After weeks of talking around the mechanical issues that Vikings coaches said they would work on with Donovan McNabb, the quarterback finally fired back.
"This whole mechanics thing is getting out of hand. I mean, somebody might say something about mechanics – everybody works on your mechanics, no matter what position you play," McNabb said Wednesday. "You watch the film and try to work on different techniques. So this whole mechanics thing is really something that I haven't changed or anything of that nature. In the grand scheme of things, when plays are there to be made, just take them."
Fans had little tolerance for McNabb's inaccuracy from the start Sunday's game against the Arizona Cards. McNabb's first pass of the game was low to receiver Michael Jenkins and the next one, on third down, was nearly intercepted by Arizona linebacker Sam Acho.
Immediately, the boos cascaded down from the stands. In fact, fans at Mall of America Field didn't even wait for McNabb's second pass before voicing their displeasure. Even with a 28-3 lead as the team headed into halftime, the fans booed after head coach Leslie Frazier decided to let the time run out when McNabb took a sack with about 40 seconds left after facing first-and-10 on the Cardinals 48-yard line.
"I don't pay attention to [the boos]. It was quite entertaining, yet still my job is to focus in on what we're doing and get things corrected the way they need to be," McNabb said. "When you look up at the scoreboard and we're winning, you don't expect to hear that, but things happen and you just stay the course."
The Vikings got their big halftime lead thanks to turnovers created by the defense, good field position and three touchdowns runs by Adrian Peterson in the first quarter. McNabb contributed with his legs, as well, running in for an additional first-quarter touchdown.
"I'm all about winning. I'm not about numbers. When you get in the game, you want to be able to manage the game the right way, obviously what we've been able to do by pretty much averaging 27 points [actually 22 points] a game. You look at our record and it pretty much doesn't show," McNabb said. "Offensively, we kind of left some plays out on the field in the previous weeks. Fortunately, last week we were able to connect on a lot of the plays that we really needed to be effective, but we left some yards out on the field as well."
Two throws in particular stood out. McNabb started the fourth quarter by throwing a screen pass to Harvin that bounced a few yards in front of the receiver, giving him no chance to make the catch. Four plays later, he came up about three yards short on a short pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.
"With the Shiancoe play, it could have been big yards. He kind of stumbled. I tried to pull back. Instead of losing the ball, I tried to gather it back and it just kind of came out. You want that back," McNabb said. "On the Percy screen, maybe I could have got a little deeper so I could get it to him instead of trying to throw around a [defender]. It's things like that you watch on the film and just try to make it better so that those plays become positive plays."
McNabb admitted he starts with a critical eye to what he can do different and said he wants some throws back, but it's also clear he is tiring of the questions about his mechanics and his inaccuracy.
For the season, McNabb has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 849 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions for an 80.0 rating. He ranks 29th in yards, 30th in yards per game, 27th in completion percentage and 20th in passer rating.
For his career, he has completed 58.9 percent of his passes.
"I guess according to you all, for all my career I've been inaccurate," he said. "It's just making the plays when the plays are there to be made."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.
McNabb tiring of criticism about mechanics
Viking Update Top Stories
VIDEO: Zimmer on final preps for EaglesMinnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer discusses some key players for Philadelphia, his defense and if Jake Long could play.
Viking Update12:02 PM
Vikings have 3 receivers on injury reportThe Minnesota Vikings could be getting Stefon Diggs back in the lineup, but he is among three receivers on their injury report.
Viking Update11:37 AM
Notebook: Walsh ‘past the bad things?’The Minnesota Vikings are preparing to play “quite possibly the best special teams unit across the board that we've faced so far this year.” Plus, the Vikings are doing much better…
Viking Update8:49 AM
Hard-core stats: Vikings at EaglesThe Minnesota Vikings will look to exploit some of the weaknesses the Eagles have shown lately, including one strength for the Vikings and one weakness. We go deep into where the…
Viking Update5:04 AM