Quarterback Controversy for the Philadelphia Eagles? No Way!

Peter BukowskiSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2008

For the past several years there has been a conversation that is so ridiculous I cannot even understand why the people engaging in it, are allowed to speak in public. The question at hand is "Should Donovan McNabb's time in Philly be over?" They drafted Kevin Kolb after Jeff Garcia lead the Eagles to the playoffs last year in dramatic fashion. That was enough to start whispers that McNabb was on the way out.

The doubters have always been there for #5. On Draft Day, he was booed when the Eagles took him. What did he do in his first full year as a starter? He finished second in the AP voting for the MVP award to Marshall Falk after throwing for over 3,000 yards 21 TD's and rushing for six more. And oh yeah, the Eagles went to the playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons.

Maybe you are in need of a brief history lesson on the former Syracuse great. The next season, 2001, McNabb lead the Eagles to the NFC Championship game where they almost beat a heavily favored Rams team on the road. Philly fans clearly forget, this was the first NFC title game they had played in since 1980. McNabb lead them to three straight NFC Championships from 2001-2003.

In 2004 McNabb won a franchise record 13 games, threw 31 TD's to just 8 INTs and lead his team to the Super Bowl where they lost a thriller to the New England Patriots in one of the most exciting title games in recent memory. McNabb passed for nearly 400 yards and 3 scores and was literally exhausted by games end, unable to get anything going on the team's final drives.

The locker room cancer, TO, blamed the loss on McNabb for not being in shape. Owens should get credit for coming back off a leg injury to dominate in the Super Bowl, but McNabb carried the team on his back in that game, making throws all over the field. The only reason McNabb wasn't the league's MVP was Peyton Manning's record breaking season (in which he did NOT make the Super Bowl).

Since then he has played less than 11 games two years in a row, but his numbers before those injuries were excellent and his teams were winning. McNabb is a physical QB, one of the biggest and baddest runners in the positions history, and is susceptible to injury. Need we forget this is a guy who played through a BROKEN LEG to throw 4 TD's against Arizona?

But he's on his way out...WHAT? Donovan McNabb is the face of the franchise. Say what you want about the unbelievable moves of Brian Westbrook or the huge hits of Brian Dawkins, McNabb represents the Eagles and has proudly shouldered that burden since 1999. He has always been candid with famously fickle Philly fans. Then he gets burned for saying black QB's are under more pressure and scrutiny than their white counterparts.

Hmmmm....It took Peyton Manning 9 seasons to get to the Super Bowl and was famously dominated by the Patriots his whole career until recently. In that same time, McNabb has been hurt and the talent around him is slowly dwindling rather than rising like the Colts. The failings of the Eagles do not fall on the broad shoulders of Donovan and it is completely unfair (maybe race IS an issue). McNabb has had an elite receiver ONCE in his career and dominated teams. Manning has had at least one his whole career, he has had TWO recently plus an elite tight end and now an elite running back. Just like we can say with Brady, if McNabb had the weapons Manning does, this would not be a question.

I am worried about a Kevin Garnett scenario. He had no help in Minnesota and the one time he did, they ran into a dominant Lakers team who they played very tough. McNabb, like Garnett, should be getting the benefit of the doubt for keeping his mouth shut about getting help for a long long time. Luckily for KG, he got traded and made his new team an instant contender. McNabb's window is closing, but he can still be an elite QB. McNabb works harder physically than just about any player in the league to get himself ready to play. He wants to win, he can win, the Eagles should be getting him some help because he gives them a chance to win.

The talk about his career being over is awful and ridiculous. The fans in Philly, the national media, and most importantly the Eagles brass, must recognize this guy has killed himself to win for them. Get him a contract extension and get him some help. If you aren't willing to do that, send him somewhere he can help and I hope he beats your brains in the first chance he gets on a Sunday afternoon.