In 1995 after 11 seasons and a blowout 30-11 playoff loss to the eventual champion Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles got rid of Randall Cunningham. Crazy as it may seem, history could repeat itself this off season and Donovan McNabb, arguably the best player in franchise history, could be outta here and doing his dance somewhere else next year.
Donovan is under contract through next season, so Donovan could dictate his next destination. I would think that would be Minnesota (depending on Favre’s status obviously) given his relationship with head coach Brad Childress.
Donovan’s career stats. Judge for yourself:
Even the Mayor of Philly is getting bombarded.
Let’s go back to Randall for a minute…
It was horrible here after Randall was jettisoned. The fans and media actually excoriated Cunningham for leaving during the week (before the Dallas playoff game) to be with his wife…who coincidentally was expecting their first child.
Did I mention, Randall was the backup?
Some of the stories here were simply incredible. What made less sense was the fans here cheered Randall when he returned as qb of yes…the hated Cowboys.
When he was here, there were taunts of Raaaaaaandall heard through Veterans Stadium. This was a guy who sat out almost all of two seasons (both years began 4-0) because of serious knee injuries that happened in the pocket.
Yeah, it was all Randall’s fault that’s for sure. He had no offensive coordinator, no line, no receivers of note and no running game and no media support…for the most part.
Absurd as it may seem, the Eagles organization never learned from having one of the most talented athletes to ever play the position running the show here. Randall was a monster and could do everything on the field. He could punt (pretty sure he owns the NFL record of 91 yards), he could make all the throws, he could run around or jump over you and more importantly, the Eagles were never out of a game because of his skill set.
The most ironic Randall Cunningham stat is that he led the Eagles in rushing for four straight years (’87-’90) lining up under center.
Similar to McNabb, Randall was never given the help he needed to put the team over the top. Keith Jackson was his best receiver and I’ll never forget the Monday Night Football live interview where Randall has this shocked look as Jackson was grilling in Miami…having made the decision to leave the franchise and sign with the Dolphins.
This was the advent of the free agency era.
It was never the same here as one by one, members of his legendary defense bounced…Reggie White being the most accomplished. Randall’s best chance at post season glory in my opinion was thwarted by as ridiculous as it sounds, the weather in Chicago. In the infamous New Years Eve 1988 Fog Bowl, Cunningham passed for over 400 yards in a 20-12 first round loss to the Bears. No one here thought the Eagles would lose that game. Head Coach Buddy Ryan had all kinds of inspiration to give it to Mike Ditka as you may know.
Donovan is a more polished passer than Cunningham (Yes, Randall ran for his life) and was definitely more committed to staying in the pocket (albeit after much scrutiny) and working on his craft.
Remember he’s playing quarterback in Philadelphia. Philly is one of the most ridiculous and absurd places to play regarding media and fan scrutiny. Despite having never won a Super Bowl, there’s this entitlement that is disgusting and nonsensical. You hear passionate and caring and deserving…what a crock! The most loyal Eagles fans are the ones who attend the games at Lincoln Financial Field on a consistent basis.
Again, Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl.
The Eagles organization should have been held to the fire here by the media as soon as McNabb was drafted to ensure the proper weapons were brought in to take advantage of his talent but it appeared the media here wanted to run with the fans disdain for the pick.
He’s the only quarterback standing from his draft class. I will say it again, he is a Hall of Fame quarterback based on he’s played half his career in the NFC Championship.
The similarities between Randall and Donovan are almost uncanny during their early years under center. They were asked to win games by themselves while their less than multidimensional quarterback peers were afforded running games and capable receivers.
What is wrong with that picture? There should be no need for pieces like this.
If you surround a talented quarterback with skilled players, the organization will most likely win right?
DeSean Jackson is considered a steal and will be a great receiver on the outside, but what Donovan needs is a big receiver who can move the chains when the game is on the line. The go over the middle guy. I love Jason Avant, but he only cracks the lineup in situational spots. Celek is a Pro Bowl caliber tight end and Jeremy Maclin will hopefully develop into a fine receiver but all are still learning their NFL digs.
After McNabb criticized the young players around him and subsequently backed off the statement, some feel he has lost the team. They are gonna be here whether he’s here or not and if that is the case that the team isn’t committed to Donovan, then this must be addressed now.
The problem with that is Donovan McNabb catches this media and fan ire despite having the second youngest team in the league. Just like any quarterback, he has bad games but to pin every single regular and post season loss on Donovan…let alone any quarterback…is delusional.
If they write it here, the fans will eat it up. Donovan is one of the most compelling figures in sports. Because of his introduction to Eagles fans and media (booed on draft day), he’s very wary of responding with full honesty when questioned in any forum.
He knows the game here. He knows he is the reason for all the page views and post column comments. Why would he give the media anything to run with that would eventually lead to his Philly demise?
Editors would eat that up, but what’s gonna happen when he’s gone for real?
Consider what happened when Cunningham left. There was one winning season (10-6) in the next four until ironically McNabb was given the reigns and promptly went 11-5 in 2000.
McNabb passed for 3,365 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions that campaign.
The worst season during that span was 3-13 in 1998, the same year Cunningham when 15-1 as qb of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles are a little better off on the offensive side of the ball than the one Randall left with.
Some Donovan McNabb stats of note:
Became the first player in NFL history to finish a season with 30+ TD passes (31) and fewer than 10 INTs (8) in 2004.
His career high in interceptions is a mere 13 (first season as a starter). He’s third all time (2.16) in interception to touchdown ratio behind Tom Brady (2.29) and Steve Young (2.17).
He’s one of 7 quarterbacks with 25,000 yards passing and 2,500 yards rushing.
He owns 9 of the 19 Philadelphia playoff victories. One less than half.
These stats might seem minimal to Donovan’s detractors, but what matters most, is McNabb wins games by not giving the ball away to the other team.
We all know about 2004. Donovan had his best season and spread the ball around to whoever was open in his sight. Coincidentally, this was the year Terrell Owens signed with Philadelphia. His stay was short lived, but the Eagles picked up a Super Bowl appearance in the process…a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots. Donovan was 30-51 for 357 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs.
The Eagles rushed for a abysmal 45 yards.
Which brings up a much celebrated point. When any quarterback has a balanced offense, he’s more prone to win. A balance offense keeps the defense thinking…players are shuffled in and out and there’s more of a penchant to catch players and coaches sleeping.
Obvious point right?
Not with Philly. Andy Reid is a beast at calling for the pass. He would pass on every down if he could. Remember his history. He grew up in the West Coast offense and when he got his shot, he went Air Coryell with no John Jefferson, Charlie Joiner or Kellen Winslow to speak of.
Instead, the Eagles put undersized wunderkind Brian Westbrook in physical danger by overusing his talent. There was no fullback to help him get through holes and subsequently punishment he took. His ankles are chronically injured and the concussions have mounted putting his NFL future in jeopardy. He missed 8 games this year.
Why would you be so stupid to waste such a talented back who gave his heart for the franchise?
Remember people, the Eagles were historically under the cap the last decade. They could have made moves but just didn’t feel as though their franchise players were important enough. Period.
Going 11-5 this season, the Eagles overachieved. Yes they were just as much a contender as any team in the NFL, but if the defense knows you are going to pass on the outside, they will stop you. When Jamal Jackson went down, his absence was definitive. The Cowboys sent mad pressure up the middle with Nick Cole in his stead. Cole did an admirable job, but Jamal Jackson was certainly an unappreciated cog in the Philly machine.
Before the season began, team President, Joe Banner made a statement that haunted the Eagles all year. When your front office speaks out of turn and proclaims the roster to be the best in the NFL, McNabb should and probably did see the writing on the wall.
There’s no way of knowing if Banner’s absurd statement was made to put the heat on Triple 5 Soul and after DeSean Jackson’s Pro Bowl year, I’m sure Banner’s words were forgotten to a certain extent but like I’ve said all season, who was going to step up and make the catch with the game on the line?
No one. Who is the veteran?
Donovan definitely shares some of the blame but in this league if you get in a quarterback’s face, he will be rattled. I don’t care who you are.
So in three games against the Cowboys, the Eagles scored a total of 22 points. In the Eagles 20-16 loss the Eagles used Leonard Weaver enough to keep the Cowboys defense off balance. If he weren’t for those two suspect replays, you never know how this season would have ended. I think they are a huge determining factor in how the Eagles finished. The press box was inexplicably quiet when both went down despite obvious evidence the plays should have been overturned.
Did you know that Dallas charges 75 dollars to park at the new stadium and that the priciest playoff seats are 500 dollars? Remember there is revenue sharing in the NFL. You don’t think it’s in the NFL’s best interest that the Cowboys remain relevant?
But whether you get that or not is besides the point.
Do you keep Donovan or move on?
Andy is locked up so we all know he’ll be here but the consensus opinion I’ve gotten from Philadelphia fans is they want Donovan gone. Out. Finito. Peace. All that.They are sick of the season ending the same way. Sorry people, but there can be only one champion.
They point to how games end. In the NFL, talent wins out. Even on teams with low key personalities, talent and of course cohesiveness are main reasons for success.
Let’s go around the league to make a point. You decide the answers:
Cowboys are in 3rd and 5. Who is getting the ball?
Patriots, same thing?
Brees has many targets.
Brett Favre (Sidney Rice is a stud)?
How about Cincy?
San Diego? Really?
How about the Eagles?
Since both Maclin and Jackson are primarily deep threats and Celek isn’t exactly a speed burning tight end (but who is?), where does the ball go?
Westbrook is injured right?
Did Andy use his full compliment of players vs. Dallas?
Where were the bunch formations or the formations with all of their skill players in the game at one time?
Where was Vick besides the dandy 76 yarder?
Where was the trickery?
Where was the running game?
In this town, right now, you would have problems getting through on the various talk radio stations. Pundits will speak of Donovan holding on to the ball too long despite having heat in his face constantly.
Why no Anquan Boldin? Yes, he’s injured, but why not make a play and lock this thing up? Why not go after Brandon Marshall? Why in the hell would you rely on receivers three years into the league? Outside of Jackson, who was scaring defenses consistently?
Stewart Bradley’s injury hurt. Cornelius Ingram’s injury hurt (Celek had a fine season, just missing 1,000 yards).
Marty Mornhinweg just wasn’t creative enough.
Brian Dawkins should not been allowed to leave.
The media here does not hold the front office accountable enough for personell moves.
When the Eagles signed Vick most thought the possibilities were endless but it never panned out and now his future is up in the air. I say go to San Francisco Mike and do your thing.
Kevin Kolb passed for 700 yards in his two starts. 391 was against the Saints in a game where the offense couldn’t stay on the field. The other was a blowout victory vs the Kansas CIty Chiefs. Kolb became the first qb in history to begin his career with two 300 yard games.
What isn’t meaningless is that he’s unproven and at this juncture, why would you hand over the reigns to an unproven commodity?
Why would you take the chance at stepping back? Why would you look at the depleted defense and make the excuse that this is the time for team transition?
What if Kob isn’t the answer?
Why would you chance going 3-13?
Didn’t McNabb pass for 3000 plus, have 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions?
When all the alternates are called up, he’ll probably make his 5th Pro Bowl.
This is how I see it playing out. Kolb comes in and throws for 3,800 yards. He has 25 touchdowns but 20 interceptions. The Eagles fail to make the playoffs.
Some young talented defensive player is brought in to shore up that side of the ball, the Eagles again fail to make the playoffs and Andy Reid is promply let go.
Maybe Bill Cowher comes in. Maybe Tony Dungy but do those two names guarantee a Super Bowl Championship?
Why is it Super Bowl or bust here? Why is there this attitude that the Eagles are entitled to winning anything?
There hasn’t been an NFL winner here since the 60’s.
So the player who is mainly the reason for all of this success becomes hated?
What the hell is that? What’s wrong with you people? Seriously?
Give me answers. Who is the answer? Where is this superman who will lead the Eagles into the promise land?
You are delusional.
Watch other NFL games. Even though Sweatshirt Bill ran the ball with more authority that the Eagles, the games mirrored each other. The scores were almost identical. Baltimore and Dallas created turnovers and ran the ball with authority.
New England and Philly didn’t and now they are home.
Do you blame Tom Brady or was the Ravens domination some sort of anamoly?
Don’t give me Brady gets a pass because he has rings. He also has better coaching, a better organization and better overall talent than the Eagles.
See more than what’s in front of your face.
Donovan again, did not have his best games as of late, but when the Eagles were on that streak, I didn’t hear nothing coming from the papers here. As soon as there was a hole, the entire local writer contingent jumped right in like the sheep they are without having answer one for the future.
All the fans here who want Donovan gone, be careful what you wish for because when your team forum is shut down because there’s nothing to hate and you are watching the playoffs with other teams involved what will your answers be?
I get along with Donovan because I choose to document his talent as it happens. There’s no need for hate. If he loses, then pick it back up and do it again. Of course I’ll be disappointed, but it’s just a game right?
Yes I challenge him but if you listen closely in the pressers, there is always this money grab question and when 5 doesn’t answer it the way the fans and media want, he’s considered some sort of egotisical jerk?
I don’t understand.
Get over yourselves. It’s deeper than this. Donovan McNabb is an outstanding citizen, husband and Father. What else do you want out of the most important athlete in Philadelphia?
If you want a soul model, here is one. He’s never got in any trouble off the field. I’ve covered a couple of his charity softball games and even his parents are involved in worthwhile causes.
I’m not being critical of all fans. I’m really not but those who have no idea how the media game is played are falling into the traps writers set.
When you say Donovan was 4-10 for 39 yards in the first half, does that mention sacks or drops or that Dallas controlled the ball for the majority of the time?
Does it mention that Felix Jones and Tashard Choice were running the ball down the Eagles throats at home in front of 92, 000 plus?
This is a team game and while it would be ridiculous to not lay any of the blame on Donovan McNabb, there is no reason to place all the blame at his doorstep either.
Is it racial?
Is it cultural?
Is it that you are just a quitter and can’t mentally deal with “adversity”?
Adversity in this case is the third best active record over an 11 year span mind you. Adversity is comparing the Eagles model to the three franchises that will be mentioned way down the road in New England, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
People get it in your head that this team has less talent than those three teams. How and why do you expect to win whe you allow the organization to lie?
Again, be careful what you wish for. Donovan in Minnesota seems awfully 1998 familiar. Push him out and another community will gain not only a great quarterback but a great man as well. If this is the last we see of Donovan, I personally want to thank him graciously for leading the team I follow with class.
See you on the road fam.