I really feel for Donovan McNabb. He's been everything you'd want in a quarterback -- a great player, a great leader, smart, well-respected in the locker room (mostly) -- yet he's had to deal with more people publically calling him out than Leonard Little, who, if I have to remind everyone again, has two DUI arrests in his life, one of which killed someone.
The hits have come from some unlikely places, as well. How many athletes have been insulted by Rush Limbaugh? And how many black athletes (the Pac Mans aside) get insulted by the NAACP? So really, nothing should come as a surprise to Donovan. Poor guy gets shat on more than Larry David.
Looking at this more broadly, a guy whom the Eagles fired from its P.R. staff is now doing personal P.R. for the team's star quarterback.
Per Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer, McNabb described the situation as follows: "You hate to see somebody you've trusted and has worked wonders for you go. That's why I'm working with him now, and we're hoping to change some of the things around that have happened. I trust Rich, and he has done wonderful things for me, and we will continue to work well together."
But the guy was fired by the Eagles. How in the hell can that be a good thing for anyone? It isn't, and it won't be. We think that both sides are now in the initial phases of a dance to win the hearts and minds of the Philly faithful.
And at any moment the whole thing could explode.
I thought the ultimate show of faith in McNabb would have been keeping Jeff Garcia around. You need a reliable backup, sure, but the investment in Garcia was small enough not to threaten McNabb. But letting him go, then picking a quarterback early in the second round (your first pick in the draft) is sending a clear message -- you're not looking for a backup, you're looking for a starter.
Injuries clearly have to be the issue, here, but McNabb has done enough (and endured enough) in Philadelphia to earn a mulligan. Now he's got to deal with a rookie standing on the sideline, holding the clipboard and imagining himself in the huddle. Next summer, someone's going to be getting a hungry, vengeful quarterback.