To McNabb, or Not To McNabb: What Was the Question Again?

(Originally Posted: Monday January 11, 2010)

All season long, I was convinced that Donovan McNabb would be the Eagles starting quarterback at the beginning of the 2010 season. That was until about halfway through the 3rd quarter of their second straight embarrassment in Dallas this weekend. Yes, you guessed it, it’s another “Will McNabb be back as the Eagles quarterback” column! Just to be clear, this is about whether or not I think Donovan will be back next year, not whether or not I think he should be back. (I’ll probably crank one of those out later in the week.)

Going into the offseason, one thing is abundantly clear about the Eagles quarterback situation. All three of these guys will not be back next year. Quick review of the Eagles QBs at the end of ’09 season:

  • McNabb The grizzled veteran who’s taken us to the playoffs almost every year, but never to the promised land. We know what we got with McNabb. He’ll beat the bad teams, some of the good teams, but struggle against the great ones (Hate to say that after his last two performances against Dallas, but it’s the truth.)
  • Kolb The unknown backup drafted to be the future and sat on the bench learning the system for the last three years. Is there anyone more beloved in sports then the backup quarterback? Since being drafted, Reid and his coaching staff have told anyone who would listen that this kid is going to be great. He’s looked mediocre to bad in preseason performances. He was good to great in his two regular season games. How long can we talk about future with this kid?
  • Vick An enigma wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a rap sheet. Like most of the fan base, I blew a gasket when the Birds signed him. I was expecting a media circus, but it wasn’t that bad. Early in the season, it seemed like Andy was trying too hard to insert him into the offense. By the end of the season, the stuff he was doing in spot duty was exciting and surprisingly effective. No way he’s the starter for the Birds in 10.

So do the Eagles have an embarrassment of riches, or just three capable starters? I tend to lean somewhere in the middle. Let’s take Vick first. He could start in the league, but that is more a condemnation on the state of NFL quarterbacks, then a positive assessment of his skills. It would behoove him to ride out his career as a backup that plays a handful of wildcat snaps, instead of trying to be The Guy. Got to give Coach Reid credit, he used Vick masterfully this season.

So will Vick get traded? That depends on who’s starting next year. It won’t be Vick. If McNabb is gone, Vick is the, dare I say, perfect back up quarterback for young Kevin Kolb. He’s an experienced NFL quarterback, with playoff starts. He’s no threat to take over the number one spot, and has a completely different style which would make the wildcat even more effective. He could be trusted to start three or four games in the middle of the season, if necessary.

Vick is the least of the questions when it comes to the future of the Eagles quarterbacks. His status boils down to this, if McNabb goes, Vick stays as Kolb’s backup; if 5 stays, Vick gets traded for some mid-round draft pick and becomes another fan base’s problem/savior (problem.)

The whole puzzle of the Eagles quarterback situation comes back to this simple question: Who’s starting on Sept. 12, 2010?

A big problem the Birds have set up for themselves is both McNabb and Kolb’s contacts are up at the end of the ’10 season. This is the key. If they want to move either of these guys and get any value for them, they need to do it this offseason. I’m not going to guess at what they could back in trade for either player, because that’s like tilting at windmills for writers.

There are two definites in this situation. One is that the Birds will receive at least three times the value for McNabb that they would for Kolb. Secondly, which ever quarterback doesn’t get to start the season, or more accurately start at the end of the season, is going to walk at the end of the season.

All night Saturday and all day Sunday, I couldn’t get a handle on whether or not Donovan would be coming back next year, until the last game of Wild Card Weekend. The answer came from one man. Aaron Rodgers. (You were thinking Joe Buck?)

Rodgers has had a fantastic season in Green Bay, and was unreal in his first playoff game in Arizona. He spent the first three years of his career on the bench learning behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (until he became an egocentric douche bottle and kept retiring and unretiring.) Rodgers’ performance in Phoenix gave Andy and his staff the final nudge over the precipice to go with Kolb.

It fits Reid’s pattern for bringing in young quarterbacks. (You know, the whole one time he did it in the past.) I apologize in advance for bringing up this name, but think Doug Pederson. Sorry. He was the quarterback that Reid brought in to be the starter the year that McNabb was drafted. He was an awful quarterback who never endeared himself to the fans, but the only example of Coach Reid’s philosophy when it comes to developing young quarterbacks. Bring them in, stick them on the bench, and let them learn behind someone with experience. Just like Green Bay did with Rodgers, Kolb has put in his time on the bench. Now it’s his turn to pick up the reigns and show the franchise and the city what kind of player and leader he is.

But what if McNabb is the starter next year, and Kolb rocks a ball cap and clipboard for another season? Would Kolb really want to re-sign he in 2011? Even if he were guaranteed the starting gig and they let 5 walk? What if McNabb makes another NFC Championship run or better? (heaven forbid!) The Eagles would have to give McNabb a contract extension if he made back to the Super Bowl.

So where would that leave the Eagles five years down the road? With McNabb as the starter and no understudy waiting in the wings? Does anyone believe that McNabb will be playing 14-16 game seasons in 2012 and beyond? That’s rare now. It’s too big of a risk for this Eagles organization. Their track record is littered with the bodies of beloved players who have turned 30 and have been cast aside.

When you get down to the brass tacks of the matter, sorry Mr. Lurie — gold tacks, the decision is simple. And no matter what Coach says, has already been made. Welcome to the Kevin Kolb era, my friends! The Eagles have spent too much time and effort developing this kid to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League to let him just walk away. They’ll never get what he’s worth to them in trade. In their minds they can’t afford the risk of starting over by drafting a new quarterback that they are unsure of and to bring him up to speed while Donovan gets older. I didn’t believe it myself until I looked at all the facts. Those two stinkaroos in Dallas will be how the Donovan McNabb era ends in Philly. What a shame.

What about loyalty, you say? McNabb’s been the face of the franchise and a company man for a decade, you say? Ask Brian Dawkins.All season long, I was convinced that Donovan McNabb would be the Eagles starting quarterback at the beginning of the 2010 season. That was until about halfway through the 3rd quarter of their second straight embarrassment in Dallas this weekend. Yes, you guessed it, it’s another “Will McNabb be back as the Eagles quarterback” column! Just to be clear, this is about whether or not I think Donovan will be back next year, not whether or not I think he should be back. (I’ll probably crank one of those out later in the week.)

Going into the offseason, one thing is abundantly clear about the Eagles quarterback situation. All three of these guys will not be back next year. Quick review of the Eagles QBs at the end of ’09 season:

  • McNabb The grizzled veteran who’s taken us to the playoffs almost every year, but never to the promised land. We know what we got with McNabb. He’ll beat the bad teams, some of the good teams, but struggle against the great ones (Hate to say that after his last two performances against Dallas, but it’s the truth.)
  • Kolb The unknown backup drafted to be the future and sat on the bench learning the system for the last three years. Is there anyone more beloved in sports then the backup quarterback? Since being drafted, Reid and his coaching staff have told anyone who would listen that this kid is going to be great. He’s looked mediocre to bad in preseason performances. He was good to great in his two regular season games. How long can we talk about future with this kid?
  • Vick An enigma wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a rap sheet. Like most of the fan base, I blew a gasket when the Birds signed him. I was expecting a media circus, but it wasn’t that bad. Early in the season, it seemed like Andy was trying too hard to insert him into the offense. By the end of the season, the stuff he was doing in spot duty was exciting and surprisingly effective. No way he’s the starter for the Birds in 10.

So do the Eagles have an embarrassment of riches, or just three capable starters? I tend to lean somewhere in the middle. Let’s take Vick first. He could start in the league, but that is more a condemnation on the state of NFL quarterbacks, then a positive assessment of his skills. It would behoove him to ride out his career as a backup that plays a handful of wildcat snaps, instead of trying to be The Guy. Got to give Coach Reid credit, he used Vick masterfully this season.

So will Vick get traded? That depends on who’s starting next year. It won’t be Vick. If McNabb is gone, Vick is the, dare I say, perfect back up quarterback for young Kevin Kolb. He’s an experienced NFL quarterback, with playoff starts. He’s no threat to take over the number one spot, and has a completely different style which would make the wildcat even more effective. He could be trusted to start three or four games in the middle of the season, if necessary.

Vick is the least of the questions when it comes to the future of the Eagles quarterbacks. His status boils down to this, if McNabb goes, Vick stays as Kolb’s backup; if 5 stays, Vick gets traded for some mid-round draft pick and becomes another fan base’s problem/savior (problem.)

The whole puzzle of the Eagles quarterback situation comes back to this simple question: Who’s starting on Sept. 12, 2010?

A big problem the Birds have set up for themselves is both McNabb and Kolb’s contacts are up at the end of the ’10 season. This is the key. If they want to move either of these guys and get any value for them, they need to do it this offseason. I’m not going to guess at what they could back in trade for either player, because that’s like tilting at windmills for writers.

There are two definites in this situation. One is that the Birds will receive at least three times the value for McNabb that they would for Kolb. Secondly, which ever quarterback doesn’t get to start the season, or more accurately start at the end of the season, is going to walk at the end of the season.

All night Saturday and all day Sunday, I couldn’t get a handle on whether or not Donovan would be coming back next year, until the last game of Wild Card Weekend. The answer came from one man. Aaron Rodgers. (You were thinking Joe Buck?)

Rodgers has had a fantastic season in Green Bay, and was unreal in his first playoff game in Arizona. He spent the first three years of his career on the bench learning behind one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (until he became an egocentric douche bottle and kept retiring and unretiring.) Rodgers’ performance in Phoenix gave Andy and his staff the final nudge over the precipice to go with Kolb.

It fits Reid’s pattern for bringing in young quarterbacks. (You know, the whole one time he did it in the past.) I apologize in advance for bringing up this name, but think Doug Pederson. Sorry. He was the quarterback that Reid brought in to be the starter the year that McNabb was drafted. He was an awful quarterback who never endeared himself to the fans, but the only example of Coach Reid’s philosophy when it comes to developing young quarterbacks. Bring them in, stick them on the bench, and let them learn behind someone with experience. Just like Green Bay did with Rodgers, Kolb has put in his time on the bench. Now it’s his turn to pick up the reigns and show the franchise and the city what kind of player and leader he is.

But what if McNabb is the starter next year, and Kolb rocks a ball cap and clipboard for another season? Would Kolb really want to re-sign he in 2011? Even if he were guaranteed the starting gig and they let 5 walk? What if McNabb makes another NFC Championship run or better? (heaven forbid!) The Eagles would have to give McNabb a contract extension if he made back to the Super Bowl.

So where would that leave the Eagles five years down the road? With McNabb as the starter and no understudy waiting in the wings? Does anyone believe that McNabb will be playing 14-16 game seasons in 2012 and beyond? That’s rare now. It’s too big of a risk for this Eagles organization. Their track record is littered with the bodies of beloved players who have turned 30 and have been cast aside.

When you get down to the brass tacks of the matter, sorry Mr. Lurie — gold tacks, the decision is simple. And no matter what Coach says, has already been made. Welcome to the Kevin Kolb era, my friends! The Eagles have spent too much time and effort developing this kid to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League to let him just walk away. They’ll never get what he’s worth to them in trade. In their minds they can’t afford the risk of starting over by drafting a new quarterback that they are unsure of and to bring him up to speed while Donovan gets older. I didn’t believe it myself until I looked at all the facts. Those two stinkaroos in Dallas will be how the Donovan McNabb era ends in Philly. What a shame.

What about loyalty, you say? McNabb’s been the face of the franchise and a company man for a decade, you say? Ask Brian Dawkins.

Advertisements

About Bill

A man in search of a mission at the age of 40.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s