Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb's Hall of Fame case and more in Roob's 10 Observations!

Donovan McNabb's Hall of Fame case and more in Roob's 10 Observations!

Donovan McNabb's Hall of Fame case, some thoughts on Press Taylor and a sensible backup for Carson Wentz.

It's all here in a Super Bowl Sunday edition of Roob's Offseason Random Eagles Observations!

1. I like the idea of Joe Flacco as Carson Wentz’s backup. Flacco is 35 now, six years removed from his last playoff appearance, and his days as a full-time starter are over. But the Audubon High School alum would bring tons of smarts and experience to the quarterback room and still be able to go out and win a game or two if he had to play. I still think the injuries Carson Wentz has suffered are flukey, but the reality is he hasn’t finished a season healthy since 2016, and the Eagles have to approach No. 2 QB as almost a 23rd starter. Nate Sudfeld has been here three years, but what do we really know about him? Can he win games? I don't know. Josh McCown played his heart out in the Seattle game, but he turns 41 this summer and is coming off a serious injury. If the Eagles lose Wentz again they need to be prepared with someone who can give them a realistic chance to win some football games. We all saw two years ago how important that is.

2. I’m not sure why fans are so down on Eagles QB coach Press Taylor. I wonder if some of it is simply a negative association with older brother Zac, who went 2-14 this past season in his first year as Bengals head coach. Has Wentz ever looked unprepared under Taylor? Taylor has been QBs coach for two years, and Eagles quarterbacks during that span — with a ragtag group of wide receivers — have completed 67 percent of their passes, thrown 56 TDs and 19 interceptions and have a composite 96.4 passer rating. I’ve seen no evidence that Taylor isn't very good at his job.

3. Let’s look at Miles Sanders’ last nine games of the season - once he had a full-time role in the rotation. Sanders had just 150 touches during that stretch but netted 877 scrimmage yards. Only 12 running backs in NFL history have had more net yards on 150 touches the last nine weeks of a season. Among them are Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Jim Taylor and LeSean McCoy. If you take Sanders’ last nine weeks and just increase his workload from 17 touches per game to 20 and then project that production over a full season? You’re looking at 1,244 rushing yards, 1,824 scrimmage yards and 70 catches. He is that good.

4. In case you were wondering - and I’m sure you were - Raheem Mostert’s 216 rushing yards in the NFC Championship Game are the most ever by an Eagles practice squad alum. The previous record was 163 by James Allen of the Bears against the Ravens in 1998. Allen spent all of 1997 on the Eagles’ practice squad.

5. Interesting to see Frank Reich hire Mike Groh in Indy. I still think Groh isn’t the worst coach in the world. He did a legit very good job with the Eagles’ receivers in 2017, and for that offense to be ranked No. 12 in the NFL last year with all the injuries was impressive. I don’t question Doug’s decision to part ways with him because Doug obviously saw something missing and feels like the offense will benefit from a new voice (if the Eagles ever get around to hiring one). But this kind of feels like Andy Reid firing Sean McDermott, who didn’t do a terrible job replacing Jim Johnson, but could just never live up to Jim and really needed a change of scenery. Groh similarly couldn’t live up to Reich. And because of that he’s now coaching with him.

6. I think the Super Bowl is going to come down to how well Steve Spagnuolo’s defense can slow down that explosive 49ers rushing attack. Pat Mahomes is playing at such an insane level right now I expect the Chiefs to score somewhere around 31 to 35 points. The 49ers want to win running the ball and controlling the clock, but the Chiefs’ run defense has improved so much. They’re only allowing 93 rushing yards in their last nine games, and the job that unit did on Derrick Henry was impressive. Can a running team match a Pat Mahomes offense TD for TD? The 49ers are going to have to make a significant number of plays in the passing game to keep up with Mahomes. Jimmy Garoppolo has been impressive, but I’m going to go with the best QB on the field, and that’s Mahomes. Chiefs 33, 49ers 26.

7. Nick Foles’ career stats with and without the Eagles are mind-blowing:

With the Eagles: 26-14 W-L, 58 TDs, 23 INTs, 93.2 passer rating

With Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars: 5-11 W-L, 13 TDs, 12 INTs, 76.6 passer rating

8. The four outside receivers the Eagles used in their playoff loss to the Seahawks — Robert Davis, Deontay Burnett, Shelton Gibson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside — have 27 career catches.

9. If Edgerrin James is a Hall of Famer, then LeSean McCoy is a Hall of Famer.

Edge: 11 years, 12,246 rushing yards, 4.0 average, 15,610 net yards, 433 catches, 91 TDs, 4.5 yards per touch, 4 Pro Bowls, 1 1st-team all-pros

Shady: 11 years, 11,071 rushing yards, 4.5 average, 14,868 net yards, 503 catches, 89 TDs, 5.0 yards per touch, 6 Pro Bowls, 2 1st-team all-pros

10. I never felt Donovan McNabb belonged in the Hall of Fame. I always thought he fell just a little bit short. The eye test just said no. But it’s interesting to note that of the 20 QBs in NFL history who are eligible for the Hall of Fame who made six or more Pro Bowls, McNabb is one of only three who aren’t Hall of Famers. The others are Jack Kemp and John Hadl. So McNabb is the only Hall-eligible QB who’s played since 1975 who’s made six or more Pro Bowls who’s not in the Hall of Fame. He’s also the only eligible QB to win nine playoff games who’s not in the Hall of Fame. He didn’t win a Super Bowl, but neither did Warren Moon, Dan Fouts or Jim Kelly. I still don’t think of Donovan as a Hall of Famer, but when you take the emotion out of the equation maybe you can make a case? Am I looking at his career wrong?

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Super Bowl LIV: Andy Reid brings Donovan McNabb to Chiefs practice to address team

Super Bowl LIV: Andy Reid brings Donovan McNabb to Chiefs practice to address team

Three days before facing the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the Chiefs had a special guest at practice on Thursday morning. 

Andy Reid’s longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb addressed the Chiefs before the morning session in Florida, according to a pool report. 

“He’s been there and done it,” Reid said to pool reporter Dan Pompei. “He’s been in the league, played a long time. It was good hearing from him.”

Go ahead and get all those jokes off. It’s too easy. 

But this is a classic move from Reid, who is a loyal guy. Sure, things didn’t go well when Reid and McNabb went to their only Super Bowl together back in 2005. They lost Super Bowl XXIX, 24-21, to the Patriots and never got back with Reid at the helm. But having McNabb at practice is a pretty nice gesture from Reid and maybe his players got something out of it too. 

After all, if anyone knows how difficult it is to get to a Super Bowl, it’s McNabb. Now 43, McNabb was a six-time Pro Bowler and played another whole season (16 games) in the playoffs. But he made it to just one Super Bowl. 

After the Eagles’ trip to Super Bowl XXIX to cap the 2004 season, McNabb played seven more seasons and got back to the playoffs just twice. The Eagles got to the NFC Championship Game in 2008 but lost to the Cardinals. 

Some folks might forget how good McNabb was in 2004 before the Super Bowl. That season he set an Eagles record with 3,875 passing yards and had 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Despite all that, no one will ever forget that he and Reid couldn’t get it done in the biggest game of their careers. 

Like many of Reid’s former players, McNabb seems to be pulling hard for his former coach to finally get over the hump and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Brian Westbrook regrets inability to help squash Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens beef

Brian Westbrook regrets inability to help squash Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens beef

If feels like we’ve all been put in a time machine this week.

First, Andy Reid is heading back to the Super Bowl, so Big Red has been a big topic of discussion again in Philadelphia. We’ve all been thinking about his time here and whether or not Eagles fans should/will root for him to win the championship.

And then there was the rekindling of the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens feud 15 years after it started.

In case you missed it, McNabb was on Bleacher Report’s Untold Stories and blamed Owens for the Eagles’ collapse after the Super Bowl. As you would expect, T.O. couldn’t let it go. He showed up to a squirt gun fight with a bazooka on Twitter.

In one of his first tweets, Owens alleged that McNabb vouched for Brian Westbrook to get a contract and not him. Well, Westbrook was on FS1’s “First Things First” on Thursday to talk about the never-ending feud.

Westbrook said he’s cool with both guys and regrets that he wasn’t able to squash the beef 15 years ago.

“One of the most disappointing things in my career was that I wasn’t old enough and mature enough to bring two guys I know we needed to be successful together. It was a point, I loved [Owens] and I loved [McNabb], I couldn’t bring them together for the success of our team. That’s one of the biggest failures I had in my career as a player. I wasn’t old enough, wasn’t mature enough at the time."

At the time, Westbrook was just a few years into his nine-year NFL career. He did have some clout, though — 2004 was a huge year for Westbrook; he had 1,515 yards from scrimmage and made his first Pro Bowl. But he was just 25 when the Eagles lost Super Bowl XXXIX.

Fifteen years later, Reid has finally made it back to the Super Bowl just in time for two of his best players from the last one to continue their bickering about why it all went wrong after they lost. It’s childish and petty and it seems like it’s never going to end.

Westbrook said he thought both guys had moved beyond their feud but it’s quite obvious they haven’t; he thinks that is “disappointing.” And Westbrook said he doesn’t expect them to squash it anytime soon.

“I just wish they could come back together,” Westbrook said. “Because, again, we’re talking about two of the best players in Philadelphia Eagles history and now they’re feuding on Twitter? That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

To be fair, it shouldn’t really make sense to anyone. But this won’t be the end of it.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles