Today, we do optimist/pessimist with Donovan McNabb, but before that, let's see how you voted on the RBs.
The scale ranged from 1 to 5, with a 1 meaning you have genuine concern at the position, and a 5 meaning you couldn't be more confident.
Here were the results, with nearly 2,500 of you voting:
3 - 35.8%
4 - 34.3%
2 - 13.7%
5 - 10.4%
1 - 5.8%
What is your confidence level with Donovan McNabb?
As you can see, about 70 percent of you are in the 3-4 range, meaning you are fairly confident but are not willing to write the running back position off as an area of no concern.
And I agree with you. I would personally give the RBs a 3. While I don't expect Westbrook to put up 2006-07 numbers, I do think he'll put forth an above average season. Will he likely miss some time due to injury at some point? Yes. But will there be a couple games in which he nearly single-handedly carries the offense? Yeah, I think he still has that kind of ability.
As for LeSean McCoy, if you're a frequent reader of MTC, you know this was my favorite pick of the draft, and I think the rookie will quickly emerge as a fan favorite.
And there's not really any arguing that Leonard Weaver is an upgrade at fullback.
Now on to McNabb. Don't forget to vote.
The optimist says...
Time to defend No. 5 once again. Why do I feel like I've been doing this on a daily basis over the last decade? Let's start with some numbers. McNabb threw for 3,916 yards last season, a career high. Yes, that's right. Even more than he totaled during the Super Bowl run in 2004. The only thing that got in the way of him and 4,000 yards was the benching in Baltimore. An inaccurate passer? Hardly. He completed over 60 percent of his passes, and McNabb's interception percentage was once again stellar (11 picks in 571 attempts). For the haters who knock him for being injury-prone, take note that he played in every game last season and missed just two the year before. McNabb's got the newly restructured contract and now realizes speaking to the media serves him no purpose. It's all about football and going after the Lombardi trophy. He's got a younger, revamped offensive line, speed on the outside and in the backfield and quite possibly, a guarantee that he's not going anywhere near the bench this season. Even though many of you will continue to hate and criticize everything he does, Five is primed for a career year.
The pessimist says...
Blah, blah, blah. I love when the McNabb-lovers point to his numbers. I have news for you. Nothing he does matters until he gets a ring on his finger and delivers this city a Super Bowl. I don't care if he throws for 5,000 yards, 40 TDs and comes up with a traffic plan to reduce congestion on the Schuylkill. We all know that when the game is on the line in an intense playoff atmosphere, he's going to come up short. Of course, he'll find someone else to blame. The lack of talent at receiver. The offensive line. Or as he did last year after the loss to the Cardinals, the defense. But when all is said and done, he'll be remembered as a good quarterback who could never get it done when it mattered the most. McNabb's on board for one year, and if things don't go according to plan, he could very well be in another city at this time next year. The Eagles have that option, given the way the new deal is structured. The national media can continue to scold the realists for pointing out McNabb's faults, but if you watch him on a weekly basis and really feel he has what it takes to win a Super Bowl, well, you just haven't been paying close enough attention.
** Matt Bowen of the National Football Post says the Eagles do not need to add Warrick Dunn. Dunn's name is only back in the news this week because a USA Today article mentioned him casually as an example of the kind of guy the Eagles could look to if they added a veteran RB. ESPN.com then posted something like Eagles pursuing Dunn? in the rumors section of its home page. We would scold ESPN.com for rumor-mongering, but we're generally in favor of that kind of thing so no harm, no foul.
** Bowen also writes about the importance of McCoy's development in training camp.
** Jonathan Tannenwald of Soft Pretzel Logic captured some cool footage of David Akers working out with the U.S. national soccer team.
** The ice cream cake discussion following my previous post was phenomenal. I have to hand it to you guys. You've really stepped up your commenting game recently. It's nice to see us spending time talking about the important things in life like baked goods and underrated fruits, rather than the same old bickering. I even got an e-mail from Brian and Jan, the owners of a Carvel store in Mullica Hill, N.J., opening my eyes to cake options I never thought possible. It always surprises me to find out just who is reading the blog.
I was going to re-post some of the comments, but I think I'll save them for a mailbag-type feature later this week.
You can also e-mail me at email@example.com with a question or comment about the Eagles, the NFL, my favorite Seinfeld episode, whatever. And we'll try to get to them later in the week.
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