ESPN's Monday Night Countdown crew had quite a lengthy discussion about Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid and the Eagles during yesterday's show.
Among the topics discussed: Should Reid have been the one to tell McNabb he was being benched?
Analyst and former coach Mike Ditka said if he were in Reid's shoes, he would have told his quarterback:
"I don't let the ballboy tell him. I don't let the quarterback coach, the defensive coordinator tell him. I tell him. Not only do I tell him that he's benched, I tell him why he's benched."
Cris Carter agreed with Ditka: "I believe it's disrespectful for Andy Reid not to go to him and tell him that."
Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young, meanwhile, disagreed. Johnson said it's not unusual for position coaches to break that kind of news to the players. And Young said Reid didn't want to make a huge deal about the benching.
"I think that Andy was frustrated with Donovan. He knew he wasn't playing well...he didn't like the way he was playing. You're not playing well. You're not focused. You're not playing like Donovan McNabb and so I'm gonna discipline you. ... and we're gonna sit you down for a minute and we'll see if this can snap you out of this little funk you're in." Young said.
One of the best parts of this segment was that ESPN dug up clips of the Eagles' 40-8 win over the 49ers in 1994 when George Seifert pulled Young. If you're like me, you remember this as the Charlie Garner game. Garner carried 16 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles improved to 3-1. That was the year the Birds started off 7-2 before losing seven in a row.
Anyway, some other snippets from the ESPN guys...
Tom Jackson on the move to pull McNabb:
"I don't have a problem with it. You're Andy Reid. It's your responsibility to make decisions on what's best for the team at the time. I think he made an assessment of not only the play of Donovan McNabb yesterday but what had happened to him during the course of the week. You put Kevin Kolb in to try and get a spark for the football team. That did not happen. If Kevin Kolb had played well, we might be discussing something different. I think now they're still in the playoff race. You start him Thursday. If he were to falter again, and I think Andy was watching him deteriorate right before his eyes, if he does that again on Thursday, I think Kolb'll get his chance to play."
Carter on the decision:
"Do you know what you're getting yourself in for? This doesn't happen to the Mannings. This doesn't happen to Brady. You don't do this to a franchise quarterback. There is no turning around from this so when you put me on the bench, you're saying this is the beginning of the end cause there is no turning back. This is not OK. This is not gonna be OK."