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A Logical, Reasoned Criticism of Donovan McNabb


Camp Fodder
Oct 28, 2009
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I've been trying to avoid jumping on the "It's all Donovan's fault!" bandwagon. I don't believe that's even remotely the case given the protection he's had this year, and the lack of tools. Does he throw some crappy balls and make some poor reads? Sure; but that doesn't make him an awful quarterback. I certainly don't want to see Rex Grossman on Sunday.

That said, a couple of things about Donovan's performance yesterday bothered me immensely. The first was that awful goal-line sequence that resulted in a killer delay of game penalty. Shanahan has admitted that he and the coaching staff screwed up by not realizing it was a 30-second timeout. Does that make me feel better? No, here's why:

This is from memory, and I've not seen film, so take it with a grain of salt. It appeared to me that Donovan realized the problem and that he didn't have a play called somewhere around the 13-15 second mark on the play clock. The team was in the huddle. Instead of realizing the need for urgency and making a playcall, Donovan starts shouting and gesticulating wildly at the sidelines for a play, which Kyle Shanahan is apparently not prepared to give to the huddle. No play comes in time, delay of game.

Donovan, dude! You've been in the league how many years leading offenses? Screw Kyle, you have 12 seconds, call a play and get this thing in the end zone.

In addition, part of this wild gesticulation was apparently Donovan unsuccessfully attempting to call a back to back timeout, which courtesy of Joe Gibbs, we're all painfully aware is impossible.

This just doesn't feel good to me. Donovan needs to get his head in the game and be decisive and alert. My ROTC instructor always stressed "Stay alert, stay alive!" Donovan's dead on a couple of occasions already this season.

Again, not jumping on the Donovan sucks bandwagon here, just something he needs to improve on. Clock management can lose you games, and we don't need any help in that department.
The red zone offense looks like something Jim Zorn would laugh at. Not sure how much blame goes to McNabb (throwing way short of Cooley on third down due to imagined pressure certainly is his fault), how much goes to Kyle Shanahan, or how much is on the O-Line. Something is awry...
When Donovan's ability to use his legs as a weapon diminished his value as a qb took a nosedive. He is one of the most inaccurate passers I can remember, especially with the short to mid-range throws. He rarely delivers the ball to his target in an ideal way to continue the play. Too low, too high, too hard, behind them, etc.
It's not that hard to see. McNabb is still capable of flashes of the player he used to be. But time and injuries have robbed him of his mobility and at 34 he is now simply a pocket passer with no escapability.

Without the quick release of a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, McNabb is a sitting duck behind a line that is sometimes overwhelmed.

But if you looked across the field yesterday you saw a 23 year old quarterback in Josh Freeman that has progressed nicely and has the size, touch and intelligence to be a top flight player in the NFC.

He reminds of a younger Ben Roethlisberger.

The Redskins unfortunately don't have that type of building block because they dealt #2 and #3 picks for a quarterback who is more yesterdays than tomorrows.
He's doing the same things he did in Philthy.

Dirt balls.

Balls behind players

Did you hear about the new McDonalds McNabb sandwich?

You order the sandwich and the person behind the counter takes your money and then throws the sandwich on the floor behind you
Well, the Eagles haven't won a Super Bowl, but their front office could see the Redskins coming.

Once again, how much has changed here? :)

AGAIN, the Redskins were willing to give up a lot more than other teams to secure the services of a guy whose prime was 4-5 years ago.
I'm going to bite my lip and head over to TNS now.
I wonder how much buyers remorse Shanahan has right about now?
Oh come on Henry. You know you want to do this:

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The Redskins have buyer's remorse on almost ALL of their veteran acquisitions.

Maake Kemoeatu never recovered from the achilles tendon injury.

Joey Galloway was even older and less productive than I imagined he would be.

McNabb doesn't look like he has 3-4 years left in the NFL as a starter.

Jammal Brown is still limited by the hip injury.

Kory Lichtensteiger and Artis Hicks are just plain awful.

Other than Trent Williams, Brandon Banks and Ryan Torain this offseason class looks like an almost total loss.
McNabb didn't go off against the Bucs, Torain and the front line did. In fact, they have so many injuries, I would be embarrassed if they had not.....I am embarrassed anyways.

As for McNabb. The last several years Eagles fans have yelled at Reid for clock mismanagement. How much of this do you think was McNabb's fault? It appears McNabb is not as bright as originally thought.
I was waiting for you to justify your 'statement' that Joey Galloway went off against an opponent in a Washington uniform this year :laugh:
I don't think McNabb will be back in 2011 and if he is and is the starter again you won't see that much improvement in the offense.

Even with a good draft of players and some signings of mid-tier free agents its going to take some time for the offense to gel and come together.

Looks more and more like 2012.

2011 is another transition year. But as long as the team is taking its lumps in 2011 I would rather have it be with a young franchise quarterback at the helm, not #5.
it would have been THAT funny if the Redskins had signed the 39 year old Galloway and he DID come in here and contribute a 1,000 yard season :laugh:

things like that only seem to happen to New England though :mad:
New England had him and he only caught 7 passes last year for 67 yards. They were not lucky with him either.
I think a lot of people got sucked in to the "mcnabb is an elite QB" BS that we got fed upon signing him. The simple fact is that other than 2006 he was never even remotely an elite qb. he whined that he was belittled in Philly but in fact he was protected there a lot. he needs run after the catch guys because he isnt accurate and doesnt hit guys in stride very often.

Lets look at the facts
Mcnabb has never won a superbowl despite having some seriously talented teams around him in Philly.

Mcnabb had decent wideouts several of his seasons some good one for several of his seasons, some great Te's and a couple of very good running backs to go with great Olines and very solid defences.

Mcnabbs issues arent things that go away with experience, he folds under pressure, doesnt find the open man and often waits too long to throw the ball.

he actually isnt very smart, Reid said stuff about that that while in coach speak was pretty clear about his lack of football IQ.

here is what Mcrapp gives you at his best and his worst

He throws a good deep ball because of his arm strength so he does give you a punchers chance at big plays he also throws the ball terribly at times but usually too hard or too low so that used to help him with getting picked off.

he does have nifty feet and an off and on sense of the rush, at his best he avoids sacks deftly, at his worst he doesnt get out of his own lines way.

He rarely throws brilliant passes to his wideouts and he doesnt work the edge of the field very well, but he does throw seams very well, balance that with the fact that cant throw a touch pass or screen to save his life. But he somehow finds his second option a lot and he does love to throw to his TE and RB a LOT.

He looked good at times in Philly because they would help him get in a rythym, the problem was that this meant throwing the ball several times more than even Reid would have liked. the reason balanced offence is so effective is because you cant tee off on it.
More than anything, I think what we bought in McNabb is his experience. I've seen some folks sorta pine for the Jason Campbell days. Really? Yeah, he's looked better in Oakland, but would he have won the few games we won this year by himself? Doubtful.

McNabb too is a victim of sorts of the front office and their inability to figure out what they wanted to do this year. "Do we rebuild?" or "Do we geta few players and try to make a run?"

I think the the latter has proven disasterous and I would hope that Bruce Allen and Co realize we need to give the whole team an enema.
Some interesting numbers on McNabb...

Inside the Red Zone: 8 TD 0 INT 99.7 Rating
On the opponent 49-20: 6 TD 6 INT 72.2 Rating
Own 21-50: 0 TD 6 INT 71.2 Rating
Own 1-20: 0 TD 3 INT 80 Rating

So, he's god awful on our side of the field. 0 TD 9 INT.

He's best from the red zone when it comes to TD:INT ratio and rating... But it's also where he's completing the lowest percentage of passes of the four spots (54.3%)


First Half: 9 TD 5 INT 92.1 Rating
Second Half: 5 TD 10 INT 63.5 Rating

His completion percentage drops from 61.5% in the first half to 55% in the second half.

In the 4th quarter, when we're behind 7 points:

1 TD 3 INT 59.2 Rating 50.6% Comp


Attempts 1-10: 63.1%, 6 TD, 3 INT, 96.2 Rating
Attempts 11-20: 55.5%, 3 TD, 3 INT, 55.1 Rating
Attempts 21-30: 55.8%, 2 TD, 6 INT, 73.1 Rating
Attempts 31+: 61.3%, 3 TD, 3 INT, 76.5 Rating

He's not good on our side of the field. He's very poor in the second half. Attempts 11-30 he's got 5 TD 9 INT.
Other than that he's a real bargain. :)

If by bargain you mean a complete waste, as I figured he would be when we made the trade... You'd be on the money :)

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