What They're Saying: The McNabb Benching


There's no shortage of responses to Andy Reid's decision to come out of halftime with Kevin Kolb under center, and most of them aren't favorable. Nothing was working for the offense as a whole in the first half, and the team on the other side of the ball is one of the best defenses in the game, so it would have taken a miracle for Kolb to have any success in the second half. Other than most of one drive, he didn't look any better than Donovan, and even that drive ended with the longest pick-6 in NFL history. With just a few inches to go before paydirt, the play call had Kolb dropping back while the play developed, then throwing to the back of the end zone, where oh by the way a guy named Ed Reed pays his mortgage. Just like McNabb in the first half, Kolb was not put in a position to win by his head coach, something you may have heard uttered on occasion prior to this game.

On top of that, Reid admitted that he didn't even personally tell 5 he'd be benched—QB coach Pat Shurmur took that duty. Personally, I'm not sure this decision could have been handled any worse than it was.

A look around the web this morning shows that the impact of McNabb's benching is a point of discussion that will resonate throughout the season, and especially until later today—when Reid announces who his QB will be going forward.

But the measure of Reid's resolve that a change has to be made, and
the best indication that Kolb will become the starter, is that the
score was just 10-7 when McNabb was pulled. In the past, there wouldn't
have been any question. That was then, however.

Before you break out the champagne to celebrate the end of the
frustrating McNabb era, there are a couple of things worth remembering:
The rebuilding of this team will be painful, and Reid will be the one
doing the rebuilding. Don't expect anything else. [Bob Ford]


Reid is expected to announce at noon whether Donovan McNabb or
Kevin Kolb will start Thursday against the Cardinals. The more I think
about it, the more I'm pretty sure Reid was laying the groundwork after
the game to go back to McNabb. There was that Reid quote about a player
sometimes needing to step back in order to go ahead. Before that, there
was the mere fact that Reid said he had a decision to make, that he
didn't come out and say he was sticking with the decision he made at
halftime Sunday, to go with Kolb. Then there is the nearly
unprecedented situation of having two real preparation days -- today
and tomorrow - before Wednesday's walk-trough and Thursday's game. That
would be almost as impossible a situation for Kolb as Sunday was,
against a defense that had allowed 43 points in four previous home

Of course, even if McNabb starts Thursday's game, that doesn't mean he'll finish it. [Les Bowen]


The coach has just touched the third rail of American sports and
there is no way to untouch it - and the fact that Kevin Kolb was just
as bad as McNabb in the Eagles' 36-7 rollover against the Baltimore
Ravens just underlines that reality. Reid has identified himself as a
man without answers. He is officially flailing.

Reid's talk after the game about not knowing yet who would start
against Arizona on Thanksgiving night - and won't that be festive? -
was as damning as anything. He can go back to McNabb or he can stick
with Kolb, and the truth is the same.

Reid has begun the Kolb era. He has started the clock on 2009.
There is no turning back from that, even with Reid talking about how
"sometimes with a player, you can step back an inch and maybe you can
go forward a mile." [Rich Hofmann]


When Reid had quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur tell McNabb that Kolb
would play in the second half, that should've been it. The McNabb era
was rocketing to a close anyway. Although no one in the organization
had officially said so, Kolb was going to be the starter when the first
minicamp of 2009 opened.

So Reid made the move yesterday after McNabb threw two picks and
lost a fumble. He humiliated and humbled McNabb, who stood on the
sideline the entire second half like an island, a black sweatshirt hood
pulled over his head as he gamely encouraged his teammates.

What really would be gained by putting him back out there now? It
wouldn't be fair to McNabb, who after a decade here deserves better
than a late-season quarterback competition or an indecisive head coach.
It wouldn't be fair to the Eagles' offense, which is in dire need of
stability, not a quarterback controversy. And it wouldn't be fair to
Kolb, the young man whose time as the starting quarterback was going to
begin next season anyway. [Ashley Fox]


If the decision were ours (and every Eagles fan should kiss the ground
over the fact that it isn’t), we’d re-install McNabb and roll with him
as long as the team wins, and we’d switch to Kolb for the rest of the
season after one more loss, maybe two. [Mike Florio]


The QB changed, but the results or playcalling really didn't. Kolb
threw 2 picks including one in the end zone that went for 6 the other
way. Now, the fact that Kolb entered a game in the second half on the
road against the NFL's #2 ranked defense with no first team preparation
during the week and looked like a guy seeing first real NFL action is
not a big surprise. He looked like a bundle of nerves to start and made
rookie mistakes, including the decision to try and force the pass in
the end zone rather than just throw it away when nothing was there. [Bleeding Green Nation]


Please continue your boneheaded decisions for the next 5 weeks, and
then leave town never to return. You are a disgrace. You threw in the
towel during halftime of a 10-7 game, and didn't have the balls to tell
your quarterback to his face. This isn't benching T.O, this is benching
the QB that you personally chose to lead your team 10 years ago and
have stuck by (frustratingly so) regardless of his play. I think he has
sucked, but you did nothing for your team nor Donovan by doing it when
you did. The postgame press conference afterwards
was high comedy- your usual non-answers took special meaning, as today
you truly didn't have any. You had no clue what had just happened on
the field, Andy. NO fucking clue. Hopefully Jeff Lurie
will have the balls (I doubt it) to tell you to your face that you're
fired, because if you are in the organization in any capacity next
year, I will find it very hard to support it. [House That Glanville Built]

These are just a few of the reactions, and we've seen quite a few in your comments here since kickoff yesterday. We'll have much more as the story unfolds and a decision is made on which QB will face the Cardinals.

For now, as always, feel free to weigh in on the decision, the quotes above, and who you want under center the rest of the way and why.

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