According to Andy Reid, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has become a better leader since the departures of Brian Dawkins, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.
"Guys that have been here a long time aren’t here," Reid said today at the NovaCare Complex. "He is that senior guy. ... Now he is it and he has a bunch of young guys around him, more than he has before, at this stage in his career. He even had to step it up a notch from what he did before, he always did a good job, but he just took it up another notch.”
McNabb said that the notch is at the same level it has always been.
“It’s really no different than what I’ve been doing the past couple of years," he said. "I think that at this particular point right now, because those guys are gone, that I guess they probably hear my voice a little bit more or pay more attention to what I’m saying."
Through most of his ten years in Philadelphia, McNabb has dealt with criticism over his leadership abilities.
“It’s always been overrated," McNabb said. "I think if you are a rah-rah guy that’s who you are. I’ve answered this for the last I don’t know how many years, but you say what you have to say and you prepare yourself to go out and play well. In certain [situations] you have to step up and talk to guys and communicate with them and make sure they’re on the same page. This isn’t me that you just sit and yell at them every day or yell at them every week. Some guys need it, some guys can take it, some guys can’t.”
So is McNabb a better leader or this whole leadership thing overrated nonsense? What say you?
In injury-related news, Reid said that Westbrook will be available to play Sunday against Dallas. The running back practiced today and, barring a setback with his concussion, is "good to go" for the NFC East showdown.
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis (knee) is out for Sunday and won't return to the area until next week, Reid said. Curtis is in Utah recovering from knee surgery.
The following players did not participate in practice today: defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee), defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley (knee), defensive end Chris Clemons (shoulder) and linebacker Chris Gocong (quadriceps/hamstring).
Safety Macho Harris (ankle) returned to practice after sitting out all of last week and missing the Giants game. Guard Max Jean-Gilles (shoulder) practiced, as well, but Reid said his status for Sunday was still up in the air.