signing as a free agent. "Because it's
not like we are a bad team or a terrible offense. The plays are
there to be made. We're not making them, and that's me included."

On Monday, Davis said Garcia, who has been sacked 13 times this
season and was running from Pittsburgh's blitz on virtually every
snap, needed to trust his protection.

"The quarterback has to have confidence that the last time he
got hit was an aberration," Davis said. "He can't be skittish. He
has to sit in the pocket and make throws."

Following Wednesday's practice, Davis was told that Garcia
didn't seem happy about the "skittish" comment.

"He probably shouldn't have been," Davis said. "That's one of
those things where the media takes one word out of 12 paragraphs
and paraphrases it when it is taken out of context. Jeff and I
talked about it and laughed about it.

"I will still say that when a quarterback gets hit, when he
thinks that he has protection and the protection doesn't hold up,
you will get skittish. That is no reflection on him."

Garcia acknowledged there have been times when he has left the
pocket too early, and said that he is still "in a learning mode"
with the Browns.

He's still adjusting to his new team. Slowly.

"I'm not saying that I had better protection in San Francisco,
but I knew exactly where to go with the football pretty much 95 to
99 percent of the time," he said. "I knew how to get the ball out
of my hands quickly and make things happen."