January 23, 2007

Donovan McNabb unhappy?: After being prevented from travelling with the team to their playoff game to New Orleans (The team's rule is players on injured reserve don't travel; a policy not disputed previously) and subject to the talk about Jeff Garcia's unexpected drive to the playoffs, it looks like Donovan's not pleased with the situation in Philidelphia.

posted by dfleming to football at 12:21 PM - 34 comments

Personally, I think that McNabb, who said nothing about this policy until it affected him personally (and was treated no differently than the rest of the team had been for years), is another in a long line of players who need to really, really learn to take media scrutiny with a grain of salt. If Philidelphia didn't want McNabb to be their quarterback into the future, they would've said so themselves and never would've signed him to a long-term deal. They've built around him, so far as to even remove T.O when that wasn't working, and if even the slightest wavering sends him over the edge, perhaps he's showing a little of the reason why the minority questions who should be leading the team. Pro sports turns more into soap opera every day. It's like the WWF; slowly progressing from sport to general entertainment one hissy fit at a time.

posted by dfleming at 12:22 PM on January 23, 2007

From the article, it sounds like Andy Reid is trying to smooth it over and keep Donovan focused. Garcia played great down the stretch, and could start for many teams, but I don't think there is really any doubt about just whose team that is, is there?

posted by mjkredliner at 12:29 PM on January 23, 2007

Wasn't there a story a week or two ago about a McNabb press conference being cancelled by Reid? Whatever came of that?

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 12:32 PM on January 23, 2007

I totally agree with the team rule. McNabb is becoming a huge distraction even in the midst of his rehab. Had McNabb traveled with the team, it would've diverted attention away from the players focus, which would inevitably lead to a massacre by New Orleans. McNabb is probably upset for now, but will be fine when his starting job comes back next season.

posted by Kendall at 01:01 PM on January 23, 2007

This is kind like Dwayne Wade worrying that J Will is going to take his start position cause he isn't currently playing and they blew out the Knicks. Mcnabb needs to get well and I think it is good for the organization to keep Garcia, he went there knowing he was Mcnabbs back up and that is what he is.. the guy got hurt wasn't like he was healthy and they played Garcia.. so this is no big deal, plus rules are rules.. don't care who you are but I am pretty sure they would have let Michael Jordan on that plane to New Orleans..

posted by warstda at 01:10 PM on January 23, 2007

A "Playoff Game" exception to this rule would have been a better decision. To keep McNabb off the trip and away from his team was of course seen by him as an insult. McNabb has been close to becoming an elite player in the NFL but bad luck or situation and/or injury have derailed him time after time. I understand his frustration. Either he is "The Man" or he isn't. Maybe the Eagles wonder themselves.

posted by Termite at 01:22 PM on January 23, 2007

McNabb sucks as a quarterback and he had his chances. His style of play always leads to him getting hurt and Philly needs a competent back up. TO was an ass with a big mouth, and he got fired for what he was saying, unfortunatley what he said about McNabb was the truth. Now Donovan is upset because Garcia did what he couldn't and that is win with the current team. BOO HOO. I disagree with the team policy for it seems McNabb is enough a part of the team moving forward even as a backup to Garcia to have traveled with the team. Then again, maybe ownership considered his whining a distraction. I remember watching him standing on the sidelines during one of the final regular season games, and as the team was winning against a division rival and securing their play off spot, he was sulking and not cheering for his team. He actually looked sad as the Eagles were winning. Good riddance to sore losers.

posted by Atheist at 01:36 PM on January 23, 2007

Maybe the Eagles' collapse wasn't all TO's fault after all. They certainly appeared to play better without McNabb than with him. Not sure that Garcia's the future, but not sure than McNabb is either.

posted by graymatters at 01:36 PM on January 23, 2007

McNabb sucks as a quarterback and he had his chances. Weird how he got to three consecutive NFL championships and a Superbowl. Wasn't he league MVP once?

posted by yerfatma at 02:12 PM on January 23, 2007

Weird how he got to three consecutive NFL championships and a Superbowl. Wasn't he league MVP once? Well in my opinion, in those years he managed not to get hurt and the team around him was superior in their division. Frankly in those years the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants were so bad that any decent play won you the division. The team hasn't gone down as much as the competition in that division has stepped up. Of course he was younger, ran alot and was not quite as easily injured. But as it always seems to happen when most passing quarterbacks get better with experience, those that rely on running around just get beat up. Its no wonder that if you can't get rid of the ball you are going to spend a lot of time on the sidelines. Its funny but Peyton Manning has the second longest consecutive game streak next to Brett Favre. Favre and Elway both ran too much when they were young but managed to settle down and rely on their passing and judgement, which led to championships. On the other hand McNabb seems to keep making the same mistakes. Did the Eagles suddenly get a better team without McNabb and TO? or did the traditional game management of an experienced QB like Jeff Garcia, who left the running to their capable backs just work better? It seems Eagles management will have a decision to make.

posted by Atheist at 02:36 PM on January 23, 2007

Athiest, you're a little off here. I understand how someone can draw their conclusions by just evaluating what the media is offering. However, you need to understand how much the game plans changed once 5 went down. The big play we saw time and time again (the eagles led the NFL by leaps and bounds in plays 20+ yrds) was thrown out the window. AR was forced to lean more on Brian Westbrook and change a lot of what the offense was doing. If this change would have occurred while 5 was under center, the results would have been even greater. Also, in case you missed most of the Eagles games, Garcia was a running fool. He actually ran as much if not more than McNabb. We should also mention that every player in the locker room, save a few, thought they were done just like in 05'. This lead to everyone stepping their game up. We also must consider that Reid surrendered the play calling duties to the offensive coordinator, who just so happen to work with Garcia in San Fran. This lead to way better clock management. As far as production (numbers), Garcia's not on the same planet as 5 (remember after their 4-1 start he was the early favorite for MVP (his numbers were ridiculous). Now concerning Mcnabb's running. Dude, this isn't 01'. He stopped running a long time ago. Actually he was asked to run a little more instead of trying to force balls into tight spaces. In short (haha), you're actually way off here man. Make no mistakes, and don't let some pot stirring media stories fool you. This is Mcnabb's team for a long time to come. He will get over the hump, just like Manning did.

posted by Bishop at 03:02 PM on January 23, 2007

You make some very valid points Bishop. If I can say I didn't mean to imply McNabb was still running as he did in the past. I mean his running of the past has lead to his fragility today. Further more he did not develop the skills that say Garcia has, in part because of the success he had running all over the field. Regardless by looking at the record and somewhat by your own admission. The teams play has improved with Garcia. Does that make Garcia a better team leader? Team are constantly trying to find the right combination. It seems the offensive coordinator and Jeff Garcia are not only a better combination for Philly, but the whole team is responding better to the combination. Maybe the whole TO and McNabb fiasco of the previous year not only got TO fired but also tarnished McNabb's image as a team leader. All I can say is it is pretty hard to go backwards when the current situation is working better. Also note when McNabb was 4 and 1 he had beat Houston, San Francisco, and Green Bay, the only division opponent he beat was Dallas, none of which made the playoffs. The only playoff team they played in those first 5 games was their division rival the Giants to whom they lost. Then McNab went on to a disasterous showing to compile a losing record. On the other hand during the time Garcia was QB he defeated Washington, Dallas, Carolina, Atlanta and the Giants twice when the playoffs and the season were on the line. Do or die games. They went into the playoffs on a roll and barely got beat by New Orleans on the road. I think its a no brainer to say they were a better team with Garcia than with McNabb. Especially against their division rivals and playoff calibre teams.

posted by Atheist at 03:32 PM on January 23, 2007

Quick note, AJ Feely beat Atlanta, and again there is no doubt that the team rallied around Garcia (with McNabb they were expected to win, with Garcia they were underdogs). The 3rd time they played the Giants in the playoffs, Brian Westbrook beat them. McNabb's losses included 3 games lost on the last play of the game after the McNabb led offense put the team ahead. I put that more on the defense rather than a bad showing by the QB. When you're the number 2 offense in the league, scoring 24 points a game but still losing, there is likely a problem on defense vs. offense. Also McNabb's MVP like numbers continued well into their losing streak.

posted by Bishop at 03:49 PM on January 23, 2007

This is a non-issue. Anyone who thinks Jeff Garcia will be the Eagles starter next year and not McNabb (health permitting) is kidding themselves. Garcia did what a good, experienced backup is supposed to do: Come in and help the team win. I don't even think Garcia would be able to hold up over an entire season at this point in his career. The guy did a good job, and if he can go elsewhere and be a big hit, great for him. McNabb is the QB in Philly, unless he's just not physically able.

posted by dyams at 04:18 PM on January 23, 2007

Philly should not go nuts here. What Reid should learn from the Garcia games is that Westbrook needs to run the ball. Throwing the ball 60 times per game with Mcnabb is not going to take you far. Westbrook could be 1 of the best backs in the league if he ran more when Mcnabb was qb. The pieces are there if they were balanced out.

posted by louisville_slugger at 04:35 PM on January 23, 2007

What Reid should learn from the Garcia games is that Westbrook needs to run the ball. Even though Westbrook's durability is as questionable as McNabb's, I agree with you, louisville_slugger. Westbrook is absolutely amazing.

posted by dyams at 04:47 PM on January 23, 2007

Well said dyams, I think that summarizes the situation magnificiently. McNabb= nexts years starter. Garcia= Capable backup, but too old to become a legitimate full-time starter. (Especially with Phili) McNabb is upset, but he'll get over it. Eagles= average, underachieving team= OUT OF CONTENTION.

posted by Kendall at 05:08 PM on January 23, 2007

donovan has been philly's man for a long time, and until he retires, or goes down with a season ending injury, he's still the qb. i bet my 9ers sure would like to have jeff back.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 05:29 PM on January 23, 2007

Trade McNabb to the Cowboys that way he can be back with his buddy T.O. See ya Donavan. Good riddance

posted by Ironhead at 06:32 PM on January 23, 2007

So predictable, star-gets-hurt-back-up-comes-in-and-team-steps-up. So some yutz decides there's a controversy. Yawn. The Eagles ran the ball more thean 30% a game, and it worked. Nothing more than that. McNabb will be just fine as long as he can rehab his knee. Also, the story references the Trenton Times. So wouldn't it make more sense to go to the paper referenced than to link to a generic "Staff Reports" story? Read the actual story and you'll see there's nothing to this. At all. It's a bit of opinion, sprkinled with "Someone could sign Garcia as a free agent." Holy cow. Stop the presses.

posted by SummersEve at 06:57 PM on January 23, 2007

pot stirring media stories fool you? someone taking a potshot?

posted by irunfromclones at 07:05 PM on January 23, 2007

why are we worried about mc nabb being worried?

posted by sleber at 08:38 PM on January 23, 2007

McNabb's agent tells the Philadelphia Inquirer: "None of these stories quoted him," Smith said. "They're all quoting sources close to Donovan. They claim to know what he thinks and what he's feeling. Who are these people? I don't know. I think there should be some level of responsibility in getting his side of the story before printing some of this stuff. It's sensationalism, and I guess it sells newspapers." And The Trenton Times probably needs all the help it can get. By the way, unidentified sources from the New Bolton Center tell me that Barbaro is actually a unicorn and that's why he's still alive. But I'll never reveal my sources.

posted by SummersEve at 03:11 AM on January 24, 2007

Anyone who has watched an Eagles game knows that their problem lies in the area of the d-line and linebackers. The offense is simply left trying to outscore the other offense - just like the announcers were saying in the Saints-Eagles game, it's a boxing match and whoever is left standing will win. Everyone knows this is never a good game plan. Garcia is not better than McNabb, actually only one or two QB's are better than McNabb at this point. Look at his numbers, and look at where he has taken his team. Remember, prior to TO, the Eagles had NO wide receivers. There number one guy was Todd frickin Pinkston, who was notorious for dropping the ball, especially when he was scared of being hit. Yet, McNabb was still able to put up the numbers and go to the big games. And if anyone wants to argue that TO made McNabb better, that's obvious - a good receiver will make a QB better (what would've Montana been without Rice, see KC Chiefs...). But Garcia also had TO in San Fran, and Garcia couldn't do anything. Garcia is a backup for a reason. He has had his chances at a starter, and couldn't make it. Sure, McNabb has confidence problems, but he's still a damn good QB.

posted by Obleeze at 07:52 AM on January 24, 2007

Sources close to Barbaro report that his horn was surgically removed and used to repair his leg....

posted by Obleeze at 07:54 AM on January 24, 2007

YES! You talked to them too, huh?

posted by SummersEve at 08:28 AM on January 24, 2007

Yeah, Garcia was crap when he was with the 'Niners.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:32 AM on January 24, 2007

Give Garcia credit for being a tough, scrappy guy who did a good job when given the chance. But I think it is doubtful that he could survive a season playing that way at his age. And he won't get the chance unless McNabb has a few bad games in a row and the Philly fans boo him off the field. I really want to like McNabb, he seems like a nice guy, but he hasn't yet shown the ability to retain his composure under fire (referred to as "choking" by some). It's on him to prove that he can do that and I hope he can.

posted by 1959Giants at 10:00 AM on January 24, 2007

And he won't get the chance unless McNabb has a few bad games in a row and the Philly fans boo him off the field. I don't doubt that someone might give Garcia a shot at being a starter this season and I hope he takes it. He deserves it. The guy's a great competitor. And he professional enough to know that if he stays in Philadelphia he'll be a back-up. I hope they can keep him for several reasons, the least of which is he's great insurance. I doubt he'll come in if the fans are unhappy. And the QB-choke thing needs to just go away. A team loses, assume the QB choked. Seriously, there are 21 other guys on the field. For example, McNabb totally coughed it up when he didn't tackle Jurevicius. And he should get zero credit for getting the Eagles to NFC Championship games. Where have you gone Bobby Hoying and Rodney Peete? Please come back and save us from Donovan McNabb.

posted by SummersEve at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2007

Give Garcia credit for being a tough, scrappy guy who did a good job when given the chance. I don't know. Can you be scrappy if you are over 6'?

posted by bperk at 10:31 AM on January 24, 2007

I don't know. Can you be scrappy if you are over 6'? Yes, if the other guys are over 6'5".

posted by 1959Giants at 10:52 AM on January 24, 2007

Obleeze, are you kiddin me? Garcia is a great QB. Three pro bowls in four years. I don't remember where i read this, but Walsh is quoted as saying that Garcia was let go b/c his contract was an incentive laden one. Since he was producing so much his deal ended up killing the niners, and they let him go (which by the way that has worked out well for them). The guy had a couple Brees-esqe years in San Fran. The problem with Garcia is the same w/Brees. They are not 6' 6" and run a 4.3 40. I find it interesting though that those guys played postseason ball, and the "more athletic" types sat at home. I think the nfl as a whole needs to quit slobbering over pure athleticism and freakish body frames and start looking more at intangibles at Qb. Garcia is a great qb, and i hope some team scoops him up and starts him; he deserves it. Rant ends now.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:00 PM on January 24, 2007

Brainofdtrain: Garcia is a good QB, but not a great one...let's not get carried away. If he is so great why would he accept a number two spot behind a franchise player? Great QB's never CHOOSE to be a No. 2...You're right he did have solid numbers in the early part of this decade...but what happened in Cleveland? What happened in Detroit? You can make the argument that his team sucked also...but so did McNabb's earlier this decade, and he still made it to big games... (And maybe I am jealous of him for having the girlfriend that he has, there I said it...) Also, the whole pro bowl argument holds no water with me. Rich Gannon was pro bowl MVP twice -- Yes Rich Gannon, not exactly a great QB (look at his super bowl performance). SummersEve: Rodney Peete and Bobby Hoying can't hold Bubby Brister...

posted by Obleeze at 08:10 AM on January 25, 2007

I am, by no means, am a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. My problem with this situation is that Donovan McNabb has never said one bad thing about Jeff Garcia and what he's done for the Eagles down the stretch. Why is Mac-5 being crucified for NOT saying anything. All of this BS started because Garcia was playing well and led the team to 5 consecutive victories and into the playoffs, but isn't that what a backup supposed to do? I mean, if a starting player goes down from some kind of injury, isn't the backup supposed to come in and step up to the plate and perform well? That may not be the case with backups on certain teams but it was in this instance. Jeff Garcia was and is no slouch. The 2 years he spent in Cleavland and Detriot respectively, were pretty much down years for him since he wasn't even playing in the west coast offense that he was so used to. When Garcia was signed to the Eagles, it was as a backup to McNabb. I'll give Garcia all the credit he deserves, he showed why he was a 3-time Pro Bowl player when he played for the San Francisco 49ers and all he needed was the right system to play under. No one should make Donovan out to be the "bad guy" when he didn't even say one thing to begin with. The media creates controversy since that is what sells newspapers but when fact and fiction collide, the truth will always comes out on top.

posted by BornIcon at 10:53 AM on January 25, 2007

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