McNabb's Mom Sparks Controversy With Blog
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - December 29, 2006 -- An Internet blog by Donovan McNabb's mother is raising some eyebrows.
In a posting on her son's website entitled "Bittersweet", Wilma McNabb says she's concerned with how Donovan will be treated if the Eagles go to the Superbowl with Jeff Garcia at the helm.
Quoting Mama McNabb: "If they win the Superbowl without my son, what would be the real outcome with the fans? Will they crucify him? Maybe the trade talks would begin. Off season madness, worse than last year's fiasco."
The Eagles are having more success with a ball-control offense than a quick-strike attack.
Before McNabb went down with a season-ending knee injury, the Eagles had an exciting offense that passed often and produced plenty of long gains and big plays.
With Jeff Garcia taking the snaps, the Eagles have a more traditional, grind-it-out style.
Which approach works better? McNabb was 5-5. Garcia is 4-1.
Though many factors have contributed to Philadelphia's recent success, including an improved defense and special teams, the evolution of the offense is a major reason the Eagles have won four straight games and are on the verge of clinching the NFC East title for the fifth time in six years.
"We're quite a little bit different than we were those first four or five games and we were pretty good those first four or five games," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday.
"Donovan McNabb is such a great player and such a great playmaker that you give him enough shots and something's going to happen. Something good is going to happen. That might be a little bit of it, but we just do what we think is the best thing to win the next game and that really is what we're going to do."
When McNabb was healthy, the Eagles ran a total of 547 offensive plays. Of those, 193 plays (35.3 percent) were rushes by the running backs. They've run a total of 290 offensive plays since Garcia took over on the third play of the second quarter against Tennessee on Nov. 19. Of those, 145 plays (50 percent) have been rushes by the running backs.
Running the ball more has improved Philadelphia's time of possession. The Eagles had the ball less than their opponent six times in the first 10 games. They've held it longer three times in the last five, including a season-best 37:06 in a 23-7 win at Dallas on Monday.
"Balance is essential," Garcia said. "To have that balance is only going to make us stronger. To be able to control the football like we've been able to do in some of these games and take our defense off of the field and win the time-possession battle, those are things that are essential that come with being a balanced team."
Philly's new ball-control offense has benefited a defense that struggled and wore down often because it was on the field so long. During the four-game winning streak, the rejuvenated defense has made crucial stops, forced several turnovers and even had success stopping the run lately.
"Score slow and score often," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said when asked which way he'd like the offense to play. "The whole offense, I just think the ball control, they've done a great job. Earlier in the year, we were a big-play offense, which is great. And now we are doing a great job of working the clock."
An underrated offensive line has opened holes for Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter, giving pass-happy coach Andy Reid and Mornhinweg more incentive to run.
Third-year guard Shawn Andrews has emerged into a Pro Bowl player and veteran tackles Jon Runyan and William (Tra) Thomas are having excellent seasons.
"Our offensive line played pretty well early and throughout the season they've played pretty well," Mornhinweg said.
"You've got to put a whole season together to be considered pretty good. You can't just play a little bit and be considered pretty good. So, they've all stayed healthy, which is a big key as well. And they've all played through some pretty good injuries. That's a big part of the continuity and playing together as a unit is more important than how you're playing as an individual. They sure have done a good job and they give us a chance."
On the Net:
Read Mrs. McNabb's Blog on http://www.donovanmcnabb.com
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