Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Nov 2010

MMQB: Cowboys Should Fire Phillips Now

In this week's installment: PK advises Jerry Jones via open letter, analyzes the Rex Grossman decision, wonders what's up with the Raiders all of a sudden, and probably fills Mike Westhoff's office up with second-hand smoke.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 01 Nov 2010

35 comments, Last at 03 Nov 2010, 4:54am by Jerry


by NJBammer :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:06am

Every Eagles fan nodded their heads as one when Shanny said McNabb probably wasn't the best person to run the 2 minute offense...

by chemical burn :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:09am

That's what I find odd - everyone is treating this like it's some problem McNabb has recently developed. But the guy has ALWAYS been terrible at not just the 2 minute drill, but 5 minute drill or even having any awareness of time management... Switching him out for the 2 minute drill is not some crazy/bad idea, it's just a very weird, unusual one...

by Independent George :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:17am

Switching him out for the 2 minute drill is not some crazy/bad idea, it's just a very weird, unusual one...

Switching him out for Rex Grossman in the 2 minute drill is a crazy/bad idea. And the 5 minute drill. And the 60 minute drill.

by B :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:16am

Starting Grossman over Andy Rooney might actually be an improvement. It would be more entertaining, at least.

by BucNasty :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:21am

I think most people figure that it's a dishonest statement, regardless of whether or not it happens to be factually true. It really doesn't look like he was pulled because Grossman is better at situational football, it looks like he was told to sit because he struggled during the rest of the game and the whole two-minute drill comment is just a weak excuse. Had Grossman played well he probably would have announced a new starting quarterback, but since he got strip-sacked this provides a convenient way to maintain McNabb as his starter while downplaying the whole benching.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:31am

Sure, but the statement isn't dishonest in the sense of "McNabb was playing badly in general, so why play him in a situation we know him to be absolutely awful?" I used to wish the Eagles would put in Kolb for 2 minute drills, especially at the end of the 1st half...

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 6:36pm

Actually McNabb was historically quite good at the end of the 1st half. It was the two minute drills at the end of the 2nd half that were his weakness.

by tuluse :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 4:36pm

It's not so much switching in another QB for the 2 minute drill, as the QB he switched in.

As Rodney Harrison said "Rex Grossman?! Are you kidding me?!"

by DeltaWhiskey :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:46am

Would you mind elaborating a bit? As a non-Eagle fan, my assumption would have been that McNabb's ability to manage 2-min. is indeterminant b/c of Reids horrific clock managment ability. Is there evidence to independently assert that McNabb is not the guy you want w/ the ball w/ 2 min?

by chemical burn :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:54am

REID IS NOT THE PROBLEM! Witness every game with any QB but McNabb for the Eagles. Kolb and Vick (and Garcia and Feely before them) have both done perfectly well in the 2 minute drill. I would go so far as to say that Kolb has been "great." Reid's "clock management issues" are purely the result of McNabb's play. McNabb is utterly hopeless. Sometimes McNabb can launch a big pass or take off running for a big gain and get the team in field goal range in that case. More frequently, he throws short passes to the middle of the field (he is the master of the 2 yard dump-off with no timeouts), takes his sweet time getting to the line, runs around trying to make something happen rather than throwing the ball away (and frequently getting sacked) and (if they get close to the endzone, like say first and 10) he will throw short of the goal-line even with no timeouts. He is, without a doubt, the QB with the widest gulf between general ability and ability to run the 2 minute drill.

by DeltaWhiskey :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:58am


by chemical burn :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:57am

If you look at the stats, there is a chance that McNabb's 2 minute numbers are ok - or that he's put the team in scoring position a reasonable amount. But this is mainly from 80 yard TD's and broken play scrambles, not "running a 2 minute drill." As McNabb has gotten older, he ability to make something happen with his feet has disappeared and I would be surprised if he can make anything happen now. Also, I would wager a large amount that if you look at which QB's team has come anyway with no points while in scoring position at the end of the half or not gotten off a final play at the end of a game, that McNabb would lead that category. He must lead NFL history as "the guy with most drives ending within the 20 as time expires."

by dmb :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:22pm

"As McNabb has gotten older, he ability to make something happen with his feet has disappeared and I would be surprised if he can make anything happen now."

Your general point about McNabb's inadequacy in hurry-up situations is certainly true, and it's also true that he's a few steps slower than he was early in his career. But in eight games, McNabb has a 17-yard run on 3rd and 7, a 26-yard run on 3rd and 8, a 12-yard run on 3rd and 9, an 18-yard run on 3rd and 4, and a 36-yard run on a 1st down. So he may not be the scrambler he was early in his career, but I don't think the above suggests that he's truly devoid of the ability to make plays with his feet.

ETA: Prior to yesterday's game (which had the 36-yard run), McNabb was the 6th-ranked QB in rushing DYAR, with the 4th-best DVOA.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:52pm

Point taken - I guess I just got used to seeing him in 2008, where he was 2nd to last in the league in DYAR (and 27th in DVOA.) But you're right, even last year he was near the top of the heap in rushing DVOA and DYAR. He's still a far cry from what he was, as far as making plays on the ground...

by ammek :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:40am

The Rams' throwbacks aren't my favorite, but the Patriots' look great. Compare them with the awful Saints' all-black catsuits, and I say: more throwbacks, not fewer.

Also, PK's San Francisco clich├ęs are about 40 years out of date.

by Eddo :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:52am

I really like both throwbacks on display yesterday, particularly the Rams. And yeah, black-on-black (or dark-on-dark in general) is not a good look. I do generally like the Bears' look when they wear white pants with the white jerseys.

Also, I found it funny that the Cardinals wore black uniforms instead of red, since they're named after the color, not the bird.

by ammek :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 11:54am

Nor the plant.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:29pm

As a Bucs fan, I would like to state my profound disagreement with your "more throwbacks, not fewer" statement.

by verified (not verified) :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:40pm

The creamsicles were kind of awesome.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:57pm

Yeah, but in a Yakety Sax kind of way...

by zlionsfan :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 10:20pm

I like both Rams and Bucs throwbacks, but then I was an adolescent in the '80s and just beginning to really understand sports, so I remember those colors best.

Also, I liked the Astros' uniforms from that era.

by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 3:04pm

Kinda the way A-bomb tests used to be awesome?

by Eddo :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 4:01pm

Are you implying that getting too close to the old Buccaneers could give one cancer? I mean, I knew they were pretty brutal, but that's just scary.

by Spielman :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 12:00pm

Every time I see the Patriots in their throwbacks, I want them to junk the current uniforms and go back permanently.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 12:55pm

Shanarat wishes j. Campbell still in wasdhingtin. Sorry Shanarat, Jason campbell in Oakland einning games for al Davis. A trained ape

by RickD :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 1:23pm

Hilarious bit:

"l. Come on, Charlie Sheen. Get a hold of yourself, man."

by Lou :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 4:24pm


by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 6:34pm

Dont undersutand Charlie Sheem joke, Please expalin it

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 2:33pm

Didnt think hit send before. Had phone issue. Wnted to erite

A trained ape could win Super boel with Elkway and terrell davis so Shanarat still have ways to fo to becone all time greta head cosch

by B :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 2:41pm

Obligatory Simpsons Quote regarding Wade firing:
Why Now? Why not three years ago?

by db :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 3:16pm

Randy Moss waived by Vikings. If he clears waivers he and the 3rd round pick could end up back in New England.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 7:10pm

Bill Belichick is a genius! The ultimate inside job!

'Hey, Randy, I've got this great idea I want to run past you! How would you like to take an extended holiday during the regular season and rejoin us for the Playoffs? Take a tour of a couple of different cities, have some fun with the media, and we'll see you in January. Just don't get yourself hurt...'

This is from the same universe in which the Belichick/Goodell 'Damn Right I ordered a Code Red!' conversation actually happened.

by Jetspete :: Mon, 11/01/2010 - 3:28pm

not once, but twice PK trashes Mark Sanchez in the article. Clearly when the game's reality does not match his pre-conceived narrative, he is more than willing to ignore reality to make a point. As a Jet fan, I dont give Sanchez any blame for yesterday's loss. Jets moved the ball fairly well, and the interceptions were not even remotely his fault. Receivers dropped 6 balls, including a screen to Holmes that was reminiscent of Favres overthrown ball to harvin 3 weeks ago (in that he couldve scored a td).

by Fawn Lieborwitz :: Tue, 11/02/2010 - 4:00pm

I was really hoping his bit about SF would have ended this way:

Postscript: Ten hours after walking out of the stadium, I'm sitting in New York Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff's office in suburban New Jersey, I smelled marijuana.

by Jerry :: Wed, 11/03/2010 - 4:54am

Was Santonio around?