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Eagles Shocker: Donovan McNabb Traded Intradivisionally to Redskins

After an entire offseason of speculation, Donovan McNabb was finally traded to the Redskins Sunday. The price tag was somewhat hefty but certainly less than what the Bears gave up to acquire Jay Cutler. The Redskins gave up a second round pick in this year’s draft and either a third or fourth round conditional pick in next year’s draft as compensation for the five-time Pro Bowler. Ever since drafting Kevin Kolb in the second round in ’07 a mini-controversy had been brewing, not to mention the addition of Mike Vick. Once the team was impressed with Kolb’s back-to-back 300-yard games in a starting role weeks two and three you knew they were eager to make him their new quarterback. That time has unsurprisingly finally arrived, but the shocking aspect of the news to me is that the Eagles traded McNabb intradivisionally to the Redskins.

McNabb may be 33-years-old and entering his 12th year in the League but he’s coming off one of the finest seasons in his career and showing no signs of slowing down. The chances of McNabb starring for the Redskins the next four years is quite high and that means Washington will have a very legitimate shot at beating Philly twice a season for the next several years. While many Eagles fans may have grown tired of McNabb and been anxious to launch the Kolb era, they probably are concerned now that he’s on the Redskins. I’m really, truly shocked that they traded him within the division. It really does show me how confident the Eagles are in Kolb’s ability and how little they think of Donovan. Remember the lengths the Packers went to ensure the Jets couldn’t deal Favre to the Vikings? I can’t believe the Eagles didn’t have more reservations about trading him to Washington, regardless of what they received in return.

Sources:
McNabb headed to Washington [ESPN]
Photo Idea: Shutdown Corner

Donovan McNabb Plays Air Guitar, Scares Cowboys Fan

Donovan McNabb was all smiles before Philly’s NFC wild card playoff game with the Cowboys. That was until the game started and Dallas’ defense pressured him all night to the tune of four sacks and several hurries. Before all the harassment began, McNabb was rocking out in the tunnel as he walked with his teammates onto the field at Cowboys Stadium. He also was messing around with a Dallas fan. It was a funny spectacle, well worth a watch:

McNabb’s going to take a lot of heat for his lackluster performance in the game but it’s hard to put too much blame on him — the entire team was dominated by the Cowboys for the second straight week. Philly’s offense never got anything going and really only had one big play for about three quarters (Vick’s TD pass to Maclin). Much of the credit goes to Dallas’ defense for the pressure they apply to the quarterback. Remember, that Cowboys defense not only harassed McNabb all night, but they also were the first and really only team to stop the Saints passing attack. Philly’s defense didn’t play too badly but they gave up too many big plays and were put in bad spots by the inept offense. Dallas looks like a legit Super Bowl team the way they’re playing.

‘Schism’ Brewing in Philly … Or Just in McNabb’s Head?

Donovan McNabb was commended for personally recommending the Eagles pursue Michael Vick and give him a chance in the NFL. There was talk that the two were friends from the days McNabb hosted Vick as a recruit at Syracuse and that the two have stayed in touch ever since. While McNabb did a pretty selfless act, it appears as if the move has either backfired or that he may be regretting things. Well, that is unless the Eagles change things around. During the first half of the Eagles’ preseason game on Thursday night, McNabb complained on the sidelines that he couldn’t get in a rhythm because the team kept shuffling its offensive personnel around:

I know what we were trying to do [with Vick] and we were able to get that done. And I thought it was time for us to kind of get our offense going. After the first play when I tried to go deep to DeSean [Jackson] and threw it out of bounds a little, we started to get positive plays. We got the drive going and I think that’s very important in a game, whether it’s in the regular season or the preseason, to get that rhythm going. If you’re going to show different looks make sure it’s the right time. That’s the what the preseason’s for to make sure you know when that time is, and we’ll get that time together. I thought it was important at that time to get out and run our offense.”

There’s a couple of ways to go when you think about this. You could say that this is the beginning of McNabb getting defensive. After all, Donovan got supremely pissed when he was benched last year and had his feelings hurt; he’s very protective about his starting job. You could also say that this was a learning experience for Philly and that they’re trying to figure out when and where to work Vick in. That’s what Donovan was suggesting with that comment and also what Andy Reid wants to convey. But let me tell you, there will be at least one point this season where people are calling for Vick to be the starter for the Eagles. And judging by Donovan’s past, that will be perfect to light a fire under his ass — he always plays his best when the world is against him.

Donovan McNabb Blames Defense for Playoff Loss to Cardinals

The enlightened and rational fan understands that the Eagles defense gave up 32 points to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, allowing 24 first-half points to leave them buried in a hole. The irrational fan screams that Donovan McNabb can’t win the big game and blames him for the team’s failure to make it to the Super Bowl. McNabb is so conscious of the irrational fan that he goes out of his way to defend himself for their sake, at the expense of his teammates. He did so in an interview with WIP in Philly, according to the Inquirer via Ben Maller:

“We were up, 25-24,” McNabb said. Then, in case people missed it the first time, he repeated it for good measure. “We were up, 25-24. [The Cardinals] drove down 72 yards by running the ball – probably, what, eight times? And it reminded me so much of [the NFC championship game in] St. Louis where, coming back in that second half, they ran the ball nine times with Marshall Faulk to keep our offense off the field. Because they were terrified of us going back out and scoring more points.”

375 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 25 points of offense usually is enough to get it done for a team, particularly one with a strong defense. No doubt the defense let the team down in that game. However, let’s not forget how critical the defense was to the team’s success the last month of the season, holding opponents to 12.5 points per game. Maybe Donovan should have recalled the wins over the Giants, Vikings, and Cowboys before implying the defense blew it. Let’s also not forget that despite the defense’s lack of performance in the game, the Eagles offense still had chance to tie things up with a successful final drive. Then again, swap Kevin Curtis for Boldin or Fitzgerald and you’re talking touchdown, but that’s another discussion for a different day.

Donovan McNabb Didn’t Know There Were Ties, Cost His Team?

One of the more embarrassing games in the NFL this year occurred on Sunday in Cincinnati where the Bengals and Eagles played to a 13-13 tie. Neither team was able to score in the overtime period, resulting in the game being called as a tie — the first in the NFL since 2002. Last month I thought the Raiders/Jets game was heading to a tie until Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 57-yarder with his donkey boot. Perhaps Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Bengals would have ended differently had a certain key player on a certain team actually been aware of the NFL regular season rules. Let’s let Donovan McNabb share his thoughts after the game:

“I’ve never been a part of a tie,” McNabb said. “I never even knew that was in the rule book. It’s part of the rules and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But, unfortunately, with the rules, we settled with a tie.”

“In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the professional ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and the playoffs.”

And in case you’re wondering whether or not McNabb was being facetious, you can catch a glimpse of the video to see how matter-of-fact he was when he made that statement. Have they not seen the end of the season when teams are fighting for playoff spots and they say “A win plus a ___ loss or tie would send them to the playoffs?” That’s how I knew ties occurred. Plus, a tie last occurred in 2002 when McNabb was in the league. Maybe someone from the Eagles coaching staff should have made them realize that there wasn’t going to be a second overtime. Perhaps they would have tried slightly harder to make something happen if they knew it was a “now or never” situation. That knowledge might have helped. Just guessing.

Donovan McNabb Responds on his Blog

I haven’t had the chance to dive into the Donovan McNabb situation just yet, so I’ll take the opportunity to do so briefly.  First of all, I think Donovan is a fantastic quarterback, one whose play on the field I highly enjoy and respect.  In short, I’m a huge fan of his.  Part of it is because I didn’t think he was much coming out of college, and now he’s proved me wrong.  Well Donovan responded to the criticism he’s received from saying black quarterbacks get criticized more on his blog:

First, the interview took place in August before the season started so for
those who think I “played the race card” because we are 0-2 are dead wrong.

Black quarterbacks have to deal with different things than white
quarterbacks. If you don’t think that’s true than you are naive.

I would love to live in a world where race is not an issue. But it is.

OK, now for my response.  I really wish race didn’t even have to be brought up as an issue, just as Donovan said.  Furthermore, just because I and many other people I know judge (and criticize) all quarterbacks and athletes equally doesn’t mean there isn’t a vast portion of our population who don’t.  The reality is that there are a great deal of people out there who still have racist mentalities.  So just because I don’t judge quarterbacks differently based on race, doesn’t mean there aren’t other people who do, therefore I’m not disappointed in what Donovan said.  I’m just disappointed it had to be said.

Tommie Harris Speaks the Truth About Grossman and McNabb

So Tommie Harris is at Donovan McNabb’s golf tournament and makes some comments that he’d love to have McNabb as the Bears quarterback, and that they’d win the Super Bowl with McNabb as QB. I’ll say this much, he’s absolutely right. We’re in the off-season for a team coming off a Super Bowl season where their quarterback was the glaring weakness of the squad. McNabb is a perennial Pro Bowler, one of the absolute best quarterbacks in the game. Harris speaks the truth.

If Grossman’s feelings are hurt, then too bad. He should spend more time working on his game and less time making New Years Eve plans. Grossman says the two are cool, but there’s no way he’s not bothered by the comments. He takes enough heat from the media, now he’s getting some indirect grief from a teammate. Let this serve as a wake up call for Grossman to get his act together, because what Harris says is accurate.

(Photo courtesy Jim Prisching, Tribune)