Inside the vacuum of Philadelphia, fans dissect every play and have very strong opinions about what the future of the Eagles should be.
That's why it's interesting every once in a while to get a look at the situation from a national perspective.
And, of course, everyone is riffing on the Eagles quarterback situation. Most of the discussion has been speculation about who might be traded where and what draft picks so-and-so could net the Eagles in return.
But in a piece by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Gwen Knapp for CBSSports.com, she doesn't dip her toe into the pool of debating which quarterback-hungry team would be the ideal fit for Donovan McNabb. She dives in head first with an opinion that is as unmistakable as a Philly cheesesteak - the Eagles would be "ridiculous to dump a man who has taken his team to five of the last nine NFC title games."
Maybe that is why Andy Reid has said that McNabb would be his quarterback for the 2010 season.
Knapp compares the current situation with McNabb to that of Joe Montana in San Francisco and Brett Favre in Green Bay. She notes how McNabb is much younger than those two quarterbacks and that while Kevin Kolb is "a promising option for the future" he is "not a sure thing" unlike Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers.
"The patience-challenged Philadelphia fans don't know how good they have it with McNabb," Knapp added. "They don't remember what it's like to dwell in quarterback purgatory, watching an Alex Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington or JaMarcus Russell flounder for years. The Eagles already have the most important element of a successful team. They have a rock where at least a dozen clubs have a crater."
Of course, a counterargument would be that McNabb has had 11 seasons to win. Knapp points to how unfair it is that McNabb has been painted as "the goat" in some of the team's pivotal losses in recent years.
"He took the team to the Super Bowl after the 2004 season, lost 24-21 against a Patriots team that had held the prolific Colts to three points in the playoffs and dispatched the 15-1 Steelers, and took grief from (Terrell) Owens for looking fatigued in the second half. Never mind that the Eagles' vaunted defense looked just as weary late in the game; McNabb was the goat," Knapp wrote.
"Defensive failures against Arizona in (the 2008) conference championship have also been trivialized. After a limp first half, McNabb led the Eagles back from a 24-6 deficit to a 25-24 lead. The NFL's third-ranked defense promptly surrendered the winning touchdown to Kurt Warner."
Knapp concludes by writing that "a lot of Eagles fans get it" in that they "see the danger in trading McNabb, and they realize that neither Kolb nor the talent acquired in return would be worth the gamble."
Interesting piece. Certainly it adds more flavor to what is already the hottest debate going on the NFL right now.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:43 p.m., February 19