If any quarterback knows a thing or two about NFC championship games, it's Donovan McNabb. With their window now open should the San Francisco 49ers add the veteran quarterback to support starter Alex Smith?
Jim Harbaugh believes in Smith but fans believe in Patrick Willis
It took six years and a bevy of different head coaches and offensive coordinators but Alex Smith finally showed Bay Area fans he could play under pressure. Together with new head coach Jim Harbaugh the supposed draft "bust" threw 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions while leading the 49ers to a 13-3 season capped by a playoff win over Drew Brees and the New OrlÃ©ans Saints. Some think if not for two bad plays on special teams San Francisco would have reached the Super Bowl. In truth fans have reason to feel good about their team for the first time in years but their faith isn't in Smith. Though they think he's the best the San Francisco 49ers will have in 2012, their belief sits with All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis and the defense. Any hope the team has of reaching a championship game rests on if Willis and his ten other defenders keep their Ã©lite status from last season. Smith doesn't mind that at all. The front office made sure to add more help on offense with receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham who join tight end Vernon Davis. Barring injury, he could have the best year of his career. The question is are the 49ers ready for that possibility?
McNabb believes his time in the NFL isn't over yet
One name that hasn't gone away from the quarterback market is the 35-year old Donovan McNabb. Most have good reason to think his best seasons are gone. Two stints with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings ended in utter failure. That hasn't shaken the ever resilient McNabb though. He went on record saying that sooner or later a team would pick him up for the upcoming season. There is good reason for that optimism. Few quarterbacks have his experience in the playoffs. McNabb won six division titles with the Philadelphia Eagles and went to five NFC championship games. If anyone knows how to play in that atmosphere it's him. San Francisco is one team that would do well to at least consider signing the man. They don't have much depth behind Smith with just unproven names like Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien. Adding McNabb to the mix would give them veteran insurance against an ill-timed injury or worse a regression. He also might fit in well with a coach like Harbaugh who was a quarterback himself when he played in the NFL.
The San Francisco 49ers made it clear to the NFL they are gunning for the Super Bowl when Jim Harbaugh took over. Alex Smith runs the offense and Patrick Willis runs the defense. Everyone knows and accepts that. That shouldn't mean the team can't prepare for the worst by bringing an experienced winner like Donovan McNabb.