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Updated: October 12th, 2011 12:28pm
Donovan McNabb: 'This whole mechanics thing is getting out of hand'

Donovan McNabb: 'This whole mechanics thing is getting out of hand'

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Donovan McNabb continues to say he's not worried about boos from Minnesota Vikings fans and calls for him to be benched. But the veteran quarterback is losing patience with questions about his accuracy and mechanics.

"This whole mechanics thing is getting out of hand," McNabb responded when the issue was first mentioned at his weekly media conference on Wednesday.

"Somebody says something about mechanics -- everybody works on your mechanics, no matter what position you play. You watch the film and you try to work on different techniques. This whole mechanics thing is really something that I haven't changed or anything of that nature."

McNabb completed 10-of-21 passes for 169 yards in Sunday's 34-10 win over Arizona and was booed several times, beginning when his first pass was off-target to receiver Michael Jenkins.

The boos peaked during a sequence early in the fourth quarter when McNabb one-hopped a bubble screen to Percy Harvin as a defender leaped near the passing lane and was 3 yards short on a throw to the flat for tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who stumbled momentarily while coming off a block.

"As a quarterback, you have to just move on," McNabb said. "You understand what just happened and you move on to the next play.

"With the Shiancoe play, it could have been big yards. I was going to throw and he kind of stumbled. I tried to pull back, and instead of just losing the ball, I tried to gather it back but it just kind of came out (low). Obviously, you want that back.

"And also the Percy screen -- maybe I could have got a little deeper so that I could kind of get it to him instead of trying to throw around the guy. But again, it's things like that (when) you're watching the film of just ways of trying to make it better so that those plays (don't happen)."

McNabb ranks 27th in the NFL in completion percentage at 56.8% (75-of-132), down from his career completion percentage of 58.9%. He has finished above 61% only twice in his 12 previous NFL seasons despite playing mostly in the high-percentage West Coast offense.

Asked what specifically what he needs to do to fix the accuracy issues, McNabb said, "Well, I guess according to y'all, all my career I've been inaccurate. ... It's just making the plays when the plays are there to be made."

If there's been a positive in his game, it's that he hasn't turned the ball over. His two interceptions match Aaron Rodgers for the second-fewest in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 132 attempts.

However, McNabb also has taken limited shots down the field, and on plays such as the misfires to Harvin and Shiancoe, it seems he might be overly cautious.

"It's a plus for us," coach Leslie Frazier said of limiting turnovers. "That's one of the reasons we've been in these games the way we have so late in games. But you can't play this game cautious. He knows that. He's had a ton of success in our league, and sometimes, you've just got to let it go. And he will. And he has."

Neither Frazier nor McNabb have offered specifics about coaches' areas of emphasis with McNabb's mechanics since two weeks ago, when Frazier said the plan was "to make sure that we're launching the football from the right point, we're taking the proper drops, that our feet are where they need to be."

McNabb met with coaches on Oct. 3 to clear the air about several issues, and it seems quieting talk about his mechanics is one of them -- although McNabb continues to say he "takes a criticial eye" to his performance all the time.

"If you look downfield and you don't see anything, check it down to the back, or you miss some opportunities downfield that you could have took advantage of," McNabb said. "Things like that, and obviously, throws I wanted back. But that's something you do every week."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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