McNabb insists he'll be back

Donovan McNabb and Ryan Kalil look on during practice at the Pro Bowl on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Donovan McNabb remains convinced that he will remain an Eagle.

Furthermore, he insists that's exactly what he wants.

After practicing with the other players on the NFC roster this morning at a Fort Lauderdale High School, McNabb was surrounded by a large media gathering here to cover the Pro Bowl.

In a later one-on-one interview with the Inquirer, McNabb said he takes Eagles coach Andy Reid at his word when he says he will return next season as the team's starting quarterback.

"That's all that matters," McNabb said. "I heard it when he said it to you guys, but I heard it before anyway. I think a lot of people look too far into things with all the assumptions about what could happen. (Reid) told everybody I'm going to be there and I'm his guy. I don't see anything that anybody else should look into."

McNabb also said he wants to be in Philadelphia even though he's about to endure another offseason debate about whether or not he should remain the Eagles' quarterback. He said that doesn't bother him in the least.

"It really doesn't," McNabb said. "What's wild about it is when you go somewhere, that's what everybody brings up: 'Hey, man, where you going to be?' "

McNabb said his answer is always the same: "Uh, Philly."

"It would only affect you if you allow it to," McNabb said. "This isn't my first go-around with it. I've been going through this the last three or four years."

Unlike a year ago after the season ended, McNabb is not lobbying for a contract extension or alteration even though he's about to enter the last year of his current deal.

"I don't think we should really focus on that," McNabb said. "I love playing the game and that's what it comes down to. I am under contract for another year. We don't know what's going to happen in 2011. We just don't know. If I have to come back and play (in Philadelphia), hey that's great. I would love to. I love this team and I love being around these guys and competing. I think good things could happen for us."

McNabb insisted that he has never given much thought to playing elsewhere.

"No," he said. "I let other people think about that. For me, the grass being greener is really what field you're playing on. When you're in Philadelphia, obviously, there are ups and there are downs. I've been a part of it for 11 years, so I don't let it affect me."

Even though the Eagles' season ended with consecutive lopsided losses to the Dallas Cowboys, McNabb believes this team could still be a Super Bowl contender in 2010.

"We're not far away at all," McNabb said. "We went on a six-game winning streak, we made good things happen with an explosive offense, the defense came around, everybody started playing well and then those two games hit, which was unfortuate. But it happens. It happened to us against the Cowboys, it happened to the Cowboys against Minnesota and to Minnesota against the Saints."

You can read more about McNabb and the other Eagles at the Pro Bowl in tomorrow's Inquirer.