Read Part 1 Here
The Pride of Philadelphia
For disciples of Donovan McNabb, this column is not going to be a picnic, but it will be a necessary dose of reality about the wildly over-rated quarterback. That's correct...OVER-rated.
My cousin Mark listed some clever statistics below in PART 1 that, at a cursory glance, seem to support his claim that McNabb is only second in the NFL to Peyton Manning. Let me begin to debunk that myth. First, McNabb's career completion percentage, below several of the better quarterbacks out there, is only as high as 58% because of the great number of screen plays and short yardage passes the Eagles have been forced to run over McNabb's career. Mark even supplied the evidence as for why -- because he simply can't throw a pass over ten yards with any regular accuracy.
Next, on the surface McNabb seems to have impressive passing yardage totals, but do not be deceived. He has been playing in Andy Reid's west coast offense which grossly favors the pass over the run. Naturally the more pass plays you run, the more passing yards you will rack up.
Although until last year McNabb had a dearth of talent at the wide receiver position, for the last year and a half he had one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game as his main target. And as a result McNabb put up the most impressive passing statistics of his career over that period. But, before the arrival of Terrell Owens, McNabb did have a couple of quality players to throw the ball to. Chad Lewis, Deuce Staley, L.J. Smith, Brian Westbrook, Dorsey Levens were all great players to toss short passes to and those players helped increase McNabb's yardage and completion percentage. Of course with Owens on the field he made anyone else on the field more open and available for McNabb deliver the ball to. That's why McNabb and virtually everyone else on the Eagles offense (even Todd Pinkston) had career years in 2004.
Is Mama McNabb feeding baby Donovan too much chunky soup?
As far as intangibles go, McNabb is mostly over-rated there as well. His galvanizing Philadelphia fans is more of comment on the gullibility of Philadelphia fans than it is on McNabb's intangible presence. Frankly, McNabb has a tremendous ego, perhaps even larger than Owens. But, McNabb is unable to admit this fact and unfortunately, because even Andy Reid bows to McNabb's massive ego, he is practically uncoachable. I'll give McNabb loads of respect for throwing four touchdowns on a broken ankle against Arizona a couple years ago, but that is just one game. Trying to play through a whole season injured is plain foolish and any other player that would have tried something so stupid and selfish would have been curbed by Andy Reid. One positive about McNabb is that when he's out on the football field, he (often) is having fun. That's important and cannot be said for all players. However, in big games his performance and his leadership, thus far, have been seriously lacking. Furthermore, I think his off-season preparation leaves something to be desired. McNabb, no doubt a great athlete, often looks out of shape and even portly at times out on the field. He's not nearly the physical specimen that Terrell Owens is or even Michael Vick, if you need another QB to compare to. And it's unclear whether he has the genuine respect of his teammates. Instead of watching yesterday's game against the Giants on the sideline with the team, McNabb sat in the luxury box with his mom--a man of the people if there ever was one.
Overall, McNabb is just an average QB. Maybe slightly above average. But here are the QBs that are better than him...in no particular order: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Bledsoe, Daunte Culpepper, Steve McNair, Brett Favre, Brad Johnson, Jake Plummer and this year Drew Brees and Carson Palmer are better.