Eagles: the definition of insanity

The Eagles are a talented group compromised by the shortcomings of their quarterback and doomed by the stubbornness of their coach. They will never win a championship with Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb on board.

The story never changes, nor will it in the foreseeable future. Donovan McNabb cannot win a game with a late drive, either because of the inaccuracy of his throws or the ineptitude of his leadership. He has managed to rescue from defeat in the fourth quarter exactly one game in the last four seasons. That’s one in 64, or 1.7 percent.

After his failures, like the Oakland debacle or the 20-16 loss to Dallas, McNabb always repeats the same tired words in the same stale monotone. The referees blew two calls late. There were too many penalties. Too many dropped balls, too. But the quarterback won’t make any excuses. That’s not his style.

It would be so easy to blame McNabb for all of the broken promises of the past decade, but then we would have to leave out Andy Reid. The coach’s pattern of disappointment is even more maddening. His team starts slowly in the game. The opposing tight end converts first down after first down. Reid abandons the run. Short-yardage plays fail. Ref challenges are denied. Final drives end in disarray and disgust.

Inevitably, Reid adds a final flourish, a postgame news conference in which he dodges most questions and snaps at the others. After Sunday’s debacle, he offered the following brilliant insights: Yes, Sheldon Brown got burned on the deciding touchdown, but otherwise had a “great” game; there were just too many penalties, though he has no idea how to prevent them; and his best solution to the third-down conversion problem is “to convert them.”

For a very long time now, Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid have been conspirators in their own public delusion. Winning fourth-quarter drives? “We’ve had them,” McNabb said. The Wildcat offense? “We’re making progress,” Reid said. Truth is never an issue with these two because they live in their own reality, where every pass is a spiral and every play call is the right one.

The only question left to ask now is: When will this folly end? When will someone in the upper echelon of the Eagles take a long, hard look at this situation and do something? When will they stop talking about making the playoffs and finally start talking about winning a title?

President Joe Banner said at the end of last season that his definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Well, if this isn’t insanity, what is?

– Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show and can be heard every day from 5:30-10 a.m.

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