Donovan McNabb lasted 11 seasons in Philadelphia. He sounds skeptical that the new offense being ushered in by new Eagles coach Chip Kelly can last as long.
McNabb told CSNPhilly.com that the read option is “just a fad,” and he thinks the Eagles are going to struggle to keep up with Kelly’s fast-paced attack all season.
“I don’t know if any offensive player would want to run 90 plays in a game. If you’re running 90 plays in a game, that means your defense is pretty awful and you’re running entirely too many plays,” McNabb said. “At Oregon, [Kelly] may have ran 75 plays in a game, but you’re not going to run 85, 90, not in the NFL, and teams and defensive coordinators are a lot better than what you’re going to see in college.”
McNabb acknowledged that the Eagles’ offense has looked good so far, but he believes it’s also important to be able to play ball control offense, especially with a lead.
“I tip my hat off to what they’ve been doing the first two weeks, but there comes a time if you’re up by 14, up by 21, maybe with about 11, 10 minutes to go, it’s time to go into a mode where you’re trying eat up some clock,” McNabb said. “You can’t continue to run that fast-paced offense because it continues to run down not only their defense, but it wears your offense down, too.”
There’s already been some talk that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick won’t be able to withstand a 16-game season in Kelly’s offense, and McNabb says those concerns should extend beyond just Vick.
“It’s not so much Mike, I think it’s all the guys,” McNabb said. “You worry about the depth, you’re worried about the injuries and long-term. Right now, everything looks great, but I’m just worried as this thing continues, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, if guys get hurt, who’s going to step in? What guys do you have to fill in in these key roles?”
Those are questions worth asking. Even if some Eagles fans won’t appreciate McNabb being the one to ask them.