I didn't know what to think when I heard the news about Donovan McNabb's demotion. Not only is Donovan the backup, but he's the "backup's backup", a.k.a. third string. We know what his agent thinks. Fletcher Smith was pissed. He said all of the things that McNabb probably won't say. Maybe, just maybe, this will finally push McNabb to grow a pair and speak up for himself directly...not make little side comments or beat around the bush. Fletcher Smith should be pissed at himself for letting Don sign that long term deal. Now the Redskins pretty much own McNabb, and all Donovan really got was about 3 million. Let's not be too concerned for McNabb when it comes to money though, I think he will be able to get by. Like I said, the problem is that now he is pretty much property of the Redskins.
I understand the choice Mike Shanahan made. If I was a Redskins fan I would not have liked his choice of words though. Exact quote..."I told Donovan that WHEN we were mathematically eliminated...". So basically Shanahan knew all along that his team was not going anywhere. Gee, it wasn't hard to see that coming. The Redskins are a mess. The coach and his boy wonder can't win without John Elway. Really this all started in July when Shanahan had his pissing contest with Haynesworth. In my opinion Shanahan acted like a complete child instead of a vetern NFL coach with an established Super Bowl winning pedigree. Then after pulling McNabb in Detroit he basically called his supposed franchise QB dumb, out of shape, and "not clutch at all". Clearly the coaches aren't the only problems. The players simply are not that good either.
Here's why I have mixed emotions. Donovan McNabb provided me, an Eagles fan, with many great moments. Despite what the rest of the world thinks the large majority of Eagles fans did not and do not hate McNabb. I actually feel bad for the guy. The past few games he has been a little better. I know he does not have good wideouts. Nor does McNabb have an effective O-line that gives him much time.
This is where the other side comes in. I am not rooting for McNabb to fail...well...except against the Eagles of course. But, the things that everyone are talking about now are the same things that we "stupid", ungrateful", etc. Philadelphia fans have been saying for years. Again, the large majority of fans here never said McNabb sucked. Most knew he was a good QB...at times a very good QB. But the national media, and this past summer all of D.C., put Donovan on this pedestal of greatness that simply does not exist. HE IS NOT A HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK!!!! I will list the major frustrations Philly fans had with McNabb. After reading them, and looking at what is happening right now in D.C., I think it is clear that the Philly fans are vindicated when it comes to McNabb.
While most Philly fans felt McNabb was a good QB, many of us did not like his personality. That's where I will start. The smirk/smile coming off the field after a bad play drove us nuts. The way he portrays himself as a martyr...poor me this always happens to me everyone is unfair to me etc. Another part of that personality is how Donovan often pushes the blames off on others. He did it in D.C. this year when he said publically that the plays weren't coming in fast enough. Even if that was true, you don't say that to the media! Another thing Philly fans always said about Donovan was that he is not an accurate QB. All of them miss a throw here and there, but Donovan many times would throw at the feet or over the head of a receiver only tens yards away. Down in D.C. that has been happening a lot...the guys on NFL primetime tonight were discussing how inaccurate he has been. That has nothing to do with a weak WR crew. One last thing that Philly fans knew was a weakness of McNabb's was his inability to play at a high level when the lights get too bright, or his team is losing and time is short. I don't know exact numbers, but actual statistics bear how rarely Donovan lead his team to victory when they were losing in the fourth quarter. Three NFC Championship games when the Eagles were significant favorites Donovan played average at best. We here in Philly just knew that McNabb was never going to win a Super Bowl. So did Andy Reid, that's why he was finally traded. Think about THAT! If Andy thought that highly of McNabb as a threat he would never have traded him in his team's own division!
So there you have it. The three major issues we had with McNabb: The personality, the inaccuracy on a regular basis, and simply the lack of that "it" factor that a QB needs to win a Super Bowl. Were there some fans that complained about everything and never gave Don any credit? Of course. But those people were a small crowd. Sadly there were even some fans that would not accept him just because of his race...just like they were with Randall Cunningham. But I read the papers and listen to the sports talk radio, and I'm telling you those were the three main issues. And now after a few months in D.C. those same Redskins fans who were calling us dumb and ungrateful are now realizing that maybe we knew what we were talking about. Same with all of the national media/ESPN folks. Chris Berman and Tom Jackson are a little more reserved with the "McNabb=greatness and the Philly fans don't know what they are getting into" nonsense.
One final thought. I will end on a positive and say this. With Donovan McNabb you knew you would never wake up and see that he had shot himself in a nightclub, snuck young girls into bathrooms, or tortured and killed animals. Donovan has always been an upstanding citizen. I will continue to wish the best for him except against the Eagles. Unfortunately though it looks like his best, whatever that was, is behind him now.