Donovan McNabb Makes Philadelphia Eagles Fans Look Like Geniuses

WesAnalyst INovember 1, 2010

Show the camera "sexy."
Show the camera "sexy."Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Thirty years ago the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Oakland Raiders 27-10 in Super Bowl XV.

Following the franchise's first trip to the game's biggest stage, the Eagles went 2-7 in the playoffs. Quarterbacks such as Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham, Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer went up in smoke in the postseason.

Drop some money in the slot and watch the quarterback carousel go round and round with no end in sight.

And then it happened.

The carousel stopped in 1999 when Andy Reid went against the grain, passed on Heisman-winning running back Ricky Williams, and drafted Donovan McNabb with the number two overall pick.

McNabb rode the bench and studied the offense behind the one and only Doug Pederson, who by the way played 10 seasons in the NFL and managed to throw a whopping 2,762 yards with 12 TDs alongside 19 picks.

When McNabb got his shot in 2000, the fans witnessed the greatest quarterback in franchise history headline one of the team's greatest eras.

McNabb went to the postseason eight times in 11 seasons, guided the team to five NFC Championships, and won an impressive nine playoff games.

But even through the highest of highs, Eagles fans sensed McNabb was not the kind of quarterback who was a leader. They said he was too inaccurate to run the West Coast Offense, and that he could not be clutch at the end of a game. They even said he was out of shape after he vomited in the huddle during Super Bowl XXXIX.

They were right.

Maybe the fans weren't right about him during his entire career in Philadelphia, but at the end of the day, or in this case, the end of his career, they could not have been more right when McNabb got benched in last Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

The funniest part about the benching is when it occurred, and who replaced McNabb.

With 1:45 remaining in last Sunday's game, and the Washington Redskins trailing the Detroit Lions by six points, Mike Shanahan called on Rex Grossman.

Shanahan talked about McNabb's poor cardiovascular endurance and his unfamiliarity with the offense's terminology in the two-minute drill.

Where's the John Elway comparison now, McNabb apologists?

Wasn't there a game when Elway got benched late in the fourth quarter because his out-of-shape, broken-down backside couldn't get the job done?

Oh, that's right.

Elway engineered 35 fourth-quarter comebacks in big games like Conference Championships. He even had the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXXII.

Maybe Shanahan didn't realize that McNabb has all of 15 fourth-quarter comebacks under his belt, and that the Skins were playing the Lions and not the '85 Bears.

Or maybe he realized it, understood why Reid traded McNabb within the division, and why Eagles fans were right about McNabb.