Donovan McNabb trashes NY Jets for using ‘garbage’ Wildcat with Michael Vick: Nobody wants to be Tim Tebow

Vick was the Wildcat/backup quarterback for Donovan with the Eagles in 2009, an arrangement that still irks the former Pro Bowler. Now he’s ripping the Jets for turning Vick into ‘the Tim Tebow of the 2012 Jets. Nobody wants that.’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 5:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 7:25 PM
Michael Vick serves as the backup to Donovan McNabb (l.) in Philadelphia in 2009 and doubles as the change-of-pace Wildcat quarterback. A wrinkle in the offense that McNabb could do without. TIM SHAFFER/REUTERS Michael Vick serves as the backup to Donovan McNabb (l.) in Philadelphia in 2009 and doubles as the change-of-pace Wildcat quarterback. A wrinkle in the offense that McNabb could do without.

CORTLAND — Five years have passed since Donovan McNabb was exposed to the Wildcat, but his feelings about the offensive wrinkle used by Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia haven’t wavered one bit.

He still hates it.

Mike Vick was Mornhinweg’s Wildcat/change-of-pace quarterback in 2009, much like he is expected to be with the Jets at the start of this season. McNabb cringes at the thought of his former offensive coordinator and former teammate dusting off the gimmick.

“The Jets tried this whole garbage with Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez and it got them nowhere,” McNabb told the Daily News. “In the situation now, I think it takes away from what Geno Smith can do. It’s a maturity process for him to try to develop into an NFL quarterback. Now you’re taking him off the field or splitting him wide to bring in a 34-year-old quarterback? To do what? I understand the ‘wow’ effect, but it’s not a good thing for either quarterback.”

Time has intensified McNabb’s abhorrence of the Wildcat. Although he believes that there might be an occasional benefit, he’s smart enough to know the two-tiered downside to the exercise.

The Wildcat is an unnecessary road block to Smith’s development and an unnecessary injury risk to Vick, Rex Ryan’s biggest insurance policy. Although Vick has made it clear that he’s here to help in any way, he also believes in his heart of hearts that he’s not a backup quarterback in the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) leaves the field for a play as Michael Vick (7) enters the game in 2009. TIM SHAFFER/REUTERS Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) leaves the field for a play as Michael Vick (7) enters the game in 2009. Enlarge
In 2009, Michael Vick runs the Wildcat offense with the Eagles — who already had an established starter in place in Donovan McNabb. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images In 2009, Michael Vick runs the Wildcat offense with the Eagles — who already had an established starter in place in Donovan McNabb. Enlarge

In 2009, Michael Vick runs the Wildcat offense with the Eagles — who already had an established starter in place in Donovan McNabb.

“Mike wants to be the starter,” McNabb said. “He doesn’t want to go in there to be the Tim Tebow of the 2012 Jets. Nobody wants that.”

The Jets have used Vick as a Wildcat option in training camp, raising questions about the wisdom of injecting a 34-year-old with a track record of bumps and bruises for select run-pass option plays when the primary quarterback objective is to nurture a 23-year-old.

Vick believes the Wildcat wasn’t quite a rousing success with the Eagles. Smith insists that he’s fine with the random quarterback shuffling now. Mornhinweg admitted that disrupting the offensive rhythm is a “real” downside, but “there’s an awful lot of positives.”

“It depends how you do it,” Mornhinweg said on Tuesday. “I suspect looking forward there will be times when you may see a little bit. There may be times when you don’t see much of it.”

McNabb wishes he never saw any of it when Vick was sprinkled into the Eagles offense.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News Geno Smith says he’s OK with making room for Michael Vick to run the Wildcat.

McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowler at the time, was coming off a career-high 3,916 passing yards in 2008 when Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid occasionally injected Vick into the offense.

Vick only had 24 rushes for 95 yards and 13 pass attempts in 2009, but McNabb was never comfortable with a dimension that he viewed as nothing more than nuisance.

“I didn’t agree with the whole deal,” McNabb said. “I think it messes up the flow of any offense… I thought most of the trick plays that we ran, we could have done in our normal base offense. Of course, I wanted Mike to have an opportunity to get out on the field… (but) when you have an established quarterback (like me)… no one would have asked Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to do that.”

The Wildcat gods have placed some sort of Jedi mind-trick on Rex Ryan, who believes the wrinkle can do no wrong. It’s hard to believe since Ryan was an eyewitness to the Tebow debacle two years ago.

McNabb praised the Eagles for “getting back to the basics” and not using the Wildcat try to spark the offense if it struggled as the 2009 season went on, but admitted that he’s “really surprised” that Mornhinweg is even thinking about using Vick in that role again.

The Jets' experiment with Tim Tebow in 2012 was a failure. Robert Sabo/New York Daily News The Jets’ experiment with Tim Tebow in 2012 was a failure.

“I understand that people know what Mike Vick could do five, six, seven years ago,” McNabb said. “Yeah, Mike has the ability to run and get out of the pocket. But that’s only in the drop-back game when he sees nothing open and makes things happen by picking up yards with his legs. That’s not for Mike to run the option.”

“I think that if you’re in the flow of a game offensively, okay, then you can come with some trickery,” McNabb added. “But when the offense is sputtering a little bit, that’s not the time to add a spark. That takes away from getting the starting quarterback back into a rhythm.”

McNabb believes Smith can thrive in a system that was quarterback-friendly all those years ago for him as long as the Jets give him a true opportunity to ride out rough patches in games. The Wildcat is an impediment to that growth, a fad that doesn’t belong on a team trying to develop a young quarterback.

It will be always be a four-letter word to McNabb.

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One Response to “Donovan McNabb trashes NY Jets for using ‘garbage’ Wildcat with Michael Vick: Nobody wants to be Tim Tebow”

  1. ck says:

    McNabb and “sour grapes” go together!:(

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