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Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

Looking to Lay Blame? Try Mornhinweg

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There are at least two reasons that Andy Reid is going to start Donovan McNabb on Thursday, when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Arizona Cardinals. First, he is still a great quarterback who gives his team the best shot at winning. Second, it's not McNabb's fault the Birds are tanking. The real blame lies with the play calling of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and ultimately with Coach Andy Reid.

I don't care who your quarterback is, there is no way any team can be effective in the NFL without a functional running game. It's so obvious that it's cliché, but if defenses don't have to worry about your ground game they can essentially double up against your air attack. Running may not win championships, but you can't win without it.

And while the Eagles are short on running backs, it is idiotic to give up on that aspect of the game -- particularly when you suddenly insert a backup quarterback into the game. It's like a boxer choosing to fight one-handed because his left hand isn't as powerful as his right. That appears to be Mornhinweg's strategy though, and it's why Eagles nation should focus its hulking rage against him and not McNabb.

Reid is responsible too, not only for buying into the bombast, but making personnel decisions that enable it. The Eagles have no fullback, moreover they seem to believe you don't need to have one. Odd how their toughest losses this season, against the Bears, the Giants and the Ravens came as a result of failures in short yardage situations. Mornhinweg's got to go, but Reid is on thin ice.

By Emil Steiner  |  November 24, 2008; 12:56 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Heavy is the Crown | Next: Reid Was Right

Comments

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Umm...doesnt Reid call the plays?

Not Marty Mornhinweg

A few years ago when Reid turned it over the Mornhinweg, the Eagles went on a run and made the playoffs

Posted by: Duh | November 24, 2008 1:55 PM

Actually I think Reid 'Shares' the duties but primarily has a say on every play called.

So yea, quit Reid calls mostly all the plays

Posted by: Yeah | November 24, 2008 6:48 PM

"Running may not win championships, but you can't win without it."
Umm, the Patriots went undefeated all the way to the Super Bowl without a running game. And to prove that comment even further wrong, the 49ers won their first Super Bowl with no running game.

Though sweeping generalizations are often true, there's always exceptions to the rule.

That having been said, it seems weird that the Eagles haven't tried to shift the burden off McNab's arm. Elway didn't win the SB until he had Terrell Davis. Steve Young didn't win it until his defense improved. Are there salary cap or other organizational issues at play here?

Posted by: steven | November 25, 2008 12:53 AM

Emil:
"Running may not win championships, but you can't win without it"

Dude this sentence doesn't make any sense. Are you Yogi Berra's grandson or something?

Steven:
1) The Patriots lost the SB to a team that HAD a running game.
2) The Patriots themselves WON the SB when they HAD (Corey Dillon) a running game.
3) The 49ers had to settle for 4 field goals against the Bengals in SB XVI because their running game (Patton/Cooper) wasn't stellar.
4) The 49ers went out the very next year and drafted Roger Craig who had a 4.1 yard per carry average for his career.

So the adage that you can't win championships if you can run the ball and stop the run, is a mostly true statement.

Posted by: ProfWrightBSU | November 25, 2008 3:11 PM

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