McNabb won't pick a horse in Eagles QB derby

A QB reunion. Michael Vick greets former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had urged coach Andy Reid to sign Vick after his release from prison in 2009.
A QB reunion. Michael Vick greets former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had urged coach Andy Reid to sign Vick after his release from prison in 2009. (   CLEM MURRAY / Staff)
Posted: July 31, 2013

When Donovan McNabb was the Eagles quarterback, he spoke with the media only twice a week during the season.

Some thought that he spoke too little, and that perhaps more access would have helped others better understand him. But now that he has a TV gig with Fox as a football analyst along with a daily radio show, McNabb is talking all the time.

And he has opinions on everything - except, it seems, the Eagles' quarterback competition. He wasn't touching that topic when a reporter asked him which player he thought would prevail.

"I don't know," McNabb said Monday, a day after he watched practice. "I was trying to figure out what they were doing yesterday. It's an interesting offense, to say the least. But I look forward to good things for them in the run game. I'm sure they'll develop more of a passing attack downfield than what we saw yesterday."

While McNabb stayed away from picking a horse, he did say he thought Michael Vick had more gas in his tank. He was not asked about Nick Foles or Matt Barkley, however.

McNabb and Vick, of course, have a history. It was McNabb who encouraged Andy Reid to sign Vick when the latter was reinstated in the NFL after serving prison time on dogfighting charges. McNabb said that Vick could thrive in Chip Kelly's offense.

"When it comes to changing offenses, it could go either good or bad," McNabb said. "Just from what I've seen in this offense yesterday, I look at the read option, I look at the quick-strike passing. I think that works better in his favor. I think one thing people don't realize is he has his offensive line back healthy."

McNabb pointed to Kelly's reliance on the running game at Oregon, indicating that a strong ground attack could aid the 33-year-old Vick.

"They'll run the ball. They'll take pressure off him," McNabb said. "They won't ask him to do everything . . . And their tight end group is probably the best . . . in the league."

Did McNabb's enthusiasm for Kelly's offense suggest that he wouldn't mind rethinking his retirement and rejoining the Eagles?

"I don't know what they're doing, so I couldn't tell you," McNabb, 36, joked. "But I'm sure Chip has a better understanding of how he's going to approach different teams. And just kind of talking to him, you get that feeling. I just feel like the run game is going to be where it all starts in this offense."


Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

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