Will Mornhinweg Be An Eagles Casualty?

Whenever a season goes as badly as the 2005 season has gone for the Eagles, there are bound to be some changes. Most of the coaching staff appears safe, but there is one change that perhaps the Eagles should consider making after the season.

Marty Mornhinweg is 0-for-2.

The Eagles' assistant head coach is the guy who convinced Andy Reid to bring in wide receiver Terrell Owens last year. Mornhinweg had coached Owens in San Francisco and told Reid he could keep Owens under control.


Then Mornhinweg recommended former Detroit Lions quarterback Mike McMahon as a backup possibility to starter Donovan McNabb. Mornhinweg had coached McMahon in Detroit and convinced Reid he could be a serviceable starter if anything ever happened to McNabb.

Wrong again.

McMahon replaced McNabb nearly two months ago after the five-time Pro Bowler had to shut it down because of a painful sports hernia. McMahon's six starts hardly have been the stuff legends are made of.

McMahon, who will make start number seven Sunday when the 6-9 Eagles host the red-hot Washington Redskins, has managed to completed 50 percent of his passes in just one of his six starts. He's got an awful 50.0 passer rating. He's thrown just three touchdown passes, which is the same number of McMahon interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns.

Reid had hoped the mobile McMahon could keep the Eagles in the playoff hunt when he replaced McNabb. But they've won just two of his six starts, beating the 3-12 Green Bay Packers (19-14) and the 5-10 St. Louis Rams (17-16).

McMahon got the starting nod over career backup Koy Detmer, mainly, Reid said, because of his mobility. But while he has occasionally been able to run from trouble and even pick up a first down here and there, he hasn't gotten the job done as a passer, though Reid insists McMahon's poor passing numbers aren't all his fault.

"Some are and some aren't," he said. "He's done some good things, and there've been some things he could have done better. That's the way it's been for all of us, including me."

Last year, the Eagles had the perfect backup for McNabb - veteran Jeff Blake, who had started 100 NFL games and thrown more than 3,000 NFL passes. But they let him go after the season and took Mornhinweg's suggestion and signed McMahon, thinking he'd be the perfect long-term backup to McNabb.

He isn't.

Which means along with everything else the Eagles have to shop for in the off-season, they've also got to look around for another quarterback who could help keep them afloat if McNabb goes down with another serious injury.

"It's tough," McMahon said. "I'm in the same situation as a lot of these guys. We're all trying to fight together."

The Eagles may also want to consider replacing Mornhinweg with someone who may be able to better evaluate talent. Officially, there hasn't been any comment from Reid on potential coaching changes. Reid has also been shown to pride himself on loyalty, but Mornhinweg may need to be replaced.

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