Monday, April 30, 2007

The Successor


By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

I've been on the phone all night and as far as I can tell, there is no truth to the rumors that Andy Reid and Tom Heckert got into Britt and Garrett Reid's stash.

That said, how else can you possibly explain the "no holes" mentality of the soon to be Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles?

Last time I looked guys like Sean Considine, Dhani Jones (editor's note: Jones was still a member of the Eagles when this was written) and Darren Howard were still a top the Birds depth chart. As is the injury-ravaged Jevon Kearse, along with the aging Jeremiah Trotter and Brian Dawkins.

Yet with Super Bowl dreams still dancing in their fans heads, the Eagles felt no need to address any of that and traded down to grab Donovan McNabb's successor, an unequivocal sign that "Big Red" has finally lost confidence in his franchise signal-caller.

And, normally I would give Reid the benefit of the doubt. At some point you have to move on and McNabb has been sidelined by significant injuries in three of the past five seasons. He is also now on the wrong side of 30, a significant milestone in the NFL.

So, the end is near but just how close is it?

"I'm convinced this (the drafting of Kevin Kolb) signals the end of Donovan McNabb's tenure in Philadelphia," ComcastSportsnet's Ron Burke said on my radio show this weekend. "It won't be this season but they drafted Kolb to take over in 2008."

If that's true, it's time to take inventory. Reid has been a good coach for a very long time but let's be honest -- all his success boils down to one definitive moment. Everything else is just window dressing.

If this organization succumbed to Angelo Cataldi and the 30 losers he brought to Madison Square Garden's Felt Forum all those years ago, Reid would be in the Federal Witness Protection Program, likely coaching the offensive line in Tennessee far off any NFL head coaching radar.

Like him or not McNabb carried this franchise to heights it never achieved before. If the team actually picked the hippie-lettuce loving Ricky Williams over DMac, we would all have been watching the Detroit Lions over the past eight years.

That doesn't mean McNabb doesn't have his warts. He is a frighteningly sensitive, unlikable guy with a mouthy mother so many of the louts that follow this team have vilified him on many levels.

If you listen to the detractors McNabb might as well be...Kevin Kolb.

Fortunately he wasn't and you all will get to see that when Kolb takes his place under center.

Welcome to mediocrity and get used to it.
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