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Donovan McNabb was much-maligned during his time with the Eagles, but now that the team is struggling toward the potential end of Andy Reid's tenure as coach, he says Philadelphia's fans didn't know how good they had it when he was quarterback.
Making it to the NFC Championship is not easy, and I think they're starting to see that right now, that getting to the playoffs and going to the NFC Championship consistently, it's just not that easy.” -- Donovan McNabb
McNabb, an analyst for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, was asked what Reid's legacy will be in the city if the coach is relieved of his duties after this season. He said it's "unfortunate" that the focus has been on the Eagles' struggles of the past few seasons -- 4-11 this year and 8-8 in 2011 in the face of weighty expectations -- and not the continued success Reid's teams had in the past.
"You look at everything he's been able to accomplish, I think it outweighs what you've seen the last two years," McNabb said.
McNabb led the Eagles to four NFC Championship Game appearances and Super Bowl XXXIX, where Philadelphia fell to the New England Patriots. His time with the team ended unceremoniously, however, when he was traded to the Washington Redskins before the 2010 season.
"Making it to the NFC Championship is not easy, and I think they're starting to see that right now, that getting to the playoffs and going to the NFC Championship consistently, it's just not that easy," McNabb said. "There are teams right now who have winning records, like the Atlanta Falcons, they've done it for so many years, and they get to the playoffs and all of a sudden they're one-and-done."
He said for much of his time with the Eagles under Reid, "It wasn't about how much we were going to win, it was about how much we were going to win by," and that the he and the coach shouldn't be judged unfavorably because they weren't able to win a title. The Eagles are 130-92-1 and 10-9 in the playoffs during Reid's 14 seasons with the franchise.
"People want to make it look like you have nothing to show for it. Well, we have a lot to show for it," he said.