I rip on Mike Florio a lot, but he has an interesting post up in which he defends Donovan McNabb.
Plenty of fans complain that former NFL players won’t criticize current NFL players out of deference to their former brethren. But then when one of the former players is willing to criticize current players, the former player gets criticized for it.
Donovan McNabb, who now works for NFL Network and NBC Sports Radio, is paid for his opinions. And yet when McNabb gives his opinions, he gets ripped for it.
There is some truth in this.
Florio offers his thoughts in the post, but I’ve got a couple of my own. First, I don’t think Donovan ever made a clean retirement. You get the feeling if some team called right now, he’d be there in a heartbeat. When a player truly hangs up his cleats, it is as if they cross a bridge and go from player to non-player. Has Donovan done that? I don’t say this as a criticism of him. I just think it gives him an odd vibe when he’s on the air.
Secondly, Donovan, like so many players that are new to broadcasting, doesn’t always communicate well. He might say something too casually. He might say something with too negative of a tone. You don’t just need the right content. You must present your ideas and opinions in the right way.
When Michael Irvin talks about WRs, I want to shove my head into a vat of boiling acid. He worships WRs and annoys me. When Irvin talks about some other players and positions, he can offer really good insight. The first time I heard him on Jim Rome’s radio show I was shocked at how good he was. On ESPN, he ranged from pretty good to nightmarishly bad. They replaced him with Cris Carter, who ranges from bad to nightmarishly bad.
If Donovan ever gets a good role and can just be himself, he’ll do fine. He’s smart. He has a good personality. Just takes time. And finding the right role takes some luck.