December 15, 2003 |
As the Eagles prepared for tonight's game against the Miami Dolphins, they went out of their way to say nice things about Ricky Williams, the running back who created a frenzy in Philadelphia without ever having played in the city. Through no fault of his own, Williams was responsible for the boos directed at Donovan McNabb on draft day in 1999. "It was like the theater of the absurd," Brad Childress, the Eagles' offensive coordinator, recalled last week. Childress had a great seat inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden that Saturday afternoon in New York when the Eagles announced that they had taken McNabb, the quarterback out of Syracuse, with the second overall pick.
September 23, 2007 |
On Monday, I sat down to write a column about Donovan McNabb. The intent then was to exonerate the Eagles quarterback for last week's inept loss to Washington. As anyone who studied the game films has by now revealed, McNabb's receivers usually were bottled up like ketchup. And on the last play of a still-winnable game, Kevin Curtis dropped a potential first-down pass that was in his hands. McNabb had missed a wide-open Curtis two plays earlier, and his quarterback rating of 68.8 is 24th in the NFL. It would have been an interesting football debate.
November 18, 2002 |
Get up, Hugh Douglas said to himself. Get UP. The Eagles defensive end watched Donovan McNabb lying on the Veterans Stadium turf yesterday afternoon and could not wait to see his teammate stand up and walk off the field. "If Donovan went down, something was wrong," Douglas said after the Eagles' 38-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. "He doesn't stay down that long. " But when McNabb got up and walked to the sideline under his own power - a sprained right ankle, everybody was told at the time - he appeared to be OK. In fact, he returned to the game and threw four touchdown passes before leaving the game in the fourth quarter to give backup Koy Detmer mop-up duty.
August 5, 2010 |
BETHLEHEM - Such is the magnetism of crime and rumor that, in his annual State of the Winless address, Jeffrey Lurie largely was spared a grilling on topics of real importance. Instead, the Eagles' owner spent most of yesterday's yearly press conference defending his decision to retain controversial ex-convict Michael Vick after Vick's latest indiscretion. The trade of Donovan McNabb? The rise of Kevin Kolb? The looming labor issue that could shut down the sport? The possible change in schedule that could result in 18 regular-season games?
August 6, 2010
EXACTLY two years ago this week, I wrote a column about Brett Favre in which I essentially called him a crybaby. It was shortly after his Hamlet-like turn with his future in the NFL, when "to play, or not to play" became his pathetic mantra. As I said then: "There is something unseemly in the way that people like Brett Favre cling desperately to their place in the sun, refusing to give worthy successors their shot at the brass ring. " And my final jab, an attempt at humor that failed miserably with at least one fan who told me to stop writing about sports and go back to needlepoint: "Instead of walking gracefully off the field to the roar of the fans, he executed one of the worst quarterback fakes in the history of the sport.
December 6, 2012 |
The last time Andy Reid handed over his offense to a rookie quarterback, it was part of a carefully designed plan to develop Donovan McNabb into a franchise quarterback. That isn't the case as Nick Foles takes his place at the top of the depth chart. Nothing about the Eagles looks carefully designed. They have lost eight games in a row and Reid is very likely in his final season - not his first. It is not an ideal environment for a rookie quarterback. That is why Foles' fellow 2012 draftees - especially Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson - have been handled delicately by their coaching staffs.
January 4, 2009 |
Correll Buckhalter's skills as a sage analyst of his profession are a lot like his skills as an Eagles running back: seldom used and often underappreciated. With the Eagles miraculously in the postseason and favored to advance beyond today's wild-card game against the Minnesota Vikings, Buckhalter was asked New Year's Day what could possibly go wrong for his team inside the Metrodome. "A lot of people didn't think we could lose to the Redskins," Buckhalter said. "If you don't take the right approach preparing through the week, anything can happen to you on Sunday.
February 7, 2005 |
When Donovan McNabb ran onto the field at the start of Super Bowl XXXIX last night, Eagles fans everywhere erupted in an emotional outburst of hope and joy. But at that moment, it was pride, not passion, that brought a lump to the throat of a feisty old man in Columbus, Ohio. "I like that McNabb a lot," Ralph Goldston said. "I guess we've got something in common. " They do. Black skin. A silver-and-green uniform. And a connection in Eagles history. Fifty-three years before McNabb led this franchise to its first Super Bowl appearance in nearly a quarter-century, Goldston, a running back from Youngstown State, and another Ohio native named Don Stevens became the first blacks to play for the Eagles.
November 7, 2006 |
One of the most prized possessions for just about every kid in the late 1980s was a pair of Nike Air Jordans. Donovan McNabb wasn't any different. "Well, my dad wouldn't buy them for me," the quarterback said yesterday after the Eagles returned from their bye week and conducted a practice at the NovaCare Complex. "But then we went to a Nike outlet in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and I saw a pair of Jordans that weren't that expensive because it was an outlet. My dad looked at me like I was crazy, and I was like, 'Well, at least I tried.
September 17, 1999 |
Though the apprenticeship of Donovan McNabb has moved behind the scenes, it remains every bit as intense. Maybe more so. "The whole coaching staff gets with Donovan," offensive coordinator Rod Dowhower said. "We get a strobe and we shine that bright light on him and we make him sweat. " Dowhower was kidding about giving McNabb the third degree, but there is a second-degree urgency in the Eagles' continuing training of their first-round draft pick. The first degree is dedicated to the weekly task of game planning and preparing the team for the next game.