Donovan McNabb will reportedly play at least a quarter Saturday night against the Seahawks, and may even get a quarter-and-a-half depending on how things go. This will be our first extended look at McNabb with the first team, though with Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe both probably on the bench, he still won’t have all his primary weapons.
Hopefully McNabb and the offense will show something more vs. Seattle than the plodding efficiency they demonstrated last Saturday against Tennessee. In that game McNabb went 6-for-11 for only 40 yards, demonstrating accuracy on short-range passes, a little mobility on one bootleg and okay arm strength on one incomplete downfield toss. The #1 offense overall was able to move the ball some, both passing and running, but didn’t do anything particularly memorable and failed to produce any points.
To the outside observer there doesn’t seem very much to get excited about with this offense, but of course Donovan McNabb is no outside observer, he’s on the inside trying to get this whole big new Bill Musgrave-designed machine put together and running smoothly. And from McNabb’s point-of-view, there’s plenty to like about the Vikings attack even at this early, awkward stage.
“Yeah, we’re very excited where we’re at right now,” McNabb told the press. “But yet it’s still a work in progress. We made some big plays out here, running as well as throwing the ball. Communication-wise, I think the chemistry is flowing where we need it to be. But again, it’s just the beginning and we want to continue to get better each day.”
McNabb is big on this whole communication thing, especially when it comes to the guys being paid to block in front of him. The quarterback said, “The chemistry and the communication [are] definitely there. Myself and [John Sullivan], as well as Hutch and Herrera, just in the interior have really been communicating and seeing things the same. And obviously when you do that, your communication expands outside to the tackles and we’ll all be on the same page. I’m excited about what we’ve been able to do since everybody’s been able to practice, the way that we’ve continued to improve.”
Excited. Everybody communicating. Work-in-progress. Improving.
I think I’ve got this down now. So I’m supposed look forward to what the offense could be while at the same time understanding that all the bugs haven’t been worked out yet. In other words, I shouldn’t get too upset if they stink it up for awhile. Awhile being how long? First few weeks of the season? Half the season? The whole season?
I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now, understanding that it’s a new offense, a new blocking scheme, a new quarterback, a new just about everything. However, I can’t simply blind myself to the realities facing this squad. The personnel on the O-line is questionable. The quarterback is coming off a terrible season. There’s no clear-cut #1 receiver. And we’re always one Adrian Peterson injury away from losing the only player we have who forces defensive coordinators to adjust.
So yeah, I’ll swallow some happy talk for the time-being, but at the same time, I’m not a chump. I’d like to see at least a little something from the offense Saturday night. Something beyond mere boring communicative work-in-progress competence.