History has a way of repeating itself. Stop us if any of this sounds familiar: a Philadelphia Eagles team with question marks but on the verge of being something special if they can catch a few breaks, a coach that no one wanted but who’s, at the same time, better than many of us gave him credit for being and a quarterback that’s better at running the football than throwing it. It may sound like we’re talking about Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni, but we aren’t.
Sure, these are questions that we’ve all asked all season, but they were also asked long before either of those two was a twinkle in any Eagles fan’s eye. These were the same discussions that we were having about Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb.
Jalen Hurts’ fan club still has a member in Donovan McNabb.
The McNabb/Reid story didn’t end with the Super Bowl win and the Vince Lombardi Trophy like everyone hoped it would, but you have to admit. It turned out better than many thought when it began.
It wasn’t the most popular decision when the Philadelphia Eagles organization hitched its wagon to a new head coach that had never even been a coordinator before and the young signal-caller he drafted with the second-overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft. Saying that both endured some heavy criticism would be an understatement. Is it hard to understand why McNabb is such a huge Jalen Hurts fan?
Recently, as he often does, McNabb hung out with Jon Marks and Ike Reese on a Monday afternoon broadcast of their show following the Eagles’ loss versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round. As you might imagine, Philadelphia’s former quarterback was asked about the current one.
Here’s some of what he had to say.
"For me, when I look at just the whole season, I’m impressed by the way that he’s played. I am impressed with how he’s handled adversity, I am excited about how he has full control of this team and being the leader of this team. From a fan standpoint, yeah be upset we lost in the first round because we had opportunities, but I am excited (about) what the future holds for this organization."
McNabb also offered his theory that the Birds shouldn’t abandon their attempts to land someone like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, but he’s also a man who has had the boos rain down on him a time or two before eventually shattering so many of the franchise’s passing records. It’s for that reason that he understands the value of being patient.
"It bothers me a lot of times when everyone just kind of finger points right at the quarterback. And then now, I think in this situation, it leads to, ‘Oh, we’ll go into the draft next season and draft a quarterback,’ or whatever it may be. No, you have your quarterback. You just have to continue to stay patient with him and allow him to get comfortable in knowing what the situation is. I guarantee next year it will be a whole different ball club because of what they’ve done this year… the way they’ve played, and now I think everyone understands what they have to work on going forward."
There’s something to consider here. This may not be an organization that wants to be patient.
Think about it. After getting a taste of Super Bowl glory, after dealing with the Carson Wentz ordeal, and after watching this team fail to win more than ten games in each of the past four seasons, is it hard to understand why this organization and its fans might be impatient about seeing this team pull itself out of mediocrity?