So I’m driving to Asheville a couple of Sundays back, and on the radio is Mike Ditka and some other guys, and Ditka is talking about Donovan McNabb. He’s talking about how Donovan McNabb is one of the all-time greats, blah blah blah, and I’m thinking, “whatever he’s smokin’, it must be the good stuff”. So I decided, semi-enraged in a football sort of way, to list all the QBs in the NFL I thought were better than McNabb, and I counted eight—which is funny, because that’s exactly the assessment of ESPN.
In fact, my list of “guys better than McNabb” is identical with ESPN’s with one exception; I put Marc Bulger ahead of McNabb, and had Matt Hasselbeck in a group called “throw a net over Donovan and these guys”. In retrospect, I think ESPN has probably got it right, and Bulger belongs in that net instead of Hasselbeck, who is better than McNabb. In my “McNabb Net”, I had Vince Young, David Garrard, Jeff Garcia, Derek Anderson, Philip Rivers, and Eli Manning, as I recall, although Eli is certainly on the iffy edge of that group. I didn’t have Jay Cutler there; I’m not convinced on him yet.
But the point remains: Donovan McNabb is a bit-better-than-average QB, at best, and always has been. If you look at the stats, that’s apparent. Some years he’s rated fairly well, while many years, he’s middle-of-the-pack. If you count playoff performance, that’s apparent. Donovan McNabb had one really outstanding year, and that’s when he was throwing to TO. Other than that, it’s basically run-of-the-mill with a few highlights. He’s fine, but he’s not worthy of Mike Ditka’s silly overpraise.
I ain’t saying Rush Limbaugh was right or wrong a few years ago, I’m just sayin’…Donovan McNabb is a really nice, classy guy, and he’d be an upgrade for a lot of teams when he leaves Philly this year, but at his best, he’s really a top-end-of-average QB.