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Theismann and Riggins disagree on McNabb

Under the theory that there's no more noble life's calling than stoking a feud between two rival media personalities, it's time for Theismann vs. Riggins: The Purple Drank Episode.

Round I

In the waning moments of Saturday's loss to the Ravens, Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann discussed Bruce Allen and his boldest offseason move: the trade for Donovan McNabb.

"I asked him 'Why Donovan, why make the deal for Donovan?' " said Theismann, the color analyst for the Redskins Broadcasting Network. "And he basically said to me why not? He was proven....It made so much sense. And really, three years ago when he was down in Tampa, Bruce wanted to try to get him down there, so he's coveted Donovan McNabb for a long time...."

"I think if you would ask anybody in the National Football League, 'Would you give up a second-round draft choice for a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, they're gonna say yes so fast it'd make your head spin," Patrick said, which is not necessarily the way the rest of the National Football League behaved in the past offseason.

"I think of Joe Montana, who left San Francisco and went to Kansas City and had 'em in the playoffs," Theismann said a moment later, after discussing Kevin Kolb. "That's the level of quarterback and the quality that you get out of a guy that may be someplace [that wants] to move on because of contract, because of getting the other guy to play. But yet the other [team needs] him for the transition to the next guy.

"And who is going to be the next quarterback for the Redskins? Donovan is gonna be 34, so how many more years are you gonna get out of him? I think three good ones, at least, and I think you have to sign him, too."

Round II

"Did Theismann just equate Donavan McNabb with Joe Montana? Did Jamarcus Russell send Joe some purple drank?" Riggo asked on Twitter.

"I said that they both changed team," Theismann later responded.

My verdict: Neither man is totally in the clear. Theismann didn't exactly equate McNabb with Montana; the wording was too wordy and confusing to go that far. And yet clearly he did more than say "both changed team," and he sure seemed to be lauding McNabb's quality before and after the Montana namedrop. And so, on to

Round III

In which Riggins goes for the knockout blow on his blog:

By now everyone should realize, Donny Mac is literally a loose cannon as a passer. What we're seeing now is what we'll be seeing in December. He is by all accounts a step up from Jason, but I don't see him as a miracle worker, unless jersey sales and club seats count.

He will need all the help he can get from the running game and pass protection. If those items get checked off, he could excel to his Peter Principled position. But, when I heard team super salesman and my former teammate Joe Theismann compare him to Joe Montana, well, either my critiques are correct and I'm crazy, or Joe has a new passion for Purple Drank.

Well, Theismann was talking off the top of his head. Riggins had time to sit down and compose a well-reasoned thought. And I still think Riggins was overstepping the degree to which Theismann compared McNabb to Montana. Still, I'll narrowly award The Purple Drank Episode to Riggins, for colorful language if nothing else. Until next time....

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 24, 2010; 9:12 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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"the comment was too wordy..." Really? Too wordy? Joe T.? Who would have guessed?

Posted by: groundhogdayguy | August 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Riggins is right. McNabb is overrated. Always has been.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 24, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Well, Theismann was talking off the top of his head. Riggins had time to sit down and compose a well-reasoned thought."

And you, Steinberg, had a long time to think about both and write up this post. And yet you found it worthy of posting. Between the broken record of Dibble bashing and this, I've got to say the material lately is poor.

Posted by: LouLewis | August 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

A Riggins-Theismann booth would be excellent for radio broadcasts, but sadly, it will never happen.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | August 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

McNabb overrated? LOL! How did the Eagles get to 5 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance? Now, he is not the most accurate QB, but he makes plays. Campbell? Please! Still the same in Oakland. 3 and out!

Posted by: ErnieBllngs | August 24, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

McNabb is not Montana, but he has been the most consistent, winning qb in the NFC over the past 10 years.

This is a point that is glossed over all to easily when giving all the credit to Andy Reid and the front office.

Well, the front office in Philly gave McNabb Freddie Mitchell, Todd Pinkston, Greg Lewis, Kevin Curtis, James Thrash, etc. to work with at WR.

Not exactly a Ring of Honor listing of wide receivers.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning has had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to throw the ball to with Dallas Clark at TE.

So, which team in your opinion has the better front office?

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | August 24, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

You know what? Washington's offensive line has'nt proven JACK, which takes you back to what everyone was saying last year - No matter who comes in here, if the oline isn't better, they'll get killed.

What makes you think Rabach will suddenly starting moving DTs and NTs. It seemed like last year he spent more time disrupting his own team's running plays by being pushed into the backfield.

These guys haven't played together and are unproven and unless they immediately show that they are even capable of opening some holes for the RBs, we are looking at a typical 8-8 or worse season. And if Philly ends up ahead of the skins at the end of the season, that will say it all.

Posted by: keedrow | August 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

McNabb can be great at times and absolutely unwatchable at times...Skins fans will see what Eagle fans have gotten used to for the past ten years. And remember, he had the best safety valve in the league in Brian Westbrook to bail him out (as well as a pretty good O-line). Not the case here. Riggins is pretty spot on. Theismann is a Snyder yes-man anyhow.

Posted by: dbunkr | August 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

LMAO...Riggo used to be a 'company man' with his "Mr. Snyder this, Mr. Snyder that" til Mr. Snyder dumped his azzz...

And now, you've got the Ultimate Company Man in Joey Suckup who is auditioning for Vinny's old 'racquetball fetcher' position. If the Danny were a King on his 'Throne', Joey Suckup would be a Royal Wiper...

Quite a pair, these two...

Posted by: kahlua87 | August 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I love Riggo, but even though he had the time to sit down and form a "well-reasoned thought", he still got his verbiage wrong. Critique is a verb...he was looking for the noun: critic.

Posted by: sordidvox | August 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Am I reading a different Theisman quote because I think it's pretty easy to comprehend what he was saying. Both Montana and McNabb were on the downside of their careers when they made the move, but both were still very good, enough to make the new team better. You need to infer a LOT to assume he was equating McNabb, who's a pretty good QB, to Montana, a great all time QB. I think Riggo is digging for fodder, nothing more. This is a silly debate.

Posted by: minhle1 | August 24, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

First of all, no sane human being--much less a Super Bowl winning quarterback--would ever equate the skills and accomplishments of Joe Montana to Donovan McNabb. Joe Theisman did no such thing, and John Riggins proved once again that he is prone to making completely irresponsible and needlessly insulting comments.

Second of all, speaking of irresponsible comments from John Riggins, he continues to perpetuate the absurd myth that Dan Snyder's Redskins make decision based on jersey sales.

Riggins says: "I don't see him as a miracle worker, unless jersey sales...count."

Here are the facts:

"In a good year, a typical NFL team makes about $5 million off merchandise sales, which worldwide totaled $3.2 billion in 2006. However, because of a wacky economic scheme, the teams don’t benefit all that much, sharing only about 12% of the wholesale price of an item. So, based on that number, when a superstar’s jersey is sold, each team gets 11 cents a piece."

We're talking literally about $1100 a year a team might make off of a particular player's jersey sales if 10,000 or so sell, according to the above numbers.

Snyder is worth over a billion dollars. $1000 is less than 1/10,000,000 of his worth. Let's say you are worth $100,000, 1/10,000,000 of that would be....drumroll: 1 penny.

Would any of you get excited if I told you that all these jersey sales will result in you netting about a penny more per year?

This is how insanely ill-informed John Riggins is. He simply doesn't think these things through at all when he is busy attacking Snyder's alleged greed.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 24, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Riggo is just looking for something to be a D about. Theismann is so full of overblown hyperbole that I would be hard pressed to find what was his most sugar coated comment in Saturday's game. But McNabb is hardly just a step up from Jason Campbell. He isn't the most accurate passer in the world and never will be but he can make quick decisions and can still make plays when all hell breaks loose. He's also 4 years young than Montana was when he was traded.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 24, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how harshly Theismann's broadcasts are criticized for being too overly positive about the Redskins. Because I think Mike Patrick is the one that often takes it a little too far. For instance, it was Patrick--not Theismann--who said the Redskins have the best and deepest set of Safeties in the NFL. I am as big a homer as they come, and even I thought that was a ludicrous statement. Safety is maybe the biggest question mark on this team outside of maybe the WR position. How can anyone say we have the best safeties in the NFL?

Posted by: Barno1 | August 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Riggo 1, Homer Joe 0. DOH!

Posted by: thebone | August 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

John Riggin's assessment was so cliche...of course most quarterbacks I can remember needed ALL THE HELP THEY COULD GET and a RUNNING GAME to SUCCEED.

Here's a few Quarterbacks that didn't have much a primary running game or much blocking that succeeded...

1. Dan Fouts
2. Warren Moon
3. Dan Marino
5. Peyton Manning
6. Tom Brady
7. Sammy Baugh
8. John Elway

Posted by: clifton3 | August 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan,

I find it amazing that you didn't remember what old Joe Theezman (that's how you really say it) said on a sports radio show last year day after the Eagles came down here and pummeled the Deadskins - mainly due to DeSean Jackson. He said, and I totally agreed with him, that despite the Eagles easily beating the Deadskins, "Donovan McNabb was the most inaccurate Starting QB in the NFL." Do you remember that Dan?

That game would've been more of a blow-out if he could hit his receivers.

You don't really think the current Eagles (Reid) are dumb enough to trade him in the Division without nowing he'd seen his best days ? -(no comparisons with Sonny - Norm Snead please - we all hated that trade from the get-go!!!) Donovan was a really good QB who helped the Birds back to being a good team again. However he did have enough weapons - Duce Staley, B Westbrook, T.O., Chad Lewis, Brent Celek, DeSean, two of the better O'lineman in the game - Runyan (please enough with the Strahan stuff - Runyan buried him most of the time) and Tra Thomas plus a Dominating Jimmy Johnson Defense led by Dawk!! so stop with the no weapons already. Most had never heard of Brady's receivers 'til the SB wins and the one they lost they had Moss and Welker. Stop apologizing for McNabb as he "was" a terrific QB but not as good as Favre, Montana, Brady, P. Manning, Big Bent or even uggh... Aikman. In fact I'd rank Brees, over him and probably Air-McNair because he was amazing in that SB game.

Riggo wins!!! Just don't forget what Joe the Mouth said last year.

Posted by: Dog-1 | August 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mcnabb Vs. Montanna good comparison. Mcnabb Tops montanna in protecting the football, directly beating montanna in interception percentage and TD/INT ratio--Mcnabb is third in NFL History in both categories. Hey many QBs have more rings than Marino but were not better than Marino: See Trent Dilfer, Eli Manning, Jim Plunkett, Joe Thiesmann, Mark Rypien. So pleaase don't base it soley on SuperBowl wins. Let's look at trips to the playoffs and even tripsto the NFC champioinship game. McNabb compares favarobaly with Montanna in those areas.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | August 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Clifton 3 come on son! Elway didn't win jack until he had 2,000 yard rusher Terrell Davis; Peyton Manning had Edgerring James/Marshall Faulk;Tom Brady has had Maroney (at least 1,000 yd season and Corey Dillon. Peyton, Brady, Moon, Marino and Fouts all had good O-lines. Fouts had Muncie and James Brooks(1,000 yd rusher/2000 all purpose yards for Brooks). Come on Son-you're reaching like Stretch Armstrong or something.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | August 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

And remember, he had the best safety valve in the league in Brian Westbrook to bail him out (as well as a pretty good O-line). Not the case here. Riggins is pretty spot on. Theismann is a Snyder yes-man anyhow.
Posted by: dbunkr | August 24, 2010 11:08 AM
If the Eagles had "a pretty good O-line", then how come they had no running game to speak of?

Posted by: shanks1 | August 24, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

i hate Theismann but i'll agree with his comparison. Yes, Montana in his prime was the best quarterback I've seen in my lifetime with Manning coming in second. But Montana was not in his prime, I believe he might have missed the previous season before being traded to KC, had a surgically repaired arm with this nasty lump sticking out of it. Other words, Montana was beat-up. McNabb has dealt with leg injuries but is still good in the pocket. I agree with the comparison. Will McNabb be as cool as Joe on the field...No.

Posted by: efuller1 | August 24, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Mcnabb may not and is not Montana but Theisman sure the hell is the Redskins Super Salesman.

Man he kisses alota ass? breath probably smells like s***

Posted by: kevenjones | August 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"And who is going to be the next quarterback for the Redskins?"

Probably Peyton Manning, Brady, or Favre.
In 2015
Dan's kind of players: past their prime, but well known

Maybe even Unitas or Joe T. himself

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If anyone knows about drinking it sure is Riggins! He knows what purple drank is!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | August 24, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Riggins is a racist and a drunk, but fun to listen to. Theisman is just plain boring and banal.

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Errr.... The 49ers traded Montana when he was (I think) 37 years old, out of not just the division, but to the AFC and they had Steve Young in his prime!

The McNabb situation is different; in the long-term I think it was the right decision by the Iggles as it saved them money, got them further draft flexibility and allows their young QB to develop.

Would the Packers have won their division last year with Favre? Maybe. Are the Packers and Vikings both happy with their QB situation? Of course.

However, that doesn't make it a bad trade for the 'Skins. For his faults, McNabb is an upgrade over Campbell, just as Campbell will be an upgrade over JaMarcus Russell in Oakland.

What remains to be seen is which team makes the best of their new situation. My concern is who will be the next starting QB after McNabb and how will we get him? Will he be a mid-rounder, with limited potential, or will he be a high pick, after either a horrible season, or another expensive trade?

Posted by: stevebeagrie | August 28, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

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