So, Donovan McNabb is a Redskin
OK, now that I’ve had a day to try to picture McNabb in a Redskins uniform (and no, I still can’t see it), I think I’ve finally sorted out my feelings on it. I’ve always liked McNabb and felt like he got a lot of completely unnecessary flak for the “failings” of the Eagles – as a Skins fan, I would be happy to define failure as 4 straight NFC Championship appearances. The Eagles’ continuing lack of commitment to the run and constant stream of bad receiving corps that he was saddled with for most of his career meant that he was the only way the offense could operate, which it did with constant success. I watched the Eagles beat my team too many times simply because their QB was a gifted athlete and player.
Of course, there were also the times when he’d go an entire quarter one-hopping the ball to the tight end for no good reason. Those times, not so good.
So I like McNabb. Now, I’d had hopes that Jason Campbell would finally find some sustained continuity and success under Shanahan. I feel bad for the guy, who posted career highs in every category this year – including accuracy better than McNabb’s – despite the fact that he was sacked the third-most in the league behind one of the most heinous excuses for an offense line in NFL history. He is tough, a gamer, but never quite had the extra something that makes a great quarterback. If the Skins were down by 2 or 6 with two minutes left and the ball, I knew the game was over – Jason Campbell would not lead us to a win. It was a tough feeling, one I always wanted him to disprove, but it never happened. So I liked him, and always believed he could be a good quarterback, and hoped that with the proper tutelage he’d be a great one someday.
But now that’s over, and Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman are the Redskins quarterbacks. I think McNabb has at least 3 years of football in him. I believe they will take a rookie QB this year or next and groom him, while Shanahan gears up to get to the playoffs next year or the year after, looking for an Elway-esque run in McNabb’s third and fourth year in the system. The talking heads who say “The Redskins obviously are in win-now mode” are idiots – one, every team wants to win now, and two, getting a veteran QB doesn’t mean that you have a one-year window to try for it. I hope this means the Skins will be smart and take a left tackle in the draft. People say the Redskins receivers suck, but when your QB has no more than a second and a half to throw the best receivers look like utter dog shit – right, Oakland-era Randy Moss? – and Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, and Sleepy Davis give Donovan more weapons than he had most of his career (he actually had to use James Thrash, Freddie Mitchell, and Todd Pinkston as integral parts of his offense. Sheesh.)
I had hoped that Shanahan would be able to use Campbell and make him great, but Mike Shanahan knows more about football and the Mike Shanahan offense than I do, and if he feels that Jason Campbell can’t run the Mike Shanahan offense, then I have to defer to him since he’d know better than I. Bottom line: I’d rather have gotten McNabb than either Eli Manning or Tony Romo. So there’s that.