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Michael Lombardi on D&C: Tim Tebow ‘going to be a problem’ for Patriots in two weeks

12.02.11 at 10:03 am ET
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NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi spent some time with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday to talk about news from around the league.

The Patriots welcome the 0-11 Colts to Foxboro Sunday.

“What’s interesting about it is the Colts actually run the ball better than any time since 2001 with their football team without [Peyton] Manning this year, because they’ve been forced to have to do it,” Lombardi said. “When you watch them play, the quarterbacking has been so bad, it’s really hard to evaluate the other players. Reggie Wayne is still a good player. And I think Pierre Garcon could still run vertically. But nobody seems to be able to do anything because their offensive line has been poor and their quarterback’s been even worse.”

The Eagles continued their free fall Thursday night with a 31-14 loss to the Seahawks, only days after getting blown out by the Patriots. Philadelphia dropped to 4-8 after entering the season with high expectations.

“I think ultimately, the team concept has to work.” Lombardi said. “The team has to be coordinated from the personnel to the integration of everybody liking each other in the locker room. You get the sense from Philadelphia it was a collection of players; it was never a team. And I think that’s been a problem.”

Eagles fans have been calling for coach Andy Reid to be fired, but Lombardi said that isn’t necessarily the move the team needs to make.

Said Lombardi: “I think what Andy needs to do is take a step back. And I think fear does the work of reason here. You take a step back and you say look, we’ve got to get tougher, we’ve got to become more versatile on offense, and we’ve got to become a better defense. And I think if he’s willing to make those changes, then that’s the change that should be made, not with Reid.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On if he would pursue Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson should he become available: “I would be really reluctant. Because ultimately, you can see money is the most important factor in DeSean’s life. Now, whether he could say to you it’s respect, because I don’t feel respected by the Eagles, I think there’s a line. You have to be a professional. At some point, you know you’re going to get your payday. So, why are you so worried about it? If you’re a franchise player next year, that’s going to be over $10 million. That’s a fairly significant payday.

“You don’t have to get your coin right now. And I think what he needs to prove to people is that he loves football, not that he loves his next contract. And that’s the concern you have to have. You bring him into your locker room and you pay him all that money, I think you send a message to your team that you’re willing to accept some of these things that typically teams don’t accept.”

On Donovan McNabb, who was released by the Vikings Thursday: “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of teams clamoring for him. I think ultimately he’s going to have to come to the realization he’s not a starting quarterback in the NFL. And I don’t know if he’s willing to accept that. I think there’s a better chance he’s on the NFL Network set next year than he is playing football.”

On Patriots receiver/defensive back/punt returner Julian Edelman: “They should give him a DB number. Because he’s done some things at slot corner that have been really impressive when you watch him. He’s got instincts, which is really kind of strange for a receiver to think that he can convert back over. And then he’s got physical toughness. He goes in there and tackles. He tackles better than Asante Samuel, I can promise you that.”

On Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and how he will fare against the Patriots on Dec. 18: “Playing in Mile High and chasing him around in that altitude, the Patriots are going to go out there, it’s going to be a problem. Because you get tired. And people don’t understand, his fourth-quarter comebacks have as much to do with the defense being tired [after] chasing him around for three quarters than it does with Tebow’s talent. ‘€¦ I think it’s a problem, because you’ve got to get prepared for it and you’ve got to be conditioned for it. Going out there, as we all know, it’s not an easy endeavor to go out there and play at Mile High and feel like you can get your legs back under you. ‘€¦ Ultimately, just the wear and tear of chasing him around just tires you out. You’d better make sure you’ve got enough defensive players to do it.”

Read More: Andy Reid, Asante Samuel, DeSean Jackson, donovan mcnabb
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