Back when I was still in the Army and then the Air Force, we had this phrase for guys that had pretty much checked out and were just biding their time until they hit the 20 year mark so they could drop their paperwork: ROAD...Retired On Active Duty.
This was generally a person that had 18 or 19 years in, and did nothing but the bare minumum at their job to keep from getting in trouble, and risking the chance of getting in trouble and ruining the monthly stipend from Uncle Sugar that was right around the corner.
If this report from Michal Lombardi over at NFL.com is true, ladies and gentlemen, Donovan McNabb is a ROADie.
And if what's reported is accurate, then the only question I have is:
Why wasn't McNabb replaced three games ago?
According to Lombardi, there are rumors of McNabb just not really caring, and although those rumors preceeded him from Washington, the Vikings rolled the dice anyway. And they hit snakeyes.
He's not putting in the time to learn the offense, which means he can't call out the plays in a timely manner, which leads to him having a ginormous cheatsheet wristband--which the NBC guys talked about a little last week. If I remember correctly, it was along the lines of 'why does a vet like McNabb's caliber need such a big cheat sheet?' Well, now we apparently know. Lombardi writes:
It did not take long before McNabb's lack of commitment was seen by the older players, causing them to understand that a move had to be made. One thing I have learned over my 20 years in the league is you can't fool the players, especially ones who have seen what it takes to be successful.
Now, when Christian Ponder came in, the game had long been decided, and I doubt the Bears were playing with the same sense of urgency in the first half than they were in the fourth quarter, but there was a noticeable uptick in play from the Vikings. They seem energized, engaged, and motivated, although they were on the wrong end of an embarrassing blowout.
I am of the firm belief that a football team is an extension of the quarterback and his confidence...well, at least the offense is. And conversely, when the quarterback is just mailing it in, the rest of the offense will as well. ANd I think we've seen that for most of the first 6 games with the Vikings offense so far.
The Vikings have the remaining 10 games to see who wants to be an NFL player, and it appears they will be looking at a lot of young guys to see who wants it, and who's just mailing it in.
It's probably not going to be a good day to be a Vikings fan, but maybe we'll see some good things that will allow us to think positively about the future.