Sunday, December 18, 2005

Stephen A. Smith Has a Very Good McNabb Article
One story after another focused on their contract squabbles, what head coach Andy Reid needed to do to keep things together, how an ailing defensive unit would have to find a way to anchor this team just to keep it competitive.

Very little in the way of venom was directed toward the play of McNabb.

Let's just be real about it.

The Eagles' coddling of McNabb was contagious, with every one of us at some time making excuses for his lack of production instead of focusing on him purely as a football player.

One year, it was his lack of offensive weapons. Then it was Reid's methodical, transparent strategies in pivotal situations. In the Super Bowl, it was Reid again, coupled with claims that McNabb was sick, fatigued or both. And now, after this farce of a season, McNabb's sports hernia is blamed for Philadelphia's demise.

That's not to say any of those claims were false. Nor is it to imply that McNabb is at fault.

McNabb didn't ask for anyone's preferential treatment, sensitivity or sympathy. Yet, on far more occasions than most - especially since Limbaugh's comments in October 2003 - one could argue McNabb got it anyway.

The question is simple: Why?

The belief here is that in a quest to dismiss Limbaugh's claim that the media are "desirous that a black quarterback do well," the rather unhealthy practice of exploring all other options of fault outside of McNabb has been exercised, with McNabb being the person who's suffered most because of it.

While McNabb certainly has made bad plays in the past (last year's Super Bowl was the biggest) and had a bad season this year, I still feel as though he is one of the best QBs in the league. There is only a handful of QBs I'd rather have: Manning, Brady, possibly Rothlisberger, and if he has another year like this year, Carson Palmer. Now of course it helps all those guys either have great running games or great receivers or both. I am comfortable with McNabb at QB, he had one of the best years ever at QB last year.

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