Is Donovan McNabb the next John Elway?
Up until the big trade a couple days ago, I never thought I'd be writing that sentence. Even so, the team's news conference that made it all official earlier today really didn't make my head spin like maybe it once would have.
We've had some time to get used to the idea that the 11-year starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles would probably be traded elsewhere.
The fact that McNabb was traded to an NFC East rival did seem odd at first. But, then again, Green Bay legend Brett Favre spent last season wearing the purple and gold of the Packers' biggest rivals, the Minnesota Vikings ... and the Earth kept spinning.
McNabb, perhaps a bit jaded by now, didn't see the big deal about putting on a Redskins uniform. "I don't think it will be any different at all," he said.
He actually has a point. As McNabb pointed out, he will be 34 this year, the same age Elway was when he started working with Shanahan. Up to that point, Elway was known as a great quarterback who couldn't win the big one -- he had lost in the Super Bowl three times and also lost once in the AFC championship game. But three years after Shanahan became the Broncos' coach, Elway was a two-time Super Bowl champ.
The rap against McNabb has been basically the same -- he can't win the big one. One loss in the Super Bowl, four losses in the NFC championship game -- it wasn't good enough for some Eagles fans. And he was more or less run out of Philadelphia.
So if McNabb experiences the same late-career magic with Shanahan that Elway did, those Eagles fans will have nobody left to boo but themselves.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Donovan McNabb is introduced as a member of the Washington Redskins. Credit: Rafael Suanes / US Presswire