Holler: McNabb's defense seems delusional

Donovan McNabb (Scott Boehm/Getty)

Donovan McNabb says in an NFL Network interview that he should still be the starter and questioned whether he should be blamed for the team's 1-6 record. He might not be the only reason for the poor start, but his inability to convert third downs with a lead was a big reason.

Just about everyone who has seen most or all of the Vikings' first seven games share the belief that Donovan McNabb shouldn't be the team's starting quarterback. However, one person who doesn't share that belief is McNabb himself.

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday morning on NFL Network's GameDay Morning, which starts a 9 a.m. EDT, McNabb tells reporter Andrea Kremer that he believes he should still be the starting QB. Asked directly if he thinks he should still be under center, McNabb left little gray area, saying, "Absolutely. Absolutely."

He reaffirmed his claim that he has been singled out as the reason for the Vikings' failures this season and doesn't believe it was a fair decision to bench him and move to Christian Ponder.

"Everyone focuses on my position," McNabb said. "We should be sitting here, I'll be honest about … 4-3, 5-2 or whatever. We had games that we should have won, but we just didn't. Now is it the quarterback position?"

Unfortunately for McNabb, the answer to that rhetorical question is "yes." When the Vikings had all of those big halftime leads, it was up to McNabb to preserve them or extend them. He didn't. The Vikings' second-half collapses were due in large part to an offense that couldn't convert third downs. With the ball in his hand, McNabb was responsible to get that job done. He didn't. His teammates realized it. His coaches realized it. The fans realized it. However, McNabb seems to be oblivious to it.

McNabb denied reports originating from NFL Network, citing unnamed sources, that he lost his starting job in part because of poor work habits and showing up late for meetings and practices. Asked if there was validity that he was late to meetings or practice, McNabb left no doubt in his response.

"Never," McNabb said. "But from just people from the outside listening, they'll say, ‘Oh, you know, sources said that he's not putting in that time to be a top-tier quarterback.' Well, just come to Minnesota. Pack up your big jacket and your headwear and come watch me."

McNabb added that he believes he should remain the starter and believes he gives the Vikings the best chance to win.

"It's ridiculous," McNabb said. "If you want to solidify your move of going with somebody else, just say, ‘Hey, he wasn't playing well. We're going to rally behind whoever comes up.' Whatever. But now when you challenge my intelligence, you're going to challenge my manhood of everything that I've been able to accomplish throughout the years, that's disrespectful."

Whether McNabb is delusional or honestly believes that he has been wronged by the decision to bench him doesn't much matter. He will get to state his case in the pregame show on NFL Network Sunday. The question is how many people will believe his version of the story? One thing seems clear: It won't be many of those who have seen his full body of a work as a member of the Vikings.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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