Ditka criticizes Reid's handling of McNabb

November, 25, 2008
11/25/08
8:05
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The guys on ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown" show had a lot to say about Donovan McNabb's benching Sunday. Former Bears coach Mike Ditka took Eagles coach Andy Reid to task for not delivering the message.

"I don't let the ball boy tell him," Ditka said of Reid, who ordered quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur to inform McNabb on Sunday. "I don't let the quarterback coach, the defensive coordinator tell him. I tell him. Not only do I tell him that he's benched, I tell him why he's benched."

Cris Carter agreed with Ditka, but Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young sided with Reid. Young, of course, played under Reid in San Francisco and Johnson knows that his former coach and mentor, Bill Parcells, would've handled it the exact same way.

When Parcells decided to pull veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe at halftime of the Cowboys-Giants game in 2006, he ordered quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer to deliver the message. Coaches such as Parcells and Reid believe in a chain of command, and in their minds, they have more important things to do at halftime than providing explanations to players.

Maybe you should be willing to break protocol when a move involves your franchise quarterback, but Reid certainly didn't see it that way.

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