Chuck Garcia, an NFL scout for the past 11 years, was named assistant general manager and director of player personnel of the Washington Federals yesterday.
Garcia, 48, has scouted for the Cleveland Browns since 1979 and for the Seattle Seahawks in that franchise's first three years. He worked for the NFL's scouting combine from 1972-75.
"The challenge here is great," Garcia said of the 3-14 Federals. "The commitment is to put a better team on the field."
Garcia has never seen the Federals play. "That's why I'm here this weekend," he said.
Garcia's contract is for two years, but not guaranteed like those of General Manager Dick Myers and Coach Ray Jauch.
"At this point I don't think we have to guarantee contracts to attract top people," said owner Berl Bernhard.
The personnel job has been open since Mike Faulkiner left the Federals before the U.S. Football League season opener to become an assistant coach of the New York Jets..
"We knew we'd be criticized for waiting so long but it would have been easy to pick the first person off the street when Mike left," said Myers.
Without a personnel director, Jauch and Myers, who had never traveled as a scout before, were forced to fill in. "I was always used to being able to say 'Hey, I've got a hurt linebacker, can you get me one?' " Jauch said. "The way it was I couldn't really do that so easily."
Garcia has traveled around the entire country--"except Wyoming and North Dakota"--in search of potential pro football players and he said it is unlikely for the Federals or any team to discover unknown talent.
"In the last 15 years there haven't been any 'sleepers,' as we used to call them," Garcia said. "All the schools are covered." He said scouting has become a matter of discerning what talent will fit into a particular team's framework.
All NFL teams have extensive scouting operations, but Garcia said the situation is somewhat different in the USFL.
"We can't get sophisticated in one year's time," he said. "If Berl had that kind of money, I'd put scouts from one end of the country to the other, but we have to crawl before we walk."
Garcia will be assisted by Jerry Fauls, 58, who was made a full-time scout. Fauls coached at Stuart High School in Falls Church for 21 years. This year he worked part-time for the Federals.
Jauch, Myers and Garcia would not say what positions need to be improved and who might fill them.
"I think we're gonna wait till the end of the season and let the smoke clear," Jauch said.