Berry Stands Up for McNabb

News of Donovan McNabb's horrible accuracy, which many fans apparently think had more to do with losing the NFC Championship Game than the defense allowing four touchdowns, did not filter into the Arizona Cardinals' film assessment of their victory over the Eagles.

Cards defensive end Bertrand Berry, who works out with McNabb in Arizona in the offseason, brought up McNabb when Berry was asked Monday about NFL quarterbacks he respects. Actually, the question was about "up and coming young" quarterbacks, which McNabb, at 32, probably isn't, but Berry tossed his pal in there anyway, along with Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler and Phillip Rivers. Hey, Berry is 33 -- maybe to him, DMac is young.

"Obviously, I'm going to include Donovan McNabb there. He's one of my better friends," Berry said during the Cards' first media availability after they landed in Tampa to begin preparing for Super Bowl XLIII. "I think he's one of the better quarterbacks in this league, just the way he's able to be such a double threat, running and throwing the ball. He's got a rifle for an arm; some of those throws he made last week -- they were on the money. He hit the receivers in stride. You'd have to shoot the receivers if they'd dropped those balls."

(Bert, we have Donovan on the line for you. Something about a pistol and directions to Greg Lewis' house ...)

Berry said he has spoken with McNabb since the game.

"He just said 'Congratulations, go win it. You've gotten this far -- finish the deal. Do a little bit better than what I did.' " Berry said. "The last game was kind of tough, but we still maintain our friendship." 

Meanwhile, Mark Whipple's hiring as the offensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes seems imminent, with reports in South Florida indicating an announcement will come today. Mr. Whipple, Ben Roethlisberger's quarterbacks coach the last time the Steelers reached the Super Bowl, three years ago, could have been in line to succeed Pat Shurmur as the Eagles' QB coach if he stayed with the Eagles. Whipple worked with the Eagles as a fuzzily defined "offensive assistant" this past season, which seemed mostly about giving the guy a job until he found a better one, helping him out of a "squeeze," if you will. Looks like he has found what he sought. Whipple's first task at Miami will be a home visit with running back Bryce Brown, ranked as the nation's top high school player. Brown had committed to UM and then softened his stance when former offensive coordinator Patrick Nix was fired.