Last week, Donovan McNabb was replaced as the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings by rookie Christian Ponder, and the offense looked as good as it has looked all season. McNabb put on a happy face about the whole thing to start with, but it appears now that there's at least one crack in the facade.
In an interview that will air tomorrow morning on the NFL Network's Sunday pre-game show, McNabb sat down with Andrea Kremer, and declared with no amount of uncertainty that he should still be the starting quarterback in Minnesota. You can see a bit of a teaser for the interview here, and the folks at Pro Football Talk have apparently already gotten a look at the interview.
NFL Network special correspondent Andrea Kremer asks McNabb in an interview that will air Sunday morning whether he should still be the starter in Minnesota. "Absolutely," McNabb says. "Absolutely."
He thinks he isn’t the starter because the quarterback gets both the credit for a team’s success and the blame for its failures. "Well, I mean, everyone focuses on my position," McNabb told Kremer. "We should be sitting here, I’ll be honest, at about what, 4-3, 5-2, or whatever? We had games that we should have won, but we just didn’t. Now is it the quarterback position?"
I suggested a couple of weeks ago that McNabb wasn't the kind of guy that would just quietly accept a demotion to the back-up quarterback spot. This doesn't do anything to quell that perception in my mind.
Donovan McNabb knew the situation in Minnesota coming in. He knew that they had drafted a young quarterback at the top of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, he got his contract restructured so that he was in Minnesota on a one-year deal, and he had to know. . .had to. . .that he was just going to be keeping the seat warm for Christian Ponder until such time that Leslie Frazier wanted to make the switch.
Granted, if the Vikings were 4-3 or 5-2, the switch probably wouldn't have been made. But they're not. They're 1-6. If the season were to end today, they'd select fourth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, the highest selection they've had since they selected fourth in the 1985 NFL Draft (when they took Chris Doleman). Donovan McNabb is not the future of this team, and because of the team's performance. . .at least some of which is, indeed, his fault. . .they've decided that he's not the present, either.
This is one of those things where a veteran should know that, even if you do feel this way, you don't come out and say that you feel this way. Not publicly, in any case. No good can come of Donovan McNabb saying that he thinks he should still be the starter in Minnesota, and it's just another disappointing development from a guy that has had a lot of those in 2011.