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Monday, August 31, 2009
McNabb-Vick arrangement showing cracks?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


For all the national columnists/tweeters who have claimed that Donovan McNabb will not have a problem with Michael Vick serving as his backup, I submit Monday's comments from No. 5.

McNabb was asked to clarify a moment in last Thursday's preseason game during which he appeared to be signaling to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to stop sending Vick into the game so much.

"Before you come up with gimmicks, you need to get your base offense going," McNabb told reporters in Philly on Monday. "It seemed like we were forcing a lot of things, just to say we ran it."

To put this in proper context, McNabb continued to show support for Vick on Monday and even indicated that his presence on the field would take pressure off running back Brian Westbrook. I sort of thought LeSean McCoy was drafted to accomplish that goal, but that's just me.

What you're starting to see already is what the local media in Philly (and this blog) predicted from the moment Vick signed. The Eagles went out of their way to point out that McNabb had signed off on Vick's signing. And McNabb has gone out of his way to basically suggest that he's been riding herd over Operation Vick. But now we're six plays into Vick's career in Philly -- and McNabb is already complaining. Or should we use a gentler phrase, such as McNabb is offering helpful suggestions.

I think the Eagles are being unbelievably naive to think McNabb will play along with Andy Reid's fascination with the Wildcat formation. There will come a time in the regular season when the Eagles will interrupt McNabb's rhythm to give Vick a snap on second down. If McNabb is showing frustration in the first half of a preseason game, do we think he'll take a relaxed approach in November?

No, the Eagles have taken the most insecure star quarterback in the league and provided him with a backup who is too young (and talented) to think of himself as a backup. Nope, the cracks are already showing. And as my radio colleague in Dallas, Michael Irvin, pointed out in a USA Today story on Monday, the  controversy could arrive sooner than later.

Do you Eagles fans think I'm onto something or am I reading too much into McNabb's comments? I'm open to suggestions in the comments section -- hopefully thousands of them.