On Wednesday, at Redskins Park, the team made it clear that it is looking to Donovan McNabb to be a leader on a team that has struggled for some time now.
“Donovan, he’s not a big yeller, but it means a lot to him, it’s important to him,” said Redskins’ offense coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He said McNabb has been “grinding” to learn the team’s new offense, and that fellow players know that they have to follow his lead.
McNabb said he was working hard – quizzing himself on the playbook, taking film home – but said it would take time and patience.
That’s something many in Philadelphia ran out of, but that McNabb may have in Washington. While McNabb was the face of the Eagles from 1999 on, the Redskins in that same period, they have started at quarterback: Brad Johnson, Tony Banks, Jeff George, Shane Matthews, Patrick Ramsey, Danny Wuerffel, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell and Todd Collins.
Center Casey Rabach said McNabb’s experience was “what we desperately needed on offense, was for a quarterback to come in here and be a leader and play to a high caliber.”
Rabach said McNabb had been welcomed by the team, which he said enjoys his sometimes playful nature.
Asked about reports that a Redskin had used HGH, McNabb cracked, “was my name mentioned? You know, I’ve been recently losing weight.”
Later Artis Hicks, a onetime Eagle teammate, approached from the back of the press corps and shouted, “how do you feel about the recent hair loss over the last couple of years?” McNabb smiled.
- Jonathan Tamari