There have been comments made regarding a few backup QBs. Let’s start with the most crazy idea of them all…the return of Donnie Mac to The Linc. Will not happen. Donovan McNabb is still a starting QB and has the ability to be a good starter. He wasn’t handled well by Team Shanny last year. Donovan deserves blame as well. He’s got to forget his Pro Bowl past and embrace the fact that he’s no longer an elite player. That means listening to the coach and doing things the way he wants them done.
I’d love McNabb to be willing to come to Philly as a backup, but I think he’s focused on writing a new chapter in his career. I think he wants to be a Kurt Warner type that can have a career renaissance somewhere and push for the Hall of Fame, and possibly win a Super Bowl.
I find it hard to envision a scenario where Donovan is back with us this year. I think it is more likely for Big Al and Plax to be eating cheesesteaks together than to see #5 in midnight green anytime soon.
Someone asked about Vince Young. Could he be a target? Interesting notion, but I doubt it. Vince wasn’t very coachable at Texas or with the Titans. Mack Brown is on record as saying the best thing he did for Vince was get out of his way and just let the guy play. That can work in college (see Vick, Mike at Va Tech). It doesn’t work all that well in the NFL. Sure, Vince has posted some nice numbers. He’s still a long way from being a guy you completely trust to lead an NFL team. I don’t question Vince’s talent. I do question whether he can handle pro coaching. Remember that Jeff Fisher comes from the Buddy Ryan school of coaching. Buddy used to tell Randall Cunningham to just go make 3 or 4 plays and we’ll win the game. Jeff’s not that bad, but he’s not Andy Reid either.
Vince is a guy you need to invest time into. I don’t think he’ll be an Eagles target. Vick is the short term guy. Kafka is the long term guy. Vince wants to get on the field now. I’m sure he’d sit a bit in the right situation, but I don’t think Philly fits the bill.
What about Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor? It sure sounds like his Buckeye career is over. If he’s available in the Supplemental Draft, will/should the Eagles take him? No. Pryor has a lot of potential, but he’s more raw than Vince Young was coming out of Texas. Pryor has had some good games, but hasn’t played up to the hype that followed him out of high school. He was expected to be a dominant player that could carry a school on his back. He was supposed to be VY or Cam Newton. Pryor has been solid, even really good at moments, but hasn’t been special with any consistency in his time in Columbus.
Donovan and Mike Vick were great college QBs. They were projects only in the sense that they needed some help in refining a few things. McNabb was the Big East offensive player of the decade for the 1990s. He still holds numerous school and conference records. Vick led his team to the National Title game and did some amazing things for the Hokies. Pryor has yet to be first team All-Big Ten as a QB.
The fact that Pryor hasn’t developed as well in college doesn’t mean he can’t become a good NFL player, but it does mean it’s less likely. If you can’t master QB in college, that simply doesn’t bode well for the future. The competition gets better. Defenses get much more complex. Offenses get much more complex. You can’t rely on just running in the NFL. Pryor has had some good games, but scan his career and the best showings were against Indiana, Northwestern, Troy, Marshall, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, and so on. Pryor did have a terrific showing in the Rose Bowl following his Sophomore season. That was against Oregon, who was 35th in the nation in Total Defense. Not exactly the ’85 Bears.
Pryor has the size and athletic ability to play in the NFL. His mechanics need a ton of work. He played in a simple scheme so he would need help in learning an NFL offense and how to read routes, as well as reading defenses. Is Pryor going to be willing to do all the work he has to in order to succeed in the NFL? That was a huge question with Cam Newton, but at least you knew for a fact he could be a great player on the field. Pryor hasn’t shown that kind of an upside.
I don’t think the recent scandal makes Pryor a scumbag, but it does show that he’s willing to cut corners and take the easy path. That doesn’t bode well for a guy heading into the NFL with a steep learning curve. Can you trust him to obey rules? Can you trust him to work as hard as he needs to?
I don’t think Pryor makes sense as an Eagles target. We have Vick for 2011 and the near future. We have Kafka learning to be the backup of the future and possible starter down the road. We need a veteran backup in place for 2011. I’d be fine with adding another young QB if he was just too good to pass up. I don’t feel that way about Pryor. Maybe Marty M. or Big Red will feel different. I don’t see that as likely, but those guys have surprised me before.
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Don’t forget to regularly stop by Jimmy’s new site, Blogging The Beast. He’s keeping some interesting content up there and it is much more family oriented than his old site, FloggingTheBeast.
Jimmy recently ranked the Safeties of the NFC East. Pretty good job. LaRon Landry was the top player and Jimmy’s comments are dead on. Landry has the potential to be an elite player, but mental mistakes and sloppy play cost him and his team on a regular basis. Safety is one position where you must play smart. Landry makes some of the worst decisions in the NFL. Great talent, but boy can he be painful to watch at times.
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Some internet hack has a post up questioning the mega-awesomeness of the non-Trent Cole DEs of the Eagles. What??? He calls Juqua Parker “expendable”. Rambo and I disagree. He referred to Daniel Te’o-Nesheim as “remarkably unimpressive”. Let’s just go with remarkable. He has the gall to not worship Philip Hunt, the most productive pass rusher in America’s Attic last year. Utter insanity.
Okay, to be serious, there are a lot of question marks as we’ve all discussed. I do think the players will fit the new system pretty well. Ricky Sapp was miscast in the old scheme, but is perfect for the Wide-Nine. That doesn’t mean he’ll pan out, but it gives him a much better chance. Darryl Tapp played in a similar scheme in college. He should fit in well.
Graham and Teo are question marks, but Jim Washburn loved both players last year and wanted the Titans to get them. That tells you that he thinks they can thrive in his system.
I have no idea what to make of Hunt. I agree with Brian when he says that Hunt playing like Cameron Wake is a longshot. We see CFL guys bust every year. Wake is the exception, not the rule. Hunt was incredibly productive in college and that does give me a bit of hope for him. With his size (6’0, 245), he’s purely a situational rusher.
What about Victor Abiamiri? I think his best shot is at DT. He was a very effective inside rusher in the past. I’d love to see him make a full time move. I’m not sure he’s got the speed for DE in the new system.