After watching two of the league's best quarterbacks put on a show in Super Bowl XLIV, former Super Bowl MVP and CBS color analyst Phil Simms chimed in on the Eagles quarterback debate during an interview that aired on NBC10 in Philadelphia.
When asked about the fact that Donovan McNabb's status in Philadelphia has become an annual topic among fans and the media, Simms jokingly snored and remarked that he could see his shadow before praising McNabb and explaining how "unbelievable" it is to imagine that the Eagles would trade the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback to a possible rival.
"I don't know what to say. I'm lost for words. There's no way the Philadelphia Eagles are going to trade Donovan McNabb to Minnesota or to Arizona because those are teams they have to beat to get to the Super Bowl. And if I had to guess right now, he will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles when the season starts again next year," Simms said. "That's taking a big chance to go from him to whoever it is because man if it doesn't work, it will cost people their jobs if you make that decision and then you are wrong so I'd be careful."
Simms said that after looking at the Eagles' losses in Dallas to end the 2009 season, it is flat out "wrong" to pin the blame for the team's demise on McNabb.
"I saw a quarterback who did not get protection basically in either game, that was running for his life and if it wasn't for him they'd probably have sack records down in Dallas," Simms said. "They were around his feet, hitting him, doing everything the whole time. I saw a lot of problems with the Eagles football team and quarterback was way down that list. There were a lot of problems above him. To bring that debate straight to the quarterback is wrong. There were many other factors that caused the Eagles to lose that wasn't Donovan McNabb."
That is not to say that McNabb is flawless. Simms' performance in Super Bowl XXI will be remembered because he set the championship game record for completion percentage by hitting on 22-of-25 pass attempts or 88 percent. That was even better than Drew Brees' MVP effort Sunday night when he completed 32-of-39 (82 percent) of his passes. Simms acknowledges that McNabb's accuracy is his weakness, but that he does a lot of things to make up for that.
"Do I believe accuracy is a weakness of Donovan McNabb? Absolutely. I think it's what it comes down to when people criticize him," Simms said. "He does miss open receivers that you'd expect a Peyton Manning and those types of throwers to hit at an extremely high rate. But McNabb brings other qualities. He's big, strong, works around and he has a powerful arm. He makes a few throws in every single game that only a handful of guys can make in the NFL."
Simms is not surprised by the scrutiny that McNabb endures in Philadelphia. He believes that it is a "lot rougher for the quarterback in Philadelphia than it is in New York" and that "the light that goes down in Philadelphia is about as intense as it gets in the NFL."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:10 a.m., February 8