Well, I hope you’re happy Eagles fans. For those of you who wanted Donovan McNabb run out of Philadelphia in favor of Kevin Kolb, you got your wish. McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins for two draft picks late Sunday night. But the city won't ever shut up. They're too self-centered and expressive for thier own good. Once again, I have to separate myself from the rest of city and say that I am only an Eagles fan, not a Philadelphia fan. It seems everyday I'm thankful for that.
And I don’t want to hear a peep out of any of you who ever thought for a second that Kolb over McNabb was a good idea. Not a word about trading McNabb inside the division, not a word about what they got for him, nothing. You not allowed to gripe when McNabb comes into The Linc to open the 2010 season as a Redskin and kills the Eagles. You’re not allowed to complain when the Skins are in the playoffs and the Birds are not. You're definitely not allowed to complain in three years when Kolb is a bust and the Eagles are still rebuilding.
Because at some point, you wanted this to happen – McNabb traded, Kolb to start for the Eagles. And you're crowing about it right now on sports radio stations, about how happy you are that McNabb is gone. How happy will you be in a few months?
If you wanted McNabb gone, but are angry that he got traded to the Skins, well that's too darn bad. You got the main objective – McNabb out, Kolb in. You can’t have it both ways here people. The Eagles made a business decision that a very outspoken number of you wanted. And now, some of you are mad because the Eagles felt a little loyal to their franchise QB and didn’t want to exile him to Oakland or Buffalo. Tough cookies.
I on the other hand, as a long standing McNabb defender from the common, irrational Philadelphia fan, I get to do all the bashing I want. I get to bash the Eagles’ front office for having three QBs with contracts expiring at the same time. I get to bash the Eagles for putting themselves into a situation of trading McNabb within the division. I get to bash the Eagles if this backfires and they are 6-10 next year (and the year after that) and last in the division. I get to bash the city and the "diehard" faithful Eagle fans for driving this decision on the radio and message boards.
If you wanted Kolb as the starter, you get to keep your mouth shut. Just keep scrolling down, the bashing will end soon. Right after the fans stop calling the radio stations to bash McNabb. Right after this city realizes that it has been bashing arguably the greatest Eagle of the last decade. Right after Philly realizes it's been as unclassy as possible to Donovan McNabb for the last 11 years. Oh, wait, that means it will never end. I hope that the same people that call into the radio stations today aren't the same people who are bashing Kolb in 5 months.
Okay, enough of my bitter bashing, on to more important matters.
Clark Judge thinks the Eagles know something, something that says McNabb won’t be a threat to them inside the division. Clark, that’s the dumbest column I’ve read by you, and I like you. But you got it wrong, the Eagles know McNabb is still dangerous and this was a business move. Personally, I think the Eagles are just not afraid of the Redskins O-line and receivers. I wouldn’t be. Mike Freeman thinks the Eagles will pay for their disloyalty to McNabb. I think he’s right. It’s called karma. Pete Prisco thinks he is hallucinating after learning about the McNabb trade and says it’s risky. Aside from every trade being risky, yes, the Eagles are going with an unproven commodity in Kolb, but they have been developing him for several years now.
Look, the Eagles’ front office has decided to get younger. There’s nothing wrong with that. Except now you have a team almost devoid of veteran leadership on both ends of the ball. Not having Brian Dawkins last year (and Jim Johnson, too) killed the Eagles on the defensive end of the ball. That and Stewart Bradley getting hurt in the preseason. Now the Eagles “veterans” consist of CB Asante Samuel and DE Trent Cole on defense and OL Todd Herremans and Jason Peters on offense, and two of those guys have only been Eagles for one season.
But the Eagles front office has decided to, in my opinion, sacrifice this season in a pseudo-rebuilding year to get their young guys, mainly Kolb and RB LeSean McCoy, a full season under their belts as starters. If they make the playoffs or a run at the division, great, if not, well, the Eagles have a new core of great young players on the current roster, the 2010 draft and the 2011 draft and free agency as well. This is good news. I will like this more if Kolb has a solid 2010 season. If he struggles and the Birds are a sub-.500 team, I will not care and continue ripping the Eagles for trading McNabb.
Now the Eagles draft plans change drastically. They’ll need to draft a QB at some point in the first few rounds, after they move up to the middle of the first round to assure themselves USC safety Taylor Mays (or farther up to get Tennessee safety Eric Berry) who will start immediately at FS to replace the aforementioned Dawkins. I would also expect to see the usual depth picks at both O and D-line as well as linebacker. And no, the Eagles should not draft Tim Tebow to replace Mike Vick at the “Spread Eagle” Wildcat formation.
As for Kevin Kolb, he has a lot to live up to. He does have the support of the Philly faithful, something McNabb didn’t have on Day 1 and never really had throughout his career. Now, because I’m still a little bitter about this whole situation, here’s what I’d do with Kolb. Sign him to a 2-year deal worth $5,555,555.55 / year. Just for the irony. Then, Kolb has to win 10 games in 2010 and he can’t lose to the Skins at home or to Dallas at all, meaning the worst record he can have inside the division is 3-3 and by the way, losing to the Giants twice isn’t acceptable either. He must make and win a playoff game in his first year, which would put him ahead of Tony Romo, who didn’t win a playoff game until last year. If he does this, I will refrain from expressing my opinions of Kolb and the Eagles’ front office on a regular basis. If he does not, well it’s open season.
Now, my three Donovan McNabb jerseys are well, kinda useless. I need to pick a new jersey. FB Leonard Weaver has a new deal and my favorite number – 43. DeSean Jackson appears now to be the new face of the Eagles franchise, plus my dad hates his guts (he’s a Giants fan who refers to Jackson only as “Number Ten”). Quintin Mikell is my favorite defensive player, and hopefully he gets a capable player to play next to him at safety next year. David Akers would be a good choice, but who knows when the Eagles will decide to move him too.
As for the Skins, well this means Jason Campbell is out. Funny, an under-appreciated QB from Philly replaces an under-appreciated QB in DC. And that’s a shame because Campbell was another class act who did his job, kept his mouth shut, and really overachieved with the Skins for several years with a team that under Dan Snyder, has more holes than Swiss cheese. But at least Campbell isn’t working for Snyder anymore. McNabb now leads an offense that isn’t great at the offensive line, but does have a better running game than Philly and a defense that has been performing pretty well in recent years.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Donovan McNabb for his 11-year career as a Philadelphia Eagle. You were never fully appreciated by the city and more people focused on your faults rather than your successes. Your last two games against Dallas weren’t your fault since your O-line was a mess after C Jamal Jackson went down with an injury. Your legacy (and Andy Reid’s) should be bringing the Eagles out of mediocrity into a perennial NFC contender and as one of the best QB’s in Eagles history. My cynical side wants you to crush the Birds twice next year, but if your defense ends up blowing the games, that’s fine too. You’ve been a class act for all 11 years, overcoming draft day boos, injuries, T.O. and a host of opposing defenders who wanted to smash your brains in. I hope that the uproar of you going to DC is enough to realize that this city did love you, even if they didn’t always express it. I hope that one day you enter the Eagles’ Ring of Honor and maybe Canton and always enter the city of Philadelphia with that chip on your shoulder.
You stay classy 5.