As most everyone knows by now, former Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb is now with the NFL Network. Today he sat down with analysts Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel for their “Double Coverage” podcast and gave them plenty of quality nuggets. Most interesting was revealing a conversation McNabb had with Brett Favre going into the 2011 season where the old gunslinger supposedly expressed sympathy for last year’s starting quarterback. It went as follows…
“He (Favre) said, ‘I felt bad that you went over there’ and I kind of understood where he was going, what he meant. You know, I asked him why, because they went to the NFC Championship two years prior to when I got there. And he felt like they gave all that they had in order to achieve everything that they achieved. Now, they had some breaks. They had some lucky breaks. Some of the passes Brett threw, just a tipped ball went for a touchdown, they beat Dallas after Dallas had beat us in Philly twice. Then all of the sudden they get to the NFC Championship, and if Brett doesn’t throw that pass, it’s a whole new different dilemma now. Because when he came back that next year they offered him another 4 million dollars. The team that arrived on, and I think that fans in Minnesota and people all around the world, view that as the team they had two years before. And if you look at that next year, it was the same ball club that Brett was playing with, but the talent wasn’t where it was before.”
McNabb goes on to talk about how Sidney Rice wasn’t brought back, how they were a running team with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, the struggles on how to use Percy Harvin with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave coming in from Atlanta, the pressures to play Christian Ponder sooner rather than later and a few holes the defense was missing.
Yes that was an aging team that should have been blown up after a dismal 2010 campaign, but there’s more to it. Here’s what McNabb fails to mention in his podcast – The Vikings were essentially the only team who wanted him going into the 2011 season, basically forked over a bowl of soup (or a 6th round pick to be exact) to acquire him for the sake of having him in camp day one, posted a horrific 1-5 record as a starter with a measly 6.5 YPA and hasn’t found work taking snaps since.
And while we’re at it… Favre didn’t exactly get lucky in 2009. The Greg Lewis catch at the end of the San Francisco game, fine. Favre still had a similar opportunity that McNabb was given to lead this team to a 12-4 regular season record, get a career year of Sidney Rice, get Brad Childress an extension (gulp) and make it to the NFC Championship. Favre was wanted back after the 2009 season. McNabb was let go halfway thru 2011.
McNabb goes on to talk about how he was able to watch football this preseason, seems surprised that his phone hasn’t rang yet with a team calling asking for his services and doesn’t rule out the possibility of a team calling with contracts no longer being guaranteed. We could argue on and on about how he’s not even the best free agent quarterback available behind David Garrard, Brian Hoyer and Sage Rosenfels; yet there isn’t any accountability here from McNabb. For now the only question to ask is if he’s gotten too comfortable too quick with his comrades at NFL Network. Still if he’s to have a long broadcasting career it’d be best to talk more of current players and less of himself. Like now.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig