Donovan McNabb clearly is not a big NASCAR enthusiast. Much like football, auto racing is not for everyone. On Sunday, Danica Patrick became the first female driver to ever win the pole in a Sprint Cup Series race. The fact that she accomplished the feat at the Daytona 500 makes it even more noteworthy.
By topping 196 mph in one of her qualifying laps, Patrick earned the right to lead the field at the start of the most popular race of the NASCAR calendar year next weekend. Judging by the congratulatory tweet McNabb sent her on Sunday, it would appear that he thinks she accomplished more than just winning the pole.
Perhaps she will cap off the amazing story by winning the Daytona 500, but Donovan is a little bit ahead of himself here. Rather than simply acknowledging that he made a mistake, McNabb made a very sad attempt to clarify what he meant several hours later.
Oh boy. McNabb may have some questionable opinions when it comes to professional football, but at least it is a sport he is knowledgable about. Kudos to him for taking the time to congratulate Patrick, but let’s not get carried away with the BS-ing. You thought she won the race itself — it’s okay to admit it.
Donovan McNabb was one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL during his prime with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a six-time Pro Bowler who led the Eagles to a whopping five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl during his 11-year career in Philly. If McNabb focused more and tried a bit harder, Jeff Garcia says he could have been even better.
Garcia, who served as a backup for McNabb in 2006 and 2009, questioned his former teammate’s work ethic during an appearance with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on 94WIP this week.
“Donovan had a great career, and had a great career there in Philadelphia,” Garcia said, via NJ.com. “Not to take away from anything that Donovan did, but I think that Donovan, I believe, could have been so much greater if he did have a better understanding at times. If he did put more time and effort into what he needed to do every day of the week leading up to game day in order to be the best he could be.”
Garcia also stopped barely short of saying he ran the Eagles’ offense better than McNabb in 2006, when McNabb was injured and Garcia played in eight games.
“I know that when I stepped into the huddle with that [’06 Eagles] team, I think there was probably a greater confidence in me from the standpoint of my understanding of the system because of how I was able to speak it, because of how I was able to operate it,” he said. “It was just different than how Donovan operated it.”
The Eagles were never able to win the big game with McNabb under center despite reaching the NFC Championship game five times. Some Philly fans have blamed Andy Reid for that while others blame McNabb. Either way, McNabb feels he is Hall of Fame worthy and thinks he is the most highly-criticized quarterback in NFL history. Two years removed from the game, and it would seem Garcia is doing his best to keep that going.
If there is anyone who can relate to the struggles Michael Vick is going through and the pressure he is under while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s Donovan McNabb. The Philadelphia media had its way with McNabb for years and there were times when the fans were worse. During an appearance on “NFL AM” Tuesday morning, McNabb defended Vick in the wake of reports that he could be benched this weekend.
“I think you get in a situation where once you start hearing the boos and hearing the radio stations talk, and people on the outside begin to bring your name up of being benched, then you begin to lose focus, and now your play begins to fall and you begin to focus on other things,” McNabb said according to Pro Football Talk. “I think for Michael Vick, I think it’s important for him to feed off of what he did last week: not turning the ball over, protect the football, give his guys an opportunity to make plays for him and good things can happen.”
Vick has done a horrible job of protecting the ball this season, but handing the reins to rookie Nick Foles is not necessarily the answer. Philadelphia’s defense has also been a major issue — as evidenced by their decision to fire former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo — and their offensive line has done very little to protect Vick.
“Start mentioning some of the defensive players that need to be benched,” McNabb continued. “Maybe the offensive line needs to be benched. There’s other people that need to be in this situation besides Michael Vick.”
Eagles coach Andy Reid is facing a serious dilemma. If his team misses the playoffs, Reid will likely be out of a job. Vick probably gives Philly the best shot at making the postseason due to his raw talent and experience, but the Eagles have an out in his contract and could part ways with him after the season. If Foles is the quarterback of next season and beyond, it would make sense to hand him the offense now. However, that could cause the Eagles to take a step back in the short term and prove costly for Reid.
There’s always a controversy in Philadelphia surrounding the Eagles, but things were more contentious than usual when Terrell Owens was there.
T.O. caught 20 touchdown passes in 21 games with the Eagles over one and a half seasons. The team went 13-3 and lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl during the 2004 season — his first with the team. Owens received praise for coming back early from a broken leg to play in the big game, but things went downhill quickly. Owens threw quarterback Donovan McNabb under the bus following a 4-3 start in his second year in Philly and was told to leave the team after reeking havoc in the locker room.
T.O. continued to take some shots at McNabb over the years, but it looks like Donovan recognizes what Owens added to the team.
McNabb was asked during an interview on NBC Sports Talk if he thinks the Eagles could have made the Super Bowl without T.O. He provided an answer that can be taken two ways.
Donovan McNabb joined Mark Kriegel and Rich Eisen on the FOXSports.com show “Barfly” to discuss his Hall of Fame chances. Both Kriegel and Eisen talked about how winning the big game affects the perception of a player. McNabb agreed and said he shouldn’t be denied a spot in Canton because he didn’t win a Super Bowl. He indicated that winning a ring is an unfair standard to judge quarterbacks for the Hall of Fame.
“Peyton never won the big game until he won the Super Bowl finally. Dan Marino never won the big game. But does that mean his career is a failure? No. Not at all,” McNabb said.
Asked by Kriegel if he would vote for himself for the Hall of Fame, McNabb gave a confident response.
“Absolutely,” McNabb said. “See, one thing that people don’t realize — I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it. I played the game to win. I’m a competitor. When I step out on the field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field. Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, ‘Oh, he’s done, or whatever.’ I’m 34, 35 years old but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there. And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame.
“When you sit and look at the numbers — and that’s what it is when it comes to the Hall of Fame — my numbers are better than Jim Kelly, better than Troy Aikman, better than a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame, but the one thing they do have is a Super Bowl,” McNabb said.
Donovan McNabb is no stranger to playing the victim. Like many other superstar athletes, he has faced plenty of unfair criticism. Unlike many others who have been placed in similar situations, McNabb always lets us hear about it. In other words, he’s a complainer. Since Skip Bayless is the ideal candidate to bring out the whiner in anyone, he got McNabb to do a little more of it on ESPN First Take Friday morning.
When Bayless called Tim Tebow the most “unfairly, over-criticized quarterback in (NFL history),” McNabb butted in and said that title belongs to him.
“Negative — I am,” McNabb said according to Pro Football Talk. “I am. Nobody has been criticized as much as I have.”
Even if it were true, he just sounds like a crybaby saying it. This is the same McNabb who blames bad teams for his poor record as a starting quarterback, so it should come as no surprise that he thinks he’s the most unfairly criticized quarterback in NFL history.
Donovan got close to bringing Philadelphia a Super Bowl trophy several times, but his Eagles could never get over the hump. Whether or not he is to blame for that is a separate discussion. The good news is we don’t have to feel badly for him. McNabb feels sorry enough for himself to compensate for all of us.
Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Assuming the Colts don’t shock everyone and decide to take Robert Griffin III instead of Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the draft next month, Griffin is going to wind up with the Redskins. It’s no secret that Washington traded with the Rams because they’re salivating over the Baylor product. The question now becomes whether or not Griffin is a fit with the Mike and Kyle Shanahan offense. Donovan McNabb, who had some experience with the system, doesn’t seem to think it will work.
When asked if he thought Griffin would be a goof fit for the Redskins on ESPN First Take, McNabb immediately said, “No.” He then said that Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan brought his offense over from when he was with the Texans and tries to force the quarterback to adapt to the system.
“A lot of times ego gets too involved when it comes to being in Washington,” McNabb said according to Pro Football Talk. “Here’s a guy coming out who’s very talented, mobile, strong arm, we’ve already heard he’s intelligent, football mind. Are you going to cater the offense around his talent, and what he’s able to do, or are you going to bring the Houston offense with Matt Schaub over to him and have him kind of be embedded in that?”
In retrospect, Chris Kluwe should have never given his No. 5 jersey to Donovan McNabb. For starters, McNabb was absolutely no help to the Vikings. He quickly became a bench-warmer in Minnesota and Kluwe got on the field more regularly than he did. In addition, McNabb has not held up his side of the bargain to this point. As you may remember, McNabb was supposed to mention Kluwe’s band five times in press conferences and donate $5,000 to the Kick For A Cure charity. So far there have been two mentions and no donation.
“That would be the major thing,” Kluwe said according to Scout.com’s Vikings page. “Tripping Icarus got the publicity we needed. That was fine. Two mentions is more than enough. The $5,000 for Kick For A Cure would definitely be appreciated by them.”
The Vikings released McNabb three weeks ago. He’s made plenty of money throughout his career. It’s time to pay up. Perhaps McNabb took Kluwe lightly because he’s always messing around, but Kick For A Cure is an important charity to Kluwe that raises money for Muscular Dystrophy. To make matters worse, Kluwe may have to wait until 2013 to get his No. 5 jersey back.
“I think the NFL’s policy is you have to wait another year after the year you change your number,” Kluwe explained. “So I’d have to go all of 2012, but I think you can make an appeal and I’m planning to because the ruling is so that guys don’t change their numbers every year and the league gets stuck with jerseys they can’t sell. Since I don’t have any jerseys in the store, I’m going to be like, ‘Look, why can’t I just change my number?’”
It truly is time for McNabb to retire. Look at all the hassle he’s caused over the last couple seasons. He can blame poor teams all he wants, but Donovan hasn’t had anything to offer in a few years. If he signs with another team in the offseason, I hope any other No. 5’s around the league have learned a lesson from Kluwe.
The fact that Donovan McNabb was waived by the Minnesota Vikings and not a single team claimed him should tell us all we need to know. McNabb’s best years are behind him. No team in the NFL thinks he is capable of contributing at this point, but Bears fans are officially desperate. With Caleb Hanie under center, Matt Forte out with a knee injury, and a loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, Chicago’s playoff hopes are in serious jeopardy. Devin Hester does not think McNabb is the solution.
“It’s going to be tough right now to pick up a quarterback that hasn’t played in the Mike Martz offense,” Hester said Monday on Mike and Mike in the Morning according to Pro Football Talk. “This is a difficult offense to run, so as far as a quarterback who hasn’t played in the offense, right now it’s going to be a waste of time.”
Before we start accusing Hester of ripping McNabb and calling him useless, let us recall the way things ended for Donovan with his two previous teams. In Washington, his tenure ended with Mike Shanahan inviting him back as a backup. In Minnesota, he quickly became a backup when the on-field results were horrible.
He can blame poor teams all he wants, but McNabb is no longer a capable starting quarterback in the NFL and Hester is right about Martz’s offense. After he left Philadelphia, McNabb showed no signs that he was able to learn another team’s playbook and adapt to a new system. There is even less reason to believe he would be able to do it in Chicago.
Donovan McNabb was granted his request to be released by the Vikings Thursday. He’s now available to be claimed off waivers by other NFL teams. Given how poorly he played the last two years (he ended up benched by the Redskins and Vikings), we seriously doubt his ability to help a team. But he doesn’t. He just thinks he needs the right pieces around him.
Asked on SportsCenter what he needed to become the player he was for the Eagles, McNabb responded “Being surrounded by a great supporting cast.
“I think when you’re surrounded by experienced players and veteran players, who know how to win, then that’s something that’s contagious,” McNabb said. “There are a lot of teams out there who are in desperate need of a quarterback who are surrounded by veteran players, and teams that play well together.”
McNabb also attributed his poor record as a starter the last two years to football being a team game.
“I think we begin to lose focus of this being a team game. The teams in which I played with [we had] a lot of great athletes, [did] a lot of positive things, but nothing really to show for it. And obviously the quarterback is the one who receives a lot of the credit, and too much criticism.”
Donovan used to be a great player, and I liked him, but he’s failing to recognize reality. McNabb is not a good player anymore. He’s actually a bad quarterback. The longer it takes him to realize he’s not good anymore, the more he’ll harm his legacy and reputation.