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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Strange Happenings

The Eagles were on their bye week, so it was a perfect time for fans to focus on our “favorite” former quarterback. Shockingly, Donovan McNabb seems to be right where we left him – in the midst of controversy. Or, should I say, in the midst of stinking it up?

Shortly after McNabb threw a late, fourth quarter interception to cost his team a victory on Sunday – sound familiar? – vaunted Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan benched the so-called future Hall of Fame quarterback.

After the game, Shanahan basically said that journeyman quarterback Rex Grossman gave the Redskins a better chance to win in the final two minutes of the game against the Detroit Lions.

Let that soak in. McNabb was benched because Shanahan thought Rex Grossman gave his team a better chance to win a game. In fact, he said McNabb didn’t have enough of a grasp of the offense to run the two-minute drill. By the way, Grossman signed with the Redskins on March 17. McNabb was traded on April 4. So Grossman hasn’t had any more time in the offense than McNabb.

Yesterday, Shanahan tried to “salvage” the situation by saying McNabb didn’t have the cardiovascular conditioning to run the two-minute drill due to hamstring injuries. Yet, McNabb rushed for 45 yards in the game, and at least on the Red Zone channel there was no mention of an injury.

The reality is that it took Shanahan 8 games to realize McNabb wasn’t the quarterback he could win with. It took Andy Reid 11 seasons.

Suddenly, national pundits – who have ripped Eagles fans for years for not appreciating McNabb – are questioning the quarterback. ProFootballTalk.com wrote:

On Monday night ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Shanahan wasn't pleased with McNabb's practice habits, and on Tuesday morning ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck, who spent some time on the Eagles' roster during McNabb's tenure in Philadelphia, said poor practice habits are par for the course for McNabb.

"I was a teammate of Donovan McNabb's in Philadelphia," Hasselbeck said on Mike and Mike in the Morning. "One of the things that drove them crazy in Philadelphia was the lack of tempo at which he practiced. . . . It was always something where you're leaving the quarterback meeting and it would be, 'Hey, listen, the head man wants a little more tempo today.' Nearly every single day. That's been the deal with Donovan McNabb. I know exactly what Mike Shanahan is talking about."

Nothing like breaking a story 10 years later.

National media members can send their apology letters to Philadelphia fans to City Hall.

Sixers make curious move

Both papers reported that the Sixers have decided against extending the rookie contract of Thaddeus Young. With the collective bargaining agreement up in the air, it’s hard to judge what this says about how the 76ers feel about Young. In the current environment, Young would still be a restricted free agent, but could cost the Sixers more next year. Their hope is probably that they could sign him for a longer period for less than they could when he’s a free agent.

Moss waived

I didn’t get why Randy Moss was traded, but it’s pretty clear why the Minnesota Vikings waived him – not that it makes much more sense than the New England Patriots trading the guy. Everyone knows by now that taking Moss on your team means dealing with him acting like a jackass in exchange for having a once great and still very good receiver. So why waive him just weeks after trading for him?

I wonder if this is more about Brett Favre finally being done. Minnesota brought Moss in after their last (we hope) season with Favre started slow. While Favre actually looked decent on Sunday until he was knocked out of the game with a chin laceration, for a guy that had been playing all day with broken bones in his ankle he reacted as if he had jobs suffered a mortal wound.

Moss talked himself out of town right after the game. But, again, why would Vikings head coach Brad Childress suddenly do a reversal on Moss? I’m guessing he’s finally tired of having Favre hold his team hostage, but doesn’t have the guts to sit him. Instead, he took away the toy he just got for him hoping Favre will see the season is essentially over and finally call it a career.

World Series

I was off base with my analysis of the San Francisco – Texas World Series match-up. I’m not shocked the Giants won, but that they did it in five games, beating Cliff Lee twice, was more than a little surprising.

Now, do I think Cliff Lee cost himself a dime (with the Yankees) in free agency this winter? No. Am I still ticked he wasn’t on the Phillies this year? Yes.

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