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News » Future is uncertain for McNabb, Reid

Future is uncertain for McNabb, Reid

Future is uncertain for McNabb, Reid

One of the great head coach-quarterback duos of recent NFL vintage could be approaching its last act.

Philadelphia's Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb have been a successful pairing since 1999 - the year the Browns returned as an expansion team. No active head coach and quarterback have been together this long. Only 12 other tandems in NFL history have surpassed the 10 seasons Reid and McNabb have been together.

But few in Philadelphia believe their marriage will last beyond this season. One or the other won't return to the Eagles next year, and the safe bet in Philadelphia is Reid will be back and McNabb, 32, will be traded.

Both have survived a firestorm of criticism throughout their time together. McNabb's very selection as the second overall pick of the 1999 draft was booed heartily by Eagles fans who wanted running back Ricky Williams.

McNabb's sterling career reached its nadir when Reid, his biggest fan for a decade, benched him at halftime of a 36-7 loss to Baltimore on Nov. 23.

The feeling then was if Kevin Kolb, McNabb's heir-apparent, had played a lick, he would have finished the year as the starter.

But Kolb was eaten up in the Ravens' defensive buzz saw and Reid reaffirmed McNabb as his starter the next day. McNabb responded with two good games, energizing the Eagles for a late playoff run. They've made the postseason in six of nine years in the Reid-McNabb era.

The Eagles finish their schedule with division games at Washington and home against Dallas. Monday night's game in Lincoln Financial Field, thus, looms as a must-win for the Eagles. Reid won't let his team take the Browns lightly.

If history is a guide, McNabb will post some eye-popping numbers in front of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" cameras.

In 14 games on Monday night, McNabb has thrown 15 touchdown passes vs. five interceptions and has a passer rating of 85.7.

His record against the Browns is gaudier. He's played them only two times, throwing for 390 yards in a 2000 win and 376 in another in '04. Both times he tossed four touchdown passes. His career passer rating against the Browns is 125.3.

Both the quarterbacks taken around McNabb in the 1999 draft - Tim Couch at No. 1 overall by the Browns and Akili Smith at No. 3 by Cincinnati - have been out of Football for quite some time.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: tgrossi@plaind.com, 216-999-4670


Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Monday, 8:30 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, WJW Ch. 8, ESPN.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 12, 2008

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