About one month into the 2010 offseason, the rumors surrounding Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb’s status with the team next season seem to have become a more popular topic than whether or not Brett Favre will return to the Minnesota Vikings next season.
There are even talks about backup quarterback Kevin Kolb being traded to a team like the Cleveland Browns now that Tom Heckert has joined Mike Holmgren’s staff.
Trying to figure out who will be on the Eagles’ roster next season at quarterback seems almost as complicated as cracking the Da Vinci Code.
While it’s safe to say Michael Vick's time in the City of Brotherly Love is most likely over">Michael Vick’s time in the City of Brotherly Love is most likely over after he’s already expressed interest in starting for another team in 2010, it will be months before the status of McNabb and Kolb is officially decided.
Despite all of the rumors, the fact is they are just rumors, which means both players could still end up wearing green and white once Week One rolls around come September.
Here are five reasons why McNabb and Kolb will both be on the Eagles’ roster in 2010.
Yesterday saw the first part of why Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb would be with the team in 2010—which can be found by clicking here. . Here is the second part to the article on why No. 5 will be wearing green next season.
2009 Should Be Blamed on a Weak Ground Game and Struggling Defense, Not McNabb
Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
For those unfamiliar with Katy Perry’s classic hit song, listening to “Hot N Cold” may be seen by some as the perfect way to describe McNabb.
One week, McNabb puts on a performance that seems to make him a top-10 quarterback—such as his performance in Week Eight against the New York Giants, where he finished 17-of-23 for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
Other weeks, he seems to struggle more than Shaquille O’Neal at the foul line (sorry Shaq), constantly under- and overthrowing his receivers—especially in the last two losses to the Cowboys.
Despite his poor performances against the Cowboys at the end of the season, it’s unfair to put all of the heat on McNabb for the way 2009 played out for the Eagles when they struggled with both the running game and defense.
With Brian Westbrook dealing with ankle injuries and concussions a majority of the season, the Eagles were forced to rely on rookie running back LeSean McCoy—who showed signs of potential throughout the 2009 season but still has plenty of work before he becomes a consistent threat as a starter.
Philadelphia struggled most of the season to stay consistent in the ground game, averaging just 102.3 yards per game overall and placing more pressure on McNabb in the passing game.
On the other side of the ball, Sean McDermott adjusted well in his first year as defensive coordinator for the Eagles after replacing Jim Johnson, who passed away last summer of cancer.
However, there were plenty of holes on the Eagles’ defense that opposing offenses took advantage of, and they weren’t nearly as dangerous as they were when Johnson was calling the shots. A team well known for their strong blitzing all of a sudden seemed to become predictable against the teams they faced. That's without mentioning the absence of Stewart Bradley at linebacker and Brian Dawkins at safety.
Fans and analysts can say what they want about how the Eagles collapsed at the end of the season because of McNabb. Yes, he did struggle against a very tough Cowboys defense that finished the regular season with two consecutive shutouts.
However, it was unfair for everyone to immediately call for McNabb’s time in Philadelphia to come to an end after both losses to the Cowboys when the team clearly needed help in not only the running game, but on defense as well. If the team can find a way to improve both areas for next season, there’s every reason to believe McNabb could reach his seventh Pro Bowl with the Eagles.
The Relationship Between McNabb and Reid
Andy Reid took over as head coach in 1999 following a disappointing previous season in which the Eagles finished 3-13 to earn the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Philadelphia used that pick to select McNabb after a stellar career at Syracuse, and the two have worked together ever since.
McNabb and Reid have been through quite a lot during their 11 years together in Philadelphia—both good and bad. They may have seen success with eight playoff appearances, including five NFC East titles.
Unfortunately, they’ve also managed to lose four of five trips to the NFC Championship—including three in a row from 2002-04. While McNabb has received plenty of criticism for his inability to win the big games for the Eagles, Reid has been criticized almost as much—especially for his lack of running the ball.
The argument can be made that no current coach and quarterback have been through more ups and downs than these two guys. McNabb has always been Reid’s No. 1 guy, and the comments he made following the Eagles’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys in this year’s playoffs made it seem clear he still would be in 2010.
“I was asked if Donovan would be my quarterback next year, and I said yes,” Reid said. “That’s what I’m saying now.”
Whatever happens with McNabb next season will come down to what Reid wants to do since his role with the organization allows the final decision to go through him. Since this is the case, it seems safe to say that Donovan will still be his guy in 2010 considering the type of relationship they’ve established over their 11 years together.
Dan Parzych is the Eagles Fan Voice for NFLTouchdown.com.
He is also the founder of the new NFCEastFootball.com.
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