Donovan McNabb sounds skeptical of Chip Kelly’s offense

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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.

91 responses to “Donovan McNabb sounds skeptical of Chip Kelly’s offense

  1. This is coming from a guy who would puke in the huddle while in Philly and wasn’t able to run a 2 minute offense while in Washington because the coaches thought he was out of shape.

  2. And McNabb was a big, strong guy. Vick is simply not big enough to withstand a full season doing that.

    Neither are DeSean Jackson or the team MVP– LeSean McCoy.

    Man– they lose McCoy and it’s over for them.

  3. Dono the Wise Owl, warned Chubby Chipmunk. But the portly rodent was too busy scurrying about to heed the advice. “Nuts! Nuts! Nuts!” cackled Chipmunk gleefully, dashing to and fro.

  4. Well, Vick isn’t skeptical of Kelly’s offense and I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters, in fact, he’s doing pretty well with it…..so, here’s your two cents back McNabb

  5. Does McNabb and Joe Namath have a secret bet to see who can be the most annoying former franchise quarterback or something? If so, they are both killing it.

  6. Ok I’ll be the first to admit my mistakes. I’ve been a McNabb supporter up until this point and I thought Chip Kellys offense was going to fail. Having said that I would now like to say shut up McNabb and thank goodness for Chip Kellys offense, it’s rejuvenated Vick and put him where he is supposed to be, elite status.

  7. This just in: Donovan McNabb skeptical that anyone not named Donovan McNabb is good enough to play in the NFL.

  8. Has anyone heard anything from Donavan that was not negative concerning football since he’s been out of the game? Shew, his poor wife and kids, having to listen to that negative person all day.

  9. So says the man who ran the play clock to zero every down while his team was trailing with 5:30 to go in the most important game of the franchise’s history. Is the rest of America finally waking up to why Philly had enough of this guy?

  10. This is the same Donovan McNabb that was too tired to run the 2 minute drill at the end of the Super Bowl, right? Shockingly, he’s skeptical of an offense that runs a lot of plays….

  11. For once I totally agree with him but he is still a DB!!! All those years everybody in the media said how crazy the Philly fans were about this nut. Now everyone knows !!!

  12. …this is fresh coming from the guy who cost us a superbowl by being out of shape to the point that 2 minute hurry up offense caused him to hurl on the field.

  13. Donovan was a good (not great) quarterback who declined quickly towards the end of his career. He’s been butthurt ever since he was shipped to the Washington Football Club. I can’t stand his commentating or his smug attitude.

  14. Cue the massive “shut up McNabb you passive aggressive has been attention seeker” comments. He has a point though about eating clock.

  15. So… In idiot-land, if your defense is off the field for 90 plays per game, they’re “pretty awful”?
    I would have thought it was the opposite, but I’m not in idiot-land with McNabb.
    And they say the wonderlic is pointless…

  16. with so many talking heads saying that “oh, that chip Kelly offense, how can any defense keep up” it is interesting that it is actually Mcnabb who points out that the offense has to run that entire time too. its not like they aren’t getting tired as well

    tonight will be a true test. Dontari Poe doesn’t need to leave the field. he is just in that kind of shape. they will be facing one of the best D groups in football. and a team that likes to control the clock, and limit possessions.

    anyone expecting 30 plus will be surprised

  17. College DC’s are much more effective stopping Kelly. There are some really good coaches at all levels and believe it or not there are some really bad coaches in the NFL especially former players who never cut their teeth at the college level.

  18. 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

    And this was done when during the Reid/McNabb era?

  19. I get it, since Donovan McNabb said it, you’ll disagree vehemently. If you were to look at his comments without knowing the source, most would agree.

    What he is saying is truthful. A quarterback with a checkered health will not play a full season in an offense that is leaving him susceptible to more hits. Michael Vick is playing his best football and I am excited while watching. But, it’s hard for me to think he’ll stay healthy.

  20. McNabb is a media personality now. My question to the people criticizing him for his response to a question is: What do you want him to say? You want him to give a boiler-plate generic answer or his actual thoughts? We criticize former athletes turn media, for being homers or giving generic responses, or if they state their true feelings. I guess it is a lose, lose situation. And to the Eagles fans that are taking shots at McNabb, how many playoff games have you won since he left again? I’ll wait.

  21. Well this is only natural because his offense has failed to impress in the first 2 games. I don’t know how you can’t be skeptical at this point. Perhaps the offense will start to click better and do really well and change his mind, but I’m not impressed with what the Eagles are doing on offense on this point. I think they have a lot of work to do because surely what we have seen so far can’t be the peak of what Chip Kelly was hoping for. He probably thinks he’s progressing and evolving his program every week and he’s not done yet; there is more to see.

  22. I think Donovan McNabb tends to be skeptical of everyone and everything not named Donovan McNabb.

    “I don’t know if any offensive player would want to run 90 plays in a game.”

    The New England Patriots ran 96 plays against the Denver Broncos last year in a stunning display of power and precision offense. The Denver defense couldn’t substitute, players were often out of position, and by the end of the game the Denver defense was exhausted. If the Eagles offense can do that, I guarantee nobody on the Eagles sideline will be complaining.

  23. Are Philly fans beginning to view McNabb much the same way many Houston fans have come to regard Warren Moon? I mean, they both spew so much hot air that when they actually have a reasonable point no one really listens.

  24. I am betting McNabb throws a pick 6, 3 ground balls, and has at least one fumble during the ceremony retiring his jersey.

    P.S. McNabb, they aren’t retiring it bc they like you, they’re retiring it in the hopes that by retiring it, no Eagle will stink as bad as you.

  25. “wyldsoul says:
    Sep 19, 2013 1:40 PM
    …this is fresh coming from the guy who cost us a superbowl by being out of shape to the point that 2 minute hurry up offense caused him to hurl on the field.”
    ___________________________________

    This is why no one can stand most Eagles fans. I am an Eagles fan. He states, “the guy who cost us a superbowl…” How about the guy that took that team to the Superbowl. Remember his weapons during that playoff run? Just Westbrook. Owens was hurt. Philly sports fans really don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone. Randall Cunningham is my favorite football player of all time, and I will be the first to say that McNabb was a way better QB. It could be because of coaching, I don’t know, but McNabb had better results. Cunningham lead team with the best defense in Franchise history managed, 1 playoff win. Nevertheless, Cunningham does not receive the kind of hate that McNabb receives.

  26. In one breath: “If you’re running 90 plays in a game, that means your defense is pretty awful…”

    The very next breath: “[Kelly] may have ran 75 plays in a game, but you’re not going to run 85, 90, not in the NFL…”

    He said it all right there. He doesn’t think they can run 90 plays per game on offense, so why comment on how bad your defense must be if you’re running 90 plays? His point is moot. He can’t stand that this team, while obviously flawed, could possibly have success beyond his days of throwing ground balls to his WR’s.

    I was always a fan of this guy during his playing days, but he needs to recognize the only people asking his opinion are people smarter than him who know he is too dumb not to make a mockery of himself.

  27. “eat up some clock”

    I was waiting for him to say it. Growing up watching Donovan Mcnabb that was and seemingly still is, his catch phrase.

    Also,

    “P.S. McNabb, they aren’t retiring it bc they like you, they’re retiring it in the hopes that by retiring it, no Eagle will stink as bad as you.”

    I’d like whatever hard drugs this guy is doing.

  28. Also peple saying that he has something to say about everything, ..it’s kind of of his job. That’s like listening to a radio station and being mad that the person you hear on the radio, is talking on the radio. Donovan now does broadcasting, PFT is a blog on professional football (basically the NFL), obviously you’re going to see things with his name.

    It’s a simple concept really.

  29. Ahhh…
    Nothing says “thanks for retiring my number” like insulting the current coaching staff.

    But if Donny was still able to play, and Chip was his coach he would proclaim that it would work with him running the offense.

  30. blackdb says: Sep 19, 2013 1:48 PM

    College DC’s are much more effective stopping Kelly. There are some really good coaches at all levels and believe it or not there are some really bad coaches in the NFL especially former players who never cut their teeth at the college level.
    —————-
    Maybe it also has something to do with a little thing we like to call 85 players on the sideline.

  31. It looks like Philly should have a strong year this year. This is something new and most defenses won’t know how to respond. The question is what happens next year, or in two years?

    Something different is always fun. Let’s see how long it lasts.

  32. There goes Donovan, putting his foot in his mouth again. I loved him early on as our QB but dude really needs to shut it now. He thinks he’s some kind of legend.

  33. “And to the Eagles fans that are taking shots at McNabb, how many playoff games have you won since he left again? I’ll wait.”

    As an Eagle fan I couldn’t agree more. All we heard last year was how we needed a “conventional” offense, max protection for the turnover machine. Now we are running an offense that after 2 games, the city wants to send Kelly to Canton already. There is nothing conventional or max protect about this offense but once again the fans in this dear city are on another bandwagon.

    Vick is a career 2-3 in the playoffs; he has had 3 coaches fired in part to his sub-par play.

    Mc Nabb for all his faults took us to 4 NFC Championship games with Pinkston, Fred-Ex at WR & LJ Smith at TE. Mc Nabb ran the WCO well, Vick couldn’t run it. Vick has been awful with better offensive talent around him; his one playoff appearance was a loss that he was responsible for by throwing a game ending interception.

    Bottom line fellow fans: Vick isn’t one FIFTH the QB Donovan was. And each time you abuse Donovan for stating his OPINIONS, you show the hatred & bad fan behavior that we as Eagle fans have unfortunately become famous for.

  34. @dalcow4 ,, please stop the silly postings , The team MVP and best player is Mike vick , I know the haters can’t stand the reality , last week shady was nowhere to be found, he had 53 yards with zero td yet the team score 30 points yet again,
    —- ———– ——– ———-
    Case and point last season when vick was out with injuries and shady was in with Nick foles, McCoy had the worse numbers,Because teams were loading the box and shady couldn’t get out of the backfield, With Vick taking snaps: teams fear his big arm and running ability …which only creates space for McCoy.As Vick goes so does the Eagles, its NOT the other way around with McCoy.

  35. nomoreseasontix says:
    Sep 19, 2013 1:43 PM
    So… In idiot-land, if your defense is off the field for 90 plays per game, they’re “pretty awful”?

    —————————————–

    Not to agree with Donovan, but did you miss the 33 points they just gave up to the Chargers?

  36. thestrategyexpert says:
    Sep 19, 2013 1:53 PM
    Well this is only natural because his offense has failed to impress in the first 2 games. I don’t know how you can’t be skeptical at this point. Perhaps the offense will start to click better and do really well and change his mind, but I’m not impressed with what the Eagles are doing on offense on this point.

    ——————————————-

    And then there’s this guy who must have missed the fact that the Eagles scored 30 last week and ran Washington out of the building in the first half.

  37. Just because you couldn’t, doesn’t mean the actual existing team cant….

    You = meatball. Current team= in the shape of there lives.

  38. bertyboz says:
    Sep 19, 2013 1:30 PM
    This is coming from a guy who would puke in the huddle while in Philly and wasn’t able to run a 2 minute offense while in Washington because the coaches thought he was out of shape.
    ___________________________
    I know, right? I think the irony meter just broke.

  39. myopinionisrighterthanyours:

    So you give them credit for 30 pts in one half? Then shoudln’t they have been able to score 60 if it was working for the full game?

    I watched both of the Eagles games, and they had a lot of issues and problems with the offense, it’s not impressive at all and are you actually disagreeing with me and thinking Chip Kelly believes he is already where he wants to be? It’s not even close to what he I think he is hoping for.

  40. McNabb knows the Eagles fans are all about Chip Kelly right now. McNabb WANTS to get booed so he can play the “see, they never appreciated me” card with him and the lackys at the NFL network.

    This story is all about McNabbss perpetual need to be a victim

  41. I’ve grown really weary of McNabb’s constant negativity, but he has a point regarding ultra-fast-paced offenses.

    I’m intrigued by Kelly’s offense but it’s a double-edged sword because extending games with lots of extra plays means your defense also is on the field for extra plays. Every week the question will be whether the Eagles D will wear down more than the opposing D does and whether they’ll be able to capitalize on that more than the opposing offense.

  42. Must be a lot of built up anger for Philly fans. The guy is right. Your team only had 20 minutes TOP, racked up over 400 yards and LOST THE GAME.

    Their defense is so bad, combine that with an offense that makes big plays or does nothing, and you have a recipe for either a big win or a deflating loss. Plus you only have 53 men in uniform, but 80+ like in college, so you don’t have nearly the depth at RB or QB when you face injurues during the long 16 game grind. Remember, the most games Chip has coached in a season is 14, including his bowl game. So if he wants to win the super bowl, that’s an extra 5 he will have to keep his guys going all out. I just don’t see that high pace lasting longterm. Good in spurts, but not as your gameplan week in, week out.

  43. he gets paid by espn to say what they want him to say when they want him to say it even if he is on a radio show he still represents espn and his script is written for him

  44. @eagle fans – listen to bleedeaglegreen.

    During the McNabb years, us Giants’ fans would watch each draft with our fingers crossed hoping that each year would not finally be the year where your dopey front office actually invested a high pick in a WR to help McNabb out. He won a million game for you ingrates with garbage for WRs. Once they finally gave him Owens, they magically go to the SB. Think of how many rings you could have if they drafted one WR. McNabb put a stake in our hearts plenty of times and I counted the days until he was old and gone. I have no idea why you people continously berate him. He speaks the truth. In his prime, he would have won rings with the Cunningham Eagles and likely this Desean Jackson / McCoy version.

  45. McNabb has a point. It is going on week 3 and so far, so good for Kelly’s scheme. Come week 14 or 15, what kind of shape are his players going to be in when they have run a seasons worth of plays already?

    The rigors of the NFL are a few steps above a college footbll season. The NFL plays more games, the players hit harder and the players are older and get hrt more easily than a 20 year old guy.

    Time will tell, but if I had to wager, I would say that the Kelly scheme will wear his players out well before the end of the regular season.

  46. 07myvickinabox07 says:Sep 19, 2013 3:42 PM

    I really want Vick to stay healthy all year and put up career numbers in this offense just to shut up all the nay sayers!
    ______________________

    Nay sayers? By that you mean people who look at reality, right?

    Be realistic at least. Vick os a sub par QB for the most part. He has a flash here and there, true, but he is not an elite QB by any standard I can think of.

    Go look up Vick’s career stats and then say he belongs in a catagory with the greats. You will see he belongs in a catagory with the Trent Dilfers and the Jim McMahons of the world.

  47. McNabb’s timing stinks especially since he’s being honored by the Eagles tonight on the field. All he had to do was say he’s intrigued by the offense, respects the new approach by Chip Kelly, wishes the team nothing but the best, etc etc. No, he can’t help himself and causes more controversy by insulting the team.

    I’m not an Eagles fan, but I understand the frustration fans felt about this guy. Very good player who did some great things during his time with the team, BUT, he’s just not very likeable.

  48. “…but there comes a time if you’re up by 14, up by 21, maybe with about 11, 10 minutes to go…”

    Dude, if you’re up by 21 points with 10 minutes to go, you don’t have a problem!! I’ll probably wait for more than 2 games to declare Chip Kelly’s an idiot. And, I guarantee you there isn’t a defense out there that is saying; “sweet, we get to play Philadelphia and their super fast paced offense!”

  49. Yes, please go away. This man lacks class and is a bad role model for former NFL players. Getting his jersey retired at half time? I will be sure to change the channel when his mug is on TV.

  50. No point considering this guy an expert anymore… When someone actually COUNTS the plays, such as the smart people at leaguesafepost.com, they find that the Eagles have actually averaged 67.5 plays the first two games.. Its above average, but no where near league-leading.

    OHHH Counting.

  51. I don’t know if this guy is bitter or what? All this guy does is hate. No wonder he couldn’t win the big game. This negativity has to reflect on how he was in the eagles locker room.

  52. Wow, hell must have froze. This is the first time I actually agreed with McNabb. If Kelly thinks this offense is gonna last 16 games, he’s fooling himself big time. Not to mention what this offense is gonna be like when the elements come into play.

  53. mnajb says: Sep 19, 2013 4:33 PM No point considering this guy an expert anymore… When someone actually COUNTS the plays, such as the smart people at leaguesafepost.com, they find that the Eagles have actually averaged 67.5 plays the first two games.. Its above average, but no where near league-leading.

    OHHH Counting.

    Problem isn’t that. It’s ToP. They had the ball for 20 minutes against the Chargers. That’s WAY too low especially with that defense out there.

  54. He’s essentially not saying anything new and anything that a lot of people has already stated. But what makes this comment “news worthy,” if that, is who it came from.

    McNabb was a good QB in his prime and just ended up as a so-so player at the end of his career. The fact that he really just garnered some success and failed at a SB, is why people really don’t care for his comments. He needs to realize this. He should also know that due primarily to his career and how it ended, that people are really going to dismiss most, if not all, of what he has to say with regards to any football matter.

    I don’t really know why he feels the need to say anything at all. It will not bring him back to relevancy. He’s not only old, or maybe even a has-been, his football expertise is not that good either.

  55. This is McNabb’s passive aggressive way of ticking off Philly fans who he knows are on board with Chip Kelly and his offense. So far the brilliant defensive minds of the NFL have held Chip to 33 points and 30 points, while allowing over 500 yards of offense in each game. The biggest enemy the Eagles offense has had thus far is themselves, making mistakes in the red zone, and getting dumb penalties that have prevented them from getting 40 points or more.

  56. I usually ignore anything that “McNothing” has to say, but he makes a lot of sense here. And gimmicky offenses by and large do not win titles.

  57. This from a guy who took 8 minutes to run a 2 minute drill in the Super Bowl. McNabb is a jealous petty individual who doesn’t deserve to have his number retired. He loves to play the woe is me victim when in reality he is the lightning rod in the room.

  58. Well, Vick ran some nine or ten times the first game. If that amount of running is computed over sixteen games, I don’t think ANY qb could sustain it, much less MV, and the featured rb and wr are running dangerously through the defense as well. I imagine we will see as the season progresses.

  59. Why do you people, being the press, continue to give McNabb a microphone or an interview? He is a washed up jealous individual.

    Even as a Cowboys fan, I liked McNabb during his career, I thought he was a very classy individual. But since his career ended, not the way he wanted, he has been anything but classy. I won’t even watch Fox’s new channel is he is on it, because he can not report without bias.

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