Would the Eagles be Better Off With McNabb?
It was Easter Sunday two years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles finally decided the time was right to cut ties with Donovan McNabb. Fans around the Delaware Valley were split on if McNabb was the problem or if Andy Reid was the problem.
McNabb was traded, which had the McNabb haters rejoicing all over town. Two years later, here we are talking about the coach needing to be fired - so who's fault was the previous 12 seasons, the coach or the quarterback?
Yes, McNabb has moved on and not played well, but lets not be hypocrites here, we all knew that the teams and situations he was entering were not ideal - both Minnesota and Washington were lousy teams and haven't been any better off without McNabb then they were with him playing. Translation, lets not throw all the blame on him.
The Eagles without McNabb are a mediocre 14-14, The Redskins with a combo of Rex Grossman and John Beck have gone 5-15 and the Vikings are 1-5 since they went to Christian Ponder.
I'm not writing this to say that McNabb is better then you think, but in the NFL you can play the quarterback position well into your 30's. McNabb was a great player, maybe not the great you wanted him to be, but he was a great player in this league.
His final season in Philadelphia was one of his best - throwing for 3553 yards, 22 TD's and just 10 picks, going 10-4 as the starting quarterback.
The reason why McNabb would have helped this Eagles team this season is he takes care of the ball. Eagles quarterback have combined to turn the ball over 25 times (22 INT's and 5 fumbles). This season in six games, McNabb turned the ball over twice (two INT's, 0 fumbles).
We know McNabb is not the accurate pin-point passer you want him to be, you thought that was going to be Kevin Kolb, see how that worked out. In a season that is the year of the QB, Donovan McNabb's 82.9 passer rating would have him ranked 14th in the NFL right now, Mike Vick is 79.8, Kevin Kolb is 81.0. In Washington, Grossman's ratings sits at 69.8 while Ponder's is 76.6 in Minnesota.
Listen, again is McNabb the player he was, no. But he's not the problem with these teams.
The Eagles won in McNabb's final season, Andy Reid didn't have his team ready to play Dallas and was out-coached by Wade Phillips. Just like he doesn't have his team ready to play the Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills this season.
The Redskins wouldn't be good with Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback, they have no weapons on offense, to ask McNabb to turn Anthony Armstrong, Jabar Gaffney and Santana Moss into Todd Pinkston and James Thrash again isn't fair (sarcasm).
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, while Percy Havin is a nice player, he is inconsistent and his injury issues are enough to give anyone a headache - literally. The rest of the Vikings receiving core is more Charles Johnson and Torrance Small, then DeSean Jackason and Jeremy Maclin. I know Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins aren't supposed to get you to the NFC title game are they?
In McNabb's worst season in Philadelphia, he turned the ball over 18 times back in the year 2000. Keep in mind on that Eagles staff in 2000 were Brad Childress (Quarterbacks), Leslie Frazier (Defensive Backs), Ron Rivera (Linebackers), Pat Shurmur (Quarterbacks) and Steve Spagnuolo (Defensive Assistant/Quality Control). Plus Jim Johnson was running the defense.
So let me ask you, is it the players or the coaching?
Don't turn the ball over and be a well coached discipline team, and 4-8 becomes 8-4.
Trade your quarterback who protected the ball and let a depleted coaching staff take over and watch playoff seasons, become 4-8.