When the San Francisco 49ers play a night game, that usually results in Eric Davis not appearing on NFL Network’s morning show “NFL AM” the following day, as he provides color commentary for 49ers radio.
So when “NFL AM” host Brian Webber reminded us that former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is currently a contributor on NFLN’s seasonal “Playbook” series, would be subbing for “ED” on Tuesday morning, we knew we’d be in for a treat.
McNabb’s appearance couldn’t be more timely, as the Eagles sink below .500 with a loss to the undefeated Falcons on Sunday. It was the first time in the Andy Reid era that the Eagles dropped a game following their bye week.
And with the recent firing of their defensive coordinator, coach Reid is willing to do anything to keep his job – even bench starting quarterback Michael Vick.
“You have to focus on your job,” McNabb said, when asked how Vick should deal with the local fans and the media – which, as McNabb could tell you firsthand, could be brutal if you’re not performing well. “If you focus on your job, you block everything out.
“I think you get in a situation where once you start hearing the boos, and hearing the radio stations talk, and people on the outside begin to bring your name up of being benched, then you begin to lose focus, and now your play begins to fall and… you focus on other things.”
McNabb added that Vick should “feed off of… not turning the ball over” during the game against the Falcons, a problem that had plagued him big-time (eight interceptions, five of nine fumbles lost through the first six weeks of the season) prior to the bye.
He also argued that turning to backup quarterback Nick Foles shouldn’t be the answer for the Eagles (“not at all”), but rather suggested the team consider benching players on the team’s offensive line or secondary. “There’s other people that need to be in this situation besides Michael Vick,” he said, even naming high-paid offensive stars such as LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson that are also “tied to this [predicament]”.
“If the defense for the Eagles were playing better,” he continued, “we wouldn’t be talking about Michael Vick so much.”
Or rather, sports radio in Philadelphia wouldn’t be talking about Michael Vick so much.
You see, Donovan McNabb got such a bad rap in Philadelphia from regular talk radio hosts, let alone sports radio hosts, and just as they let him have it on draft day, they couldn’t wait to celebrate after the Eagles traded him away.
It’s one thing for Andy Reid to tune out sports radio.
It’s another to hear his former quarterback attempt to analyze his team’s problems on NFL Network – a venue he himself once criticized.
And as a bonus, later in that “NFL AM” broadcast, Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel debated during a “Double Coverage” segment on which team could benefit from adding McNabb to their roster: the Arizona Cardinals or the Kansas City Chiefs?
For the love of God, please keep Donovan McNabb away from “Bulldog” Bob Fescoe.