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How the McNabb deal shakes down

Posted by Albert Breer  April 5, 2010 09:35 AM

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As for the final analysis of this one, it really depends on how you feel about McNabb.

I've been writing (and saying) for two months now that the Eagles were ready to hand the reins to the offense over to fourth-year pro Kevin Kolb, and that had more to do with all this than anything. He's just 25, will get paired with a wealth of young skill position talent (TE Brent Celek, 25; WR DeSean Jackson, 23; RB LeSean McCoy, 21; WR Jeremy Maclin, 21; and so on) there, and if Philly wanted to play him, McNabb couldn't be there for it.

I'd credit the Eagles for having the guts to do this. Feels a little like the Patriots dealing Drew Bledsoe to the Bills, and Philly has to have similar conviction that McNabb won't come back to kill them, being in the same division and all.

How much does he have left? Here's what a high-ranking NFC pro scout who's done dozens of write-ups on McNabb told me a little over a week ago (t appeared, in part, right here):

"He’s probably still in the top half of the league’s quarterbacks. But there’s more inconsistency now. He holds on to the ball for too long, but he still has the ability to beat you. Things have to be right around him. Before, pressure didn’t bother him as much, because he’d use his legs to get outside the pocket. Now he doesn’t do that as much. His speed’s going, and his willingness to get out of the pocket is too. And his accuracy throwing on the run is still good, but not what it once was. ...

"He's got to be willing to accept that it's not all on his shoulders, and he'd have to be in a place where the pressure isn't all on him, a place where they play field position and run the ball and play defense. There aren't so many options. He can still do it, but you wouldn't want him in a place like he has been, with Andy Reid's 'Chuck-it-first' offense. If it's just like it was with (Brett) Favre -- where he went to Minnesota, had the running back, the receivers and the defense, and it's not all on him -- it can work."

A ringing endorsement, that isn't.

But when the possibilty of Oakland was raised to the scout, he mentioned that the Raiders have "a ton of athletes", and that they could ascend with McNabb.

Which, in the final analysis, makes this deal a good one for the locals.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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