Eagles

Donovan McNabb 'absolutely' thinks he's a Hall of Famer

Donovan McNabb 'absolutely' thinks he's a Hall of Famer

Donovan McNabb doesn’t think it should even be a question. 

He should “absolutely” be in Hall of Fame. 

“And I’m not hesitating on that,” McNabb said to TMZ Sports. “I am a Hall of Famer. My numbers speak for [themselves].”

On a segment with TMZ Sports, McNabb was actually asked whether or not Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer, to which McNabb replied, “I’m still here.” 

McNabb, 42, has a case. 

But for the 2019 class, McNabb was one of 102 nominees, but didn’t make the list of 25 semifinalists or, obviously, 15 finalists. No QBs made the list of semifinalists. 

McNabb last played in 2011 for the Vikings, capping off the end of his career with two subpar years with Washington and Minnesota. But he had 11 great years in Philly. 

“You look at my numbers, yeah, but they they want to add other stuff to it,” McNabb said. “‘Was he an All-Pro? Was he this? How many Super Bowl opportunities?’ People don’t realize how hard it is to get to the NFC Championship and get there five times and then make it to a Super Bowl, it’s tough.”

Well, let’s take a closer look:  

The case for McNabb

• His numbers are strong. He had 37,276 passing yards, 234 touchdowns, 117 interceptions and a passer rating of 85.6. He made sure to make that his main case with TMZ. 

“My numbers are better than Troy Aikman,” McNabb said, “but he has Super Bowl rings and he’s played with Hall of Famers as well.”

Although they really played in different eras, McNabb’s numbers are unquestionably better than those of Aikman, who was inducted into the HOF in 2006. Here are Aikman’s career numbers: 32,942 yards, 165 touchdowns, 141 interceptions, passer rating of 81.6. Believe it or not, McNabb also had a higher career winning percentage. But Aikman has three rings.

• McNabb won nine playoff games and made it to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. He also has more QB wins that HOFers Troy Aikman, Len Dawson, Bart Starr, Steve Young, Bob Griese, Dan Fouts, Roger Staubach, Sonny Jergensen, Kurt Warner and Joe Namath. 

• McNabb was a six-time Pro Bowler and most of that was done with less-than-great receivers. He had Terrell Owens for a short time, but how many years did he have James Thrash and Todd Pinkston as his top targets? 

The case against McNabb 

• His numbers are good, but he’s one of 23 players who has thrown for that many yards and touchdowns. And all 23 aren’t Hall of Famers. Let’s look closer at the other 22 players on that list. 

Eight are in the Hall of Fame: Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Warren Moon, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas. 

Eight are still active: Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. 

Six are retired and not in the Hall of Fame (yet): Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe, Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason. 

• Sure, he made it to five NFC Championship games but McNabb was just 1-4 in those games. He made it to one Super Bowl and never won the big game. How do you weigh making it to five championship games vs. a guy like Jim Kelly, who made it to four Super Bowls and never won. 

• McNabb was never an All-Pro. Right or not, that plays into the thinking of many HOF voters. He was never an MVP; he finished second in MVP voting to Marshall Faulk in 2000. Was he ever the best quarterback in the league? 

There are definitely cases to be made on both sides. Are McNabb’s numbers good enough to get him in despite never winning the big game? That’s probably going to be the real question. For a guy like Marino, his numbers emphatically said yes. McNabb’s numbers aren’t that good. But then you can look at guys like Warren Moon and think, “Well, if he’s in…” 

McNabb is hoping having teammates Owens and Brian Dawkins in the Hall of Fame might help his case. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. 

In 2021, Peyton Manning will be eligible for the HOF, and he’ll go in immediately. And then, depending how you feel about Carson Palmer, there’s going to be a lull for a few years before the big wave comes. Those guys — Brees, Brady, Rivers, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, etc. — all have better numbers than McNabb. Sure, the game has changed, but if McNabb wants to get in the Hall of Fame, he’s probably going to need to do it before that group becomes eligible. 

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Are the 2019 Eagles better or worse at linebacker?

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Are the 2019 Eagles better or worse at linebacker?

The Eagles let a promising-yet-oft-injured potential star walk in the offseason, though the team was not idle, adding two quality players to mix. Will the linebackers be better off as a result in 2019?

Key additions: L.J. Fort (free agent, Steelers), Zach Brown (free agent, Redskins) 

Key departures: Jordan Hicks (free agent, Cardinals)

Why they could be better: Depth

Last summer, the battle for the Eagles’ third linebacker job was between Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry, neither of whom played much up to that point, and Corey Nelson, who didn’t even make the team. Grugier-Hill and Gerry are still in the mix here, though the competition for spots two through seven behind Nigel Bradham will be much stiffer.

Jordan Hicks’ departure does create another hole in the starting lineup, one likely to be filled by either L.J. Fort, Zach Brown or Grugier-Hill. But that trio all bring experience to the table — Brown has been to a Pro Bowl — plus Paul Worrilow returns from a torn ACL, offering another veteran presence. Gerry got some opportunities last year, and even he’ll be pushed by CFL star Alex Singleton and undrafted rookie/ All-American T.J. Edwards. How much deeper is this group? In 2018, the guys behind LB4 Gerry were all exclusively special teamers.

Why they could be worse: Down a playmaker

How much will the Eagles miss Hicks? Hard to say. They won a Super Bowl without him in 2017, and after missing more time last season, he eventually returned to find Bradham had taken over as the defense’s No. 1 linebacker. Can’t blame the club for its unwillingness to match $36 million over four years for somebody who’s injured so frequently.

That being said, there’s no denying Hicks seemingly has a nose for the football. He played only 43 games over four seasons, yet managed to amass 19 pass breakups, 7 interceptions, 5.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, six fumble recoveries and 12 tackles for loss. Only a small handful of players even come close to matching that big play production during the same span – none with at least as many of each, and all in at least 10 more games. When he’s on the field, Hicks is a difference-maker, an ability as difficult to replace as it can be to quantify.

The X-factor: Who takes Hicks’ spot?

It was kind of surprising Brown was still on the street in May. Sure, he turns 30 this year, coming off a season in which he lost his starting job in Washington and is nowhere near the impact player he was earlier in his career. He still posted over 200 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 22 tackles for loss over the last two years.

Brown may be best suited for LB3 snaps in the Eagles’ defense. There’s not a lot of blitzing, minimizing one of his best attributes of rushing the passer, and as he’s aged, his coverage ability has seemingly diminished. Yet, he’s still stout against the run, and who else is it going to be? This could wind up becoming more of a platoon role, with Brown seeing first- and second-down snaps, then either Fort or Grugier-Hill in the nickel. There’s potential in such an arrangement. The question is whether opponents will be able to attack the shortcomings of Hicks’ part-time replacements.

Are the Eagles’ linebackers better or worse?

There’s a chance the Eagles let a special one go in Hicks, but the bottom line is he’s seldom available anyway — an issue that issue dates back to college, by the way. On paper, you probably take Hicks over the field, including Bradham. However, in reality, having a bunch of competent, experienced players who will actually be in uniform might be the safer route at this point. BETTER

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The real reason this Kansas City radio host's attack on Andy Reid was out of line

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The real reason this Kansas City radio host's attack on Andy Reid was out of line

I get why people are so outraged by the comments made Monday by a Kansas City radio host who linked Tyreek Hill’s off-the-field issues with the death seven years ago of Andy Reid’s son Garrett.

The guy tried to make a case that Big Red’s inability to be a strict disciplinarian as both a parent and a coach was responsible for both. 

“It did not work out particularly well in his family life,“ is what Kevin Kietzman of Sports Radio 810 WHB said. “He’s had a lot of things go bad on him, family and players. He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline.”

Of course, these sort of remarks are irresponsible, hurtful and off-base. But you consider the source and they're probably not all that surprising.

And let's be honest. We all understand you don’t record the eighth-most wins of any NFL head coach in history and the seventh-most playoff wins without being able to discipline players when it’s necessary. We’ve all seen coaches who truly are bad at this stuff, and they don’t have three losing seasons in 20 years. They don’t last three years.

So yeah, this isn’t about that. Andy doesn’t need to be defended. Not about this.

And outrage distracts us from the real point. The real shame of Kietzman’s comments is that he connects a lack of discipline with heroin addiction.

Garrett Reid, Andy’s oldest son, died during training camp in Bethlehem seven years ago from a heroin overdose after a long battle with addiction, and the notion that his death somehow was the result of his father not disciplining him enough shows such a lack of understanding of addiction and substance abuse.

Addiction is a mental health disorder. It’s a disease.

It’s not a weakness. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not a lack of discipline.

Treatment can help, but it’s a long and difficult process. The changes substance abuse cause in a person’s brain, the addictive traits of heroin and other opioids, make recovery difficult and in some cases impossible.

Garrett was a good kid, a smart kid, and he and his family battled his addiction for years.

Here’s part of Andy’s statement the evening Garrett died:

“We understood that Garrett's long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult. He will, however, always have our family's love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it.”

This guy doesn’t know Andy and the battle he and his family fought to try and help Garrett through that battle.

Addiction and substance abuse have become such an epidemic in our communities. Big city. Small town. Everywhere. All of us know someone who’s lost a family member. All of us have either directly or indirectly felt that pain.

What Kietzman said is wrong in so many ways, but worst of all is how he trivializes addiction by implying that a little parental discipline would have saved Garrett Reid’s life.

This was a horrible thing to say for a lot of reasons, and it’s been nice to see so many of Andy’s former players rallying behind him on social media.

No parents should have to go through what Andy and his family went through seven summers ago at Lehigh. No parents should have to go through this either.

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