The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

Realistic expectations

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There's little doubt that, come January 2011, some NFL front office will wish it had pursued Donovan McNabb a with a little more conviction. He's got plenty left, particularly for a team that isn't looking to him as the answer to all its prayers.

It's a matter of expectations.

McNabb has been sold to the Eagles fan as a marquee quarterback, the franchise, the deliverer from evil. But what has become apparent over the last 10 years -- because Donovan has told us in his own words every chance he gets -- is that No. 5 is merely a very capable employee, both content and limited to follow orders wherever they may lead.

The deficit between the expectation and reality may border on the philosophical, but it has warped McNabb's relationships in Philadelphia tangibly and irrevocably. Andy Reid and the Eagles have misused Donovan's many talents, and consequently, the front offices around the league have undervalued him.

If you're going to start with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, of course you're going to look at McNabb and say, "That guy can't win us the Super Bowl by himself." But try starting with Marc Bulger, Trent Edwards or JaMarcus Russell, and then think about McNabb.

He throws a beautiful long ball, he extends plays with his legs, he doesn't throw interceptions, he's won a ton a playoff games and he represents his team well in the community. Suddenly, Kyle Orton doesn't look so great.

If McNabb is traded, even if it's to a bad team, the role he has been saddled with in Philadelphia won't go with him. Instead of being Joe Montana-minus, Donovan can be Brad Johnson-plus.

And he'll be awesome at that.

By Sean McCann  |  April 2, 2010; 12:12 PM ET  | Category:  Donovan McNabb , NFL , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The numbers don't lie | Next: Will McNabb fit in DC?

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