News of the Donovan McNabb trade is just as shocking to Philadelphia fans as to Washington's. I asked my friend and Bloguin colleague Thomas Jackson of Eagles Eye to weigh in on McNabb.
I mirthfully asked his thoughts on McNabb leaving and Michael Vick staying. Here's his reply:
"I'm excited for the Redskins. McNabb is a class act. He's done a lot for the Eagles and the town he played for. What's really the problem with McNabb is he has lost a lot of the footspeed and mobility he once had...and he's no longer a perfect fit for Andy Reid's West Coast offense. Whether the Eagles should have changed their offensive set to compensate for McNabb's older legs is a debate which may haunt the Eagles for years.
"McNabb could very likely thrive in Washington, with a power running game and a head coach who knows how to exploit McNabb's skills. I love Jason Campbell's upside, don't get me wrong, but McNabb has the ability to bring great excitement to the Redskins. He plays with heart and courage, and is extremely skillful in the downfield passing game.
"The knocks against him are mostly urban legend and cases of selective memory; you know, he "chokes in the big game", or he "misses a lot of screens and short patterns"...all overstated accusations. Fact is, McNabb has won a ton of "big games" just to get to the "Big Game".... he's due to win it all.
"Kevin Kolb will get his chance. Mike Vick? I really expect him to be traded to another team after he's showcased in a few pre-season games. Word out is Vick is having some problems convincing scouts he can still throw downfield patterns as well as he once did at Atlanta....and that wasn't always a great passing result anyway.
"Kolb is in a bad spot if he struggles early...Philly fans may run both him and Andy Reid out of town. But he has ability and decent arm strength. He's a little more mobile than McNabb, and is probably a better fit in Reid's system. And he has good motivational drive...He wants this starting job, and refused to sign a contract extension unless he got it. You just have to wonder about his defense-reading experience when it comes to live action...he's only started or played a handful of games in 4 years. But his offensive teammates are high on his ability. I'd like Kolb better if he were just a little taller and stronger physically...but winning would cure that complaint.
"What a world!"
Jackson pointed out on he Eagles Eye blog that McNabb was due a$5 million bonus if he were on Philadelphia's roster today, April 5.
More Eagles fan reaction: ...even his "haters" don't like McNabb's trade.