Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

McNabb's motivation

Donovan McNabb and his motivations.

McNabb's motivation

It is a dynamic as old as sports, the circling of the wagons (or, in the modern day, the circling of the Escalades). A pro team comes back from a rough patch and declares that everybody was against them all along, that nobody believed but the people in the dressing room. You have heard it a million times.

You aren't really hearing it from this Eagles team, though -- except for quarterback Donovan McNabb. He is into a complete victimization-as-motivation mode. As he said after Sunday's beatdown of the Cowboys, "They've thrown me out, ran over me, spit on me, but you know what, I continue to prevail. I kept my chin high, staying positive and making sure that the guys in this locker room understand that if given the opportunity we would take full advantage of it; that last week just wasn't us, and if anything worked in our favor with all these scenarios, I would not let them down."
 
Spit? Well, OK.

Whatever it takes.

Some people are insulted by all of this. That's a little short-sighted. Because McNabb has been criticized through the years -- never more so, at least implicitly, as when Eagles coach Andy Reid benched him at halftime against Baltimore last month.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: this man has always used criticism as fuel. Even if he is embellishing or inventing a little here, well, so what?  He has been  inconsistent  this season.  The benching was entirely deserved even  if the timing was lousy -- I mean, what chance did Kevin Kolb have against that Ravens defense without any pre-game preparation?

Three things happened after that day: Brian Westbrook got healthier, the play-calling got adjusted, and McNabb settled down. And if McNabb is fueled now, increasingly, energizingly, by whatever criticism has come his way, that's all good. If he wants to point at the name on his jersey after a big play, that's all good, too.

Right?

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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