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Fair points... but how much of this is the fault of Reid?

No one knows McNabb's strengths and weaknesses better than him. It's his offense. It's his QB. The offense MAGICALLY was one of the NFL's best when it had TO. Maybe that should tell Head Coach Reid or Front Office Reid that that's what you need to take advantage of McNabb's strengths.

McNabb's been put in a position to fail time and time again... I'm not disagreeing with your point. There may be better QBs to run this offense. But how many potentially-great QBs are there out there? 8? 6? And McNabb is one of them. You don't just toss those aside. You change your personnel accordingly.

Nick,

I don't disagree with you at all. Reid does have to take a great deal of the blame. Unfortunately, there's no way to fix the surrounding personnel this year, so you have to go with the QB who gives you the best shot to win with the WRs you have, and that's not McNabb.

After the season the team is going to have to take a long, hard look at their personnel. If they want this to be McNabb's team, they need to get him a legit playmaker at the WR position and change their passing philosophy, again. Unfortunately for McNabb, I think if they take an honest look at things, they're going to realize that the most cost-effective way to make this team better is to trade McNabb and use a QB who will run the system, because last year and this last game have shown that they have adequate pieces to put points on the board using this system right now.

I also just want to reiterate that it really pains me to write about this. I've defended McNabb more times than I could count in the past, I just think we've reached the point where he isn't the right guy for this team, or maybe this team isn't the right situation for him.

Brian,
I actually like and agree with this more than anything else I think I've read about the QB controversy. Too many people are going revisionist history on us and acting like McNabb was never good, or he was only good when TO was here.

I wish I could remember back to the 2003 season and more clearly picture what McNabb was doing differently. His receivers were not as good as the ones we have now, in my (and probably everyone's) opinion, but once the cast came off his thumb, McNabb played probably the best, most consistent football he's ever played outside of 2004.

Did he get rid of the ball more quickly during that nine-game winning streak? Was he more like Feeley was Sunday night? Or was he doing the things he's doing wrong now (holding the ball too long, not throwing into tight spots), but still had the athleticism to buy time for Trash and Stinkston to get open?

I don't know, but it seemed like McNabb ran the offense very well during that period. Not a lot of big plays, just consistent, well run West-Coast Offense. I went to the Dallas game that year, which the Eagles won 36-10. There's not a single offensive play from that game that is remembered by anyone who wasn't there. No highlight reel stuff, just an efficient offensive machine.

I'm wondering if 2004 ruined McNabb forever. If he got too addicted to the big play, because he had a big-play guy, that now he can't adjust his style of play back to what it needs to be. Maybe it's just the loss of athleticism, but he's been pretty mobile lately, and his inconsistency this year seems to go beyond his knee.

McNabb has been very inconsistent since the superbowl, along with being physically banged up. It just seemed that even early in '06, when Donovan was playing well, that the offense seemed sort of feast or famine. The Lito Sheppard Dallas Game is the perfect example, there weren't long, sustained drives. The Eagles got either three-and-outs, or quick strike scores by Baskett and Brown (plus a big YAC play by LJ that shifted field position).

I'm in no rush to run my favorite Eagle ever out of town, but seeing the team execute the offense better with both Garcia, and with Feeley, who I don't think is nearly as talented as either McNabb or Garcia, I think there just might be reason to believe that the Eagles won't be as lost without him as I'd feared.

(Also, just wanted to add that although I enjoy the blog, I'm probably more depressed than you, since I'm an Eagles fan and a Baltimore Orioles fan)

BrianS:

Thanks for the comment, and sorry about the O's.

If I had to put my finger on the difference between McNabb now and McNabb in 2003, I don't think it's purely a physical thing. Yes, he isn't as mobile now as he was then, but he isn't exactly immobile. He can still move around back there. It seems to me like he doesn't have the confidence in the pocket he used to. He seems to get happy feet, and rush his throws. It's like he's expecting to get hit, and worrying whether this hit will be the one that puts him out again.

McNabb was easily a top 5 QB in the league for that 4-year stretch. Who knows, maybe he will be again, I just don't see it happening here, with this offense and this team. It's a sad time of transition for Eagles fans, I'm afraid.

I agree with your points Brian. I'd add that it appears that McNabb, in addition to being unable to make plays with his running ability, is less accurate than he was in 2004. Perhaps the injuries have also affected his ability to accurately throw the ball.


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