Five Questions for Donovan McNabb

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has been around for a long time now. Nobody on the roster has seen the highs and lows of football in Philadelphia like he has.

Sometimes McNabb opens up and tells you how he feels and other times it seems as though he responds to questions with the company line. He is funny—at least he tries to be—and usually very genuine in his responses.

If I could lock McNabb in a room and assure him his privacy when responding, these are the five questions I would ask the star quarterback.

Do you feel that you have reached your potential with Andy Reid as your head coach?

This questions is not designed as an attack on the all time winning-est coach in Eagles franchise history but is intended to gauge McNabb's thoughts on whether or not he can achieve more under a new, or modified, offensive system.

I would expect that McNabb would express gratitude for everything Reid has done for McNabb's career because, face it, Reid has done much to develop McNabb to what he is.

Under Reid McNabb has appeared in five NFC Championship games, more than any other quarterback in their time together besides Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick. Once in those five trips to the conference finals did they advance to the Super Bowl. They have also engineered five NFC East championships, and McNabb has been sent to five Pro Bowls.

It would be difficult to say Reid had nothing to do with those accomplishments, but it is equally difficult to imagine "What if...". What if McNabb was playing under a different style of offense? Would he be better? Worse? About the same?

The day you were drafted there were a bunch of Philadelphia fans heard booing. The common misconception is that they were booing you. What is your official take on that instance?

Look, I hate to bring this area of conversation up but as a Philadelphia area native I know that the fans were not specifically booing McNabb. What could 30 Eagles fans have against a player coming out of college? McNabb had not said anything negative about the Eagles to give fans the reason to greet him with boos.

The reason the fans came off the way they did is because they were organized to go up to New York on draft day and welcome their most prized possession in draft history with a raucous greeting in his support.

The idea was to show just how good Eagles fans can be. The player they thought they were going to greet was Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams from Texas. Instead the selection was made for a quarterback out of Syracuse and the fans were thrown off guard.

Anybody would tell you that it was a huge misunderstanding however the perception given off my the McNabb supporters, and critics alike, is that he has never let that moment go. Sure it stings, but does he really care about that incident on draft day?

I am giving you a chance to play with any team in the history of football (professional or college) as the starting quarterback for one game. What team would you want to play on and why?

Growing up in Chicago I would think that McNabb would lean towards the great Bears teams of the 1980's. Imagine the Super Bowl Shuffle squad with McNabb replacing Jim McMahon.

Or would the Syracuse alum want to go back deeper in history and play alongside Ernie Davis on the Syracuse teams of 1959-1961? I am guessing he would not surprise me by saying he would want to play on the Tennessee-Chattanooga team between 1993 and 1995.

Who are your biggest football influences?

I would like to know what players McNabb watched and aspired to be like as he grew up playing football. What players does he mold his career after? Was he a home town guy and worshipping Walter Payton? Chicago does not have a great history of quarterbacks so perhaps he studied other passers in the league.

I would be curious if Randall Cunningham would be on his list because for a long time McNabb made some plays that would have Eagles fans questioning who was better?

What do you want your legacy to be when you retire from playing the game?

Every player must think about their legacy at some point. I would expect that the answer would be that McNabb was the quarterback to bring a Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia, but I would want more information.

Does he want to be remembered as a play making quarterback? Does he want to be remembered for the division titles or appearances in the NFC Championship games? Surely he does not want to be remembered for the bad losses in those games, but there will come a time when he is respected for the achievements he has received.

Perhaps McNabb will want to be remembered as a fun loving teammate who would always crack jokes. That is the beauty of this question to McNabb. You have no idea what he will say.

There are many more questions I would ask McNabb if I knew he would answer them honestly. What would you ask him if given the opportunity?

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