The League


Is McNabb Being Unfairly Blamed?

After leading the Eagles through their most successful era in franchise history, is Donovan McNabb now responsible for the team's meltdown?

Posted by Emil Steiner on November 24, 2008 9:04 AM

Jason: Look folks, I hate the Eagles more than anyone. But their problems are more cyclical than anything else. They built up a very good team that...


shalshah: I don't think you can blame Donovan. He doesn't have the best receivers around him and Westbrook has been hurt. I think in all of this... ...

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Green Feathers :

McNabb is done. Put a fork in him and chuck him towards Chicago. In fact he was done 2 years ago when Jeff Garcia showed him up. And the fact that Andy Reid stuck with him for so long means he should probably go to. I never like their game and I think they're going to be remembered as a team that rode luck further than any team in NFL history.

Alex35332 :

my prediction is that Philly is going to dismantle this off season and take 2 season to re-build around the new QB. Here is the guess, this season McNabb is traded to Detroit, or Minnesota, or KC. Andy Reid is fired goes to SF. I see 2 seasons of fire sale on their roster, and Westbrook will be gone in the end (I would not mind seeing him and Portis becoming a 1-2 punch for the skins though I don't think its likely).

Troy :

Only people in Philadelphia actually thought the Uggles had a shot this year. Did anyone else?

Eagles are so past their prime they are turning to cheese. Face facts that the only year they were great was with TO. Every other year they were above average and the division was weak.

Reality check Filthydelphia, your team is always a day late and a dollar short.

Sammy P :

Can you really ask who is to blame? Its everybody. The front office stinks, the coaches are braindead the players are hurt or old or both and the fans give no support. In a season or two the Eagles will be fighting with the Lions for the crown of worst franchise in the nfl.

Neil :

Troy: how can you say only people in Philly thought the Eagles had a shot this year when Sports Illustrated picked them to win the superbowl? All of the blame for this mess of a season lies on Andy Reid. The entire front office follows his every decision regarding personell. He "shares" playcalling duties with Morninwheg. Then throws Kolb to the wolves by not supporting him with a running game. Sammy: the team is actually one of the youngest in the league, and while the fans are furious at a couple people (Mcnabb and Reid in particular) they still support the Eagles.

And I don't even know why I wrote this most of the people on here are Redskins fans and those fans are so dumb and ignorant when it comes to football they actually put forth a huge effort to vote all their players in the pro-bowl.

Keedrow :

Donavan McNabb has proved to be the biggest disappointment of all veteran QBs out there. It showed in the Dallas game. They had a chance to pull that game out but McNabbs poor passes and DUMB decisions cost them that game and it hasn't stopped. He's still throwing terribly and still making DUMB decisions for a veteran QB.

And then he has the nerve to walk around with that stupid smile on his face after he makes a mistake. It's not funny to philly fans especially when you don't win the game dummy. His days in philly are numbered and it will be interesting to see who will be interested in taking a chance on him next year.

Troy :

Neil: First of all, SI picked the Eagles to make the Super Bowl, not win it. Second, anytime SI puts a player on their cover preview issue, they will choke, as McNabb did this year. Third, SI is never ever right and they proved it yet again. Peter King is an idiot. Fourth I am a Cowboys fan. Fifth, go take a shower, you just got worked.

Neil :

Troy: ha, yea i'm sorry they were only picked to go to the superbowl and not win it, and i'm sorry i didn't know your favorite team (or care) yea really got worked on that one.

delOH :

McNabb is without a doubt the reason this franchise hasn't won at least one Super Bowl since he's been QB. How many meltdowns are we talking about? Just the one this year?

See Ya! :

People point to McNabb's numbers as "proof" of his greatness. I say so what? If he played in Pittsburgh and not Philadelphia then he wouldn't have half of those. Reid says pass 75% of the time so what do you expect. He leave the way he came in. To a loud chorus of boos.

Realityvision :

I remember the criticism of McNabb by Terrel Owens when he left. I disliked TO so much that I completely dismissed the comments as petty. He said that McNabb was out of shape and would get tired at the end of games. But then I started noticing him, late in games, gasping for air. The Dallas game, when he was playing so well until the last 5 min. He wasn’t the same player. Against the Redskins or Bengals, you could see a visible drop in performance. I guess only McNabb can tell us for sure if that is the case. As a professional athlete your conditioning shows your commitment to the game and your team.

D3Keith :

Eagles fan here. (is accepting pity)

McNabb alone is not at fault for the Eagles gross underachievements this season, however it was the right move to go to Kolb for a spark at yesterday's half. He'd been mired in a streak of 6 poor quarters of play in a row and the Birds were in a must-win game. Watching both the Bengals and Ravens games, I wondered how much longer any reasonable coach could stand to watch.

Now that we've determined quarterback play is not the answer, the Eagles have one last "drastic" move they can go to to save their season (which basically needs a five-game winning streak to do so):

Commit to the run.

It sounds preposterous, I know. The Giants and Titans and other teams that commit to it are getting only mixed results (facetious) ... If Reid wants to save his job and the franchise as we know it, he'll swallow is play-calling pride and pound it. With McNabb as the QB.

If it doesn't work, I could see Reid or McNabb back with the team next year, but not both.

mike l :

Eagles fans don't support them? What are you, nuts? The place is sold out every game and there is a waiting list of 70,000 for season tickets. ut while we do support the team, it doesn't mean we're dumb enough to accept their garbage without letting them know about it. Reid's been losing it since the Super Bowl (under .500) and especially since his sons' arrests last year. His complete disdain for the running game is laughable. Dbacks know that the ball is going up 50 times a game, giving them ample shots at interceptions. McNabb was supposed to be finally healthy this year, but has looked worse than ever. McNabb is a so-so QB, afraid to laugh at himself and show he's human. Of his five Pro Bowls, I believe he was elected to just one, maybe two. Made the others when guys like Favre decided not to go. Reid is a horrible on the spot coach. If it ain't scripted, it don't work. After 10 years, he hasn't changed his methods while other teams have adapted. Several opposing players this season have said they either knew what plays were coming or made guesses based on his track record. Time to make some changes.

Bob :

McNabb cannot carry the team by himself. The Eagles have gotten old and slow, and McNabb has aged, but will have some success elsewhere before he's done. He's a class act too, never complains, always a pro.

RichFromPhilly :

Being from Philly, we have had a lot of Andy Reid. Right now he picks the players in the draft; has major input on free agents, coaches the team and calls the offensive plays. He has way too much on his plate and the roles have inherent conflicts. He seems to be blind to how bad some of his personnel choices have been. If the Eagles had a real GM, then Reid could come back to him/her on player selection. Right now, he sticks up for his own choices. We don't know how much the owner has a tight rein on spending for talent. However, we have had one first team wide out for just over one season in the last 10 years. We are extremely short of talent at tight end, especially in blocking for the run. The Eagles could have had Tony Gonzalez for a 3rd or 4th round draft pick. It would have filled a big hole. Last year we started the season without a kickoff or punt returner and lost two games because of the ones who were learning via OJT. We don't have a real fullback--again a key for run blocking. Yesterday, the score was 10-7 at the half--a 3 point margin. Yes Donovan was miserable, but over the years he has had bad spells and good ones and can turn it around on a dime. But, Mr. Brains decides this is the time to bring the rookie in--think Kevin K. has had less than 20 regular season snaps. He was not prepared to come in on short notice; if you want to play the rookie, then let him start the game. While Donovan was bad, KK had no chance. Time for Andy to go--let's get a coach who will use Mcnabb's talent which is not the West coast offense that Andy won't move away from even though he doesn't have the players that can execute it.

OfficerMancuso :

Mark Maske wrote, "Once Andy Reid made the move to bench his prominent veteran quarterback, right or wrong, there should have been no turning back."

I can't agree with that. Sometimes pulling a starting QB is like pulling a starting pitcher when it's 6-1 after two innings. The guy's getting bombed, he obviously doesn't have his good stuff, and on this day, he's been psyched.

Maybe McNabb is at the end of a distinguished career. Maybe not. But benching him in a game where he was unnerved doesn't have to mean eternal 2'nd string status.

John :

Been an Eagles fan since 1969 and have the following to say about the current state of the team... The Eagles need a running game that defenses have to respect, plain and simple and a couple of solid receivers that can get open regularly would be most helpful. McNabb is simply burned out by having to carry the majority of the offensive load for so many years now, age and injuries have finally caught up with him. But I must add that Donovan has made some of the most incredibly boneheaded decisions/plays I have ever seen from a top tier NFL QB. We have been incredibly fortunate to have had the level of success that we have had with an essentially one dimensional offense. Now that gig is up and we need a new approach and philosophy to turn this situation around. The Eagles will NEVER win a Superbowl without a solid running game, EVER. We need another Wilbert Montgomery in the backfield, and an organization and head coach that are fully committed to addressing this glaring weakness.

PFC Brown :

As an Eagles fan living abroad this has been the best piece of news I received in a long time. Until I checked back and hear coach is starting him Thursday.
What kills me about all this is that we're gonna have to pay him 10 million+ next year. Thats cap cash that could go a lot of different places like wideouts or replacing the o-line. Instead we're wasting it on a has been. Donovan did his part for his time and for his team. He had a good run but as a team we have to move on. Let go of the past and embrace the future. Time has come. Release or trade him now.

a classic :

Twas the night before the playoffs
And throughout the NFL
The entire league was laughing
At the franchise from hell

It started in September
As the birds traveled South
When a 150 lb Corner
Punched big Jeramiah in the mouth

The Georgia Dome was rocking
Likes waves crashing in to Maui
“Lavalas up the middle”
Uh – Oh, Little Donnie got an owie.

Sports hernia! Fibula! Lis Franc!
What’s the reason?
Maybe these fragile boys will
Toughen up for next season

The loses mounted
And kept getting worse
When the Eagles went to Dallas
Did they get smoked? Of course!

I thought the Eagles were good
And they had the great TO
But that didn’t work out now did it?
No Philly Yo. Just Ho Ho Ho.

The rematch with Dallas:
For revenge Philly was hopin’
And it looked pretty good
Til McNabb found Roy – wide open!

And then came Seattle
At home, we should win!
But the only sound heard at the Linc
Was a lonely dropped pin.

But there is salary cap space
Player acquisition is the goal
But management won’t spend the money
Instead of free agents, you’ll only get coal

Rooting for the Eagles
Now there’s a lost cause
Oh well you can always egg buses
And boo Santa Claus

Mr. S D Rodrian :

Yes. The real guilty party is
whomever is calling the plays.

S D Rodrian

Rush :

I was right.

Jim :

McNabb and Westbrook could be done. I pity any decent quarterback or running back that plays for Philadelphia. Each year these guys are thrown to the wolves by a management team that refuses to establish a credible running game. Although McNabb is no Bret Favre, I am sure that teams like the Cleveland Browns pray that McNabb is released from the Eagles. Quarterbacks like Favre and McNabb that so many want to send out to pasture are heads and shoulders above the quarterbacks just learning the trade.

John :

This is not McNabb's fault. I place the blame squarly on Andy Reid. The awful play calling is primarily to blame. Case in point, the Eagles had thriteen "third & one" situations against the Bengals. Reid chose to PASS the ball EVERY SINGLE TIME.

First, let McNabb call his own plays (e.g., Farve and or Manning) rather than coaches who rely on stastics. He knows what he and the guys can do at any one point in the game better than a coach on the sideline.

Second, RUN the D_MN BALL!

Jason :

Look folks, I hate the Eagles more than anyone. But their problems are more cyclical than anything else. They built up a very good team that competed at a very high level for 4-5 years and were factors even beyond that. Generally speaking, that's a pretty average length of time for a good team to remain good before needing a serious overhaul. True, they excelled during years in which the NFC East was weaker than usual, And true, they were at least one piece away from being champs each year. But without McNabb, they would never have been much more than a .500 team, which is what they've been the last 2 years with McNabb winding down.

It's a cyclical thing. Only the rarest of teams can retool in the midst of big success and maintain a high level of excellence beyond 4-5 years. At some point, a squad has to rebuild on a big scale, and that may be where the Eagles are now. But McNabb is only a part of that. They're getting old in too many key areas. They need better receivers, a more consistent running game, and new juice on the sidelines. They can be a .500 team with what they've currently got and with what they're currently doing. But that's not good enough anymore



shalshah :

I don't think you can blame Donovan. He doesn't have the best receivers around him and Westbrook has been hurt. I think in all of this... we have to blame Andy Reid's kids! Those two troublemakers..!

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