Donovan McNabb did not jinx the Phillies, when he read the starting lineup aloud before Game 5 of the World Series, back on Monday.
McNabb, who heard speculation to the contrary during the 2-day wait to complete the game and the historic championship, wants to make sure everyone is clear on this.
"That's right!" McNabb declared after yesterday's practice, in which he wore a visor to protect his left eye, poked in last Sunday's 27-14 victory over the Falcons. "[That's] for everybody that thought it was a [bad] omen when I did it, and they almost lost!"
McNabb acknowledged texting Jimmy Rollins, Charlie Manuel and Ryan Howard after the Phils' victory. Rollins reportedly read aloud in the victorious clubhouse McNabb's text, which Rollins related as: "Congrats, my dude. The streets is hot. Enjoy it for ya boy. We up next."
Indeed, the Eagles will be the next Philadelphia pro team to have a chance to win a championship. Super Bowl XLIII is 3 months from tomorrow, in Tampa, of all places. The 4-3 Eagles aren't favorites to get there right now, but, hey, when the Phils were 3 1/2 behind the Mets coming down the stretch - well, stranger things have happened. Almost certainly.
"The fans deserve it," McNabb said, in reference to the Phils' title. "The Soul, they started it this year. Now the Phillies. It's a big day. Hopefully, we'll follow along with it and keep it going."
McNabb noted that in addition to his own frustrating Super Bowl XXXIX experience, he has been in town for a Sixers finals berth that didn't produce a championship, and three Flyers runs to the Stanley Cup semis.
"Now I've seen a team here in Philadelphia win the whole thing," he said. "I bought some memorabilia on Sunday when I went to [Game 4] that says 'World Series,' got some of them to sign it, so I'll be framing that."
Then he joked: "Might put it on Ebay, maybe 10 years down the road."
"You know what? It's an exciting deal," McNabb concluded.
Asked if watching the Phils win made him ponder how close the Eagles came to being the team that ended the drought, that 24-21 loss to New England after the endless touchdown drive, McNabb said he felt it would be less upsetting to think about the upcoming opportunity, the chance to follow the Phils' lead.
McNabb was asked if he thought Philly fans might become a little more tolerant of miscues, a little mellower, after finally winning. McNabb said he doubted it. "That's not going to change. But that's part of the game we play. Fans want to see [success], they're opinionated, and now they get a chance to enjoy it. I'm excited for the Phillies and the fans."
So, last week, when Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson were listed as the starting wideouts, we all thought that meant Jackson had moved ahead of Reggie Brown on the depth chart - only, it turned out that Brown wasn't ready to play on an injured groin after all. But this week he seems to be ready, and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg indicated that if the Eagles end up starting just two wideouts against Seattle, they indeed will be Curtis and Jackson.
Mornhinweg also was asked about the continued problems with short-yardage running, which put them in a late squeeze against Atlanta before a bad call on a muffed punt that wasn't iced the game.
"It's been different on each occasion," Mornhinweg said, when asked to provide specifics about what keeps happening. "We're going to continue to spend time on it, continue to put some thought in schematically about it, and I fully expect us to get better at that, and get better at it real quick."
It's scary how much like Andy Reid that Mornhinweg can sound, when he wants.
Tight end L.J. Smith (concussion) didn't practice again yesterday, which made it seem increasingly unlikely that Smith will fly across the continent on the off chance he might improve enough to play Sunday . . . The Eagles expect to have all six of their wideouts available Sunday for the first time this season. It's unclear if all six will be active, though, especially since, if Smith doesn't play or is in any danger of not making it all the way through, you have to activate tight end Matt Schobel in addition to Brent Celek. *