McNabb airs his take on long Eagles run

The Redskins' Donovan McNabb, leaving the field after a preseason loss, was candid in an interview about his days as an Eagle.
The Redskins' Donovan McNabb, leaving the field after a preseason loss, was candid in an interview about his days as an Eagle.
Posted: August 24, 2010

Donovan McNabb complained to Eagles head coach Andy Reid and owner Jeffrey Lurie that "no one in the organization ever stepped up and said anything" about the criticism the quarterback endured since his first season in the NFL, according to an interview that appears in the current issue of GQ magazine.

McNabb, who was traded to Washington in April, said he aired his concerns in a meeting after the 2008 season.

"We sat down and talked, and I got everything off my chest from [1999] on," McNabb said. "It went all the way back to the [Terrell Owens] situation, it went back to us not winning big games, me being criticized for whatever, leadership. . . .

"They'll say something to you in the building, but not publicly. My feeling was, 'I'm out here getting cut up, where are you? I'm always defending and helping you guys, but where's that support?' "

The meeting itself isn't news. It was held in February 2009, but Lurie wasn't present. McNabb and his agent, Fletcher Smith, sat down with Reid and team president Joe Banner, according to an Eagles official. Reid, through a team spokesman, said that he wouldn't "comment about what was said."

An Eagles official confirmed that McNabb was critical of the organization in that meeting, and that the team didn't agree with his characterization.

The full question-and-answer interview with McNabb appears on GQ.com.

The Q&A includes familiar McNabb topics: the draft-day booing; the Rush Limbaugh and T.O. controversies; the matter of did-he-or-did-he-not-puke in the final moments of the Eagles' Super Bowl loss to New England, and, of course, the Easter Sunday trade to the division-rival Redskins.

There's also a new explanation from McNabb on why he said he didn't understand the overtime rules following a 13-13 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals in November 2008. According to McNabb, one of the referees told him there would be another five minutes of play after the 15-minute overtime ended.

"I'm like, 'Hey, we need to get this thing going, how much time is left?' " McNabb said. "I'm looking at the clock and the ref is like, 'We've got another five minutes after this quarter if no one scores.' I didn't think nothing of it, but I did hear it. It was a mistake on my part. I've got to know the rules."

Reid said that he knew nothing about an official giving McNabb the wrong overtime information.

In the GQ interview, McNabb spoke about some of the more controversial moments of his 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

On what he would do if he ran into Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host who said McNabb was a creation of the media looking to prop up an African American quarterback: "I would shake his hand and say, 'How are you doing, it's really nice meeting you.' "

On the excruciatingly (for fans) methodical way the offense played in the final six minutes of the Super Bowl when the Eagles were trailing the Patriots by 10: "The play calling was a little slow, maybe, but [the criticism] made it look like we were just kind of standing around."

On whether he vomited during those late Super Bowl moments, as some teammates suggested: "No, at no point did I throw up."

On whether he was insulted when the Eagles traded him within the division to Washington: "I was more happy that it was over."


Click here to read the complete Donovan McNabb interview on GQ.com.


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.

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