The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

Andy Reid Will Adjust

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Unfortunately for Donovan McNabb's fragile psyche, the Eagles will be fine for a couple of weeks without him. At least that's what history has told us.

Philadelphia is 12-11 in the 23 starts that McNabb has missed due to injury since breaking his ankle in 2002, and five of those losses came in 2005, when everybody else who mattered got hurt as well. In those 23 games, the Birds' offense averaged a respectable 22 points and failed to score 20 just six times.

And with the exception of Jeff Garcia in 2006, we're not talking about sterling backups here. Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley both made the Eagles' offense look good when they started, and even Mike McMahon managed to win a game. Heck, Feeley looked so good in his '02 relief appearances that the Dolphins thought he was their answer at starter.

How does this happen?

Without McNabb in the game, Andy Reid is like a pro golfer who suddenly feels he can't work the ball anymore. He can't hit that power fade around the trees to reach the 600-yard par-5 in two, and he can't spin his approach back 10 feet into the trough that feeds down to the hole.

Stripped of his egotistic repertoire, he simplifies things. He starts aiming at flags.

With Kevin Kolb as the starter, Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will stick with plays they know will work. They'll hand the ball to Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy and even DeSean Jackson at little bit more, keeping the rush out of Kolb's face and nursing his confidence along.

Reid and company are famously bad at in-game adjustments, which is much of the reason Kolb looked so God-awful on Sunday, and in his half of meaningful play last year at Baltimore. But the Eagles coach makes up for it with obsessive preparation, which is why he won't let Kolb fail as a stopgap starter.

By Sean McCann  |  September 14, 2009; 11:33 AM ET  | Category:  Medical , Michael Vick , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: They've Done It Before | Next: Backing Up Controversy

Comments

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You just keep murmuring to yourself about "Donovan McNabb's 'fragile psyche'" Sunday when he's out there in the flak jacket picking apart the New Orleans Saints and leading the Eagles to a two-wins-in-the-conference start.

Posted by: KevinShinn | September 14, 2009 1:27 PM

"absentee-father-level preparation"...did it feel good to get that in there? Do you feel witty?

That's an immature basement blogger statement. I would kind of expect more from the Washington Post. I think the line is in poor taste.

Posted by: a1233 | September 14, 2009 2:25 PM

You're right. Too glib, old news, low blow, my bad.

Posted by: Sean McCann | September 14, 2009 7:26 PM

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