A day after he criticized himself for not making good throws or enough plays for his team to win on Monday against the Washington Redskins, reports surfaced that Donovan McNabb said black quarterbacks face more scrutiny than their white counterparts.
In an interview with Bryant Gumbel of HBO's series "Real Sports," McNabb said black quarterbacks "have to do a little bit extra" because there are few of them (6 of 32 in the NFL), adding "people didn't want us to play this position."
McNabb said if he passes for 300 yards and his team wins by a touchdown, critics will say, "Oh, he could have made this throw here. We would have scored more points if he would have done this."
Asked if white quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer are held to the same standards, McNabb replied: "Let me start by saying, I love those guys. But they don't get criticized as much as we do. They don't."
We, as in current black NFL starters are: Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins; David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars; Vince Young, Tennessee; Steve McNair, Baltimore; Tavaris Jackson, Minnesota; and McNabb.
McNabb's comments are disagreeable and, frankly, out of line. Remember, this is a guy who said he supports dog killer/dog fighting financer/troublemaker Mike Vick, who is (was) a black NFL quarterback.
Let's examine the current black quarterbacks in the NFL and the "scrutiny" they receive.
Did anyone watch the MNF game? Campbell got nothing but love from the booth. It was continuously brought up by filmroom guru and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski how he's progressed in so few NFL starts. I've heard nothing but the same for Vince Young, who's in his second year in the league.
Now let's go a few years back: McNair was considered the toughest QB in football. He got nothing but praise for his gall. Remember how long he played with a cracked sternum, sprain or severe soreness? And remember how much respect he earned?
Look at the flip side. Garrard, along with his former quarterback teammate Byron Leftwich, has been criticized. But it's been fair: look at their career records and numbers. Leftwich hasn't been able to play a full season and wasn't released just because of injury and inconsistency; Jack Del Rio thought he wasn't a good leader. So that's why he chose Garrard, who was average last season in leading the team to a .500 record down the stretch.
The criticism was deserved: Garrard had a great running game, very good offensive line and decent receivers, along with a stellar defense (despite being banged up) that kept them in games. Yet Garrard could only go .500?
Sometimes, criticism is deserved.
And how about Jackson, the second year man out of Grambling St. Look at this guy's numbers. They're atrocious. Did anyone see last week's game against Detroit? He threw four interceptions - all of them off of his back foot and three of them into double or triple coverage and 20 yards over his receiver's head.
It doesn't matter if the Vikings receiver depth chart is full of No. 2 and No. 3 guys(Troy Williamson, Sidney Rice), you don't make those throws.
That's earned criticism.
Shall we venture back into recent past QBs like Shaun King or Charlie Batch or Vick?
Didn't think so.
The problem with McNabb, it seems, is that he's still hurt from the way last season ended after so many years of previous success. McNabb led the Eagles for four straight NFC title games and a SuperBowl berth in 2004. But he blew out his knee after a good statistical start last season and white quarterback Jeff Garcia takes over and leads the team to the second round of the playoffs.
Eagles fans rejoiced and praised Garcia for admirably coming off the bench and taking the team that far. McNabb was understandably hurt by that.
In the offseason, much was made about the health of McNabb, 30, and the possibility of resigning Garcia for another run at the postseason. That never happened. But many thought it should because of the severity of McNabb's knee injury and the lackluster Eagles play the previous season and a half before Garcia.
Now, McNabb's the starter again. And it's time to put the past behind him, shut his mouth, and get the Eagles back to the playoffs.