Donovan McNabb was a successful NFL quarterback for 13 season... err... well... most of 11 seasons with the Eagles. However, despite being a six-time Pro-Bowler and appearing in five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, McNabb always seemed to have his fans polarized.
Always getting criticized for anything, from his perceived toughness (remember the vomiting in the Super Bowl thing), to his lack of football IQ (he didn't know regular season games could end in a tie). McNabb seems like he would be one who could sympathize with Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, understand his plight as an oft-dumped upon NFL starter with haters quick to attack his body language, toughness, or lack of success.
Or, as his appearance on 87.7 The Game's Jarrett, Harry and Spike show yesterday says... not so much.
"I think Jay might be the luckiest dude in Chicago, to be honest with you, with the contract that he received for what we haven't seen thus far," McNabb said. "Don't get me wrong, I think Jay's got a strong arm, I think the sky's the limit for him. But for what we've seen in Chicago, when you didn't finish the NFC Championship — which it was due to injury. But even with that, you haven't been able to get past that hump you needed. One game to get into the playoffs, you couldn't get it done. Caleb Hanie comes in to play, Josh McCown comes in to play, and then contract comes up and you get paid like a top-three, top-four quarterback? I mean, are you serious? For what we've seen? If he doesn't do it this year, it's going to end up being a mistake."
Um... yeah... about that...
McNabb isn't exactly a foremost expert on "getting it done."
But hey, it's easy to dump on a guy like Cutler, isn't it?
It's not like he was actually very injured in the 2010 NFC Championship game. The fact that it is still brought up four years later is beyond silly. Whether or not he could have or should have finished the game is irrelevant at this point. He wasn't cleared by doctors and, while that was poorly communicated during the game, it happened. Hasn't Cutler proven time and time again by standing in the pocket behind horrendous offensive lines, taking beatings and finished a game with a broken thumb, that he's tough?
Also, Caleb Hanie sucked; it's not like he came in and outplayed Cutler. Ever. Didn't happen. Hanie took over a 7-3 team and went 0-5.
While it is true that Josh McCown outplayed Cutler, Cutler still gives the team the best chance to win long term. McCown might be better at knowing his limits but Cutler's ability and age give him a better chance to thrive in the system down the road.
Finally, saying he "couldn't get over the hump when he needed to." Last year Cutler led three fourth quarter comebacks with game-winning drives to boot. His fourth quarter passer rating was 102.7 with a nine to four TD-INT ratio. I'll also point out that Cutler has 16 fourth quarter comebacks and 20 game winning drives in eight NFL seasons. McNabb had 17 and 25 in 13 seasons...
Also, I don't remember it being Cutler who blew his coverage against Randall Cobb in Week 17. But then again my memory is weird. I was under the impression that Cutler threw a decent pass to Alshon Jeffery who had it knocked away at the last second on third and 17 before the Packers converted two fourth downs en route to their victory.
Does Cutler have a lot to prove this year? Yes, but does McNabb's assessment of the megabucks deal he signed hold up under scrutiny? Not really.