Of Course Donovan McNabb Thinks He's a Hall of Famer

Of Course Donovan McNabb Thinks He's a Hall of Famer

Donovan McNabb was a guest on 97.5 the Fanatic this morning to talk about the news that he'll be coming back to Philadelphia this fall to retire as an Eagle. He throws some cold water on the idea that the ceremony will take place the week Andy Reid and the Chiefs are in town, pointing out that nothing has been set in stone. McNabb also reflects on what it will be like to return to Philly after being traded away, whether or not his No. 5 jersey will be retired by the Eagles, and whether or not he thinks he's a Hall of Famer.

Shocker: Donovan McNabb believes he is a Hall of Famer.

You can listen to the entire interview here. Thanks to 97.5 for the quotes.

Also, if you missed it this morning, Kulp wrote that McNabb does not deserve to have his number retired by the Eagles. Read it. Argue.

On when the ceremony will be…

McNabb – “I never put out the fact that it was going to be the Kansas City Game. I don’t know where that came out. I said that that I will be retiring as a Philadelphia Eagle and that they will be retiring my number at Syracuse.  Everybody kind of speculated the whole Kansas City game.”

On returning to Philly to retire after being traded away:

McNabb – “When I was traded to the Washington Redskins obviously there was some upsetness and some doubt. I wanted to step away and kind of think about – reflect on – the great times in Philadelphia. What better a place to go back and retire and close the chapter of my NFL career than to be back in Philadelphia and do it in front of those great fans.”

On the date and ceremony when he retires:

McNabb – “We haven’t chosen the date yet. The ceremony is something that we’ve been communicating back and forth. I want [the retirement ceremony] to be something that is special. Not only for me but for the fans. We’re discussing some different things that we want to get done, that I would like to see get done. Everything right now is in the works, nothing is written in stone. It was just one step of acknowledging that I wanted to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. As things continue to break down for the particular event I’ll let everyone know exactly what is going on.”

Have they discussed retiring your number 5 with the Eagles?

McNabb – “We haven’t gone that far in different things. Syracuse is definitely retiring my number. I know [the Eagles] retired Dawkins’ number and that was well deserved. He deserved to be retired and no one should ever wear #20 again. We’re talking about different things. Everyone will know more information as we continue on. […] That comes down to Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie being the great owner of the Philadelphia Eagles obviously took a chance on me and Andy Reid in 1999. That’s will be Jeffrey’s decision as to what the next steps are.”

On his legacy:

McNabb – “You don’t play to say ‘I’m going to be a Hall of Famer, I’m gonna be this, I’m gonna be that.’ You play the game to make your mark, to build your legacy and how you wanted to be remembered. Stepping away from the game I think I made a good mark.”

Do you think your number should be retired? What do you expect the fan reaction will be like?

McNabb – “That’s really not my call. I would love for that to happen but if they don’t I won’t be upset about it. And with fan reaction I just hope that they just appreciate everything that we were able to accomplish as a team over a decade.”

On Andy Reid’s Week 3 return to Philly:

McNabb – “That’s a great weekend. I might actually be back if [the retirement ceremony] is not that day for Andy. He’s a great coach. He stuck his neck out for me, drafted me when there were questions about can I play in the NFL. He took a chance on me with the second pick.”

Are you a Hall of Famer?

McNabb – “If you ask me and I had all the votes to put me in I would say yes.”


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Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

It sounds like the Eagles will be out without a member of their secondary for a while, perhaps the rest of the season.

A league source tells CSN's Derrick Gunn that Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks will require surgery to repair an injury to his right knee. The Philadelphia Daily News' Les Bowen is reporting the injury is a serious quadriceps rupture that will end Brooks's first season as an Eagle and put him on the shelf until next summer's training camp.

Brooks was carted off the field after attempting to make an open-field tackle during the first quarter of Sunday's 21-10 win over visiting Minnesota. Brooks stayed down on the field for several minutes before his leg was stabilized and he was placed on a cart.

Brooks, 28, is primarily the Eagles' slot corner, but he's also a standout on special teams. A free-agent who left Buffalo to sign a three-year deal with the Eagles this past offseason, Brooks has 12 total tackles and a pass deflection this season, the LSU grad's fifth in the league.

Malcolm Jenkins slid over to slot corner in Brooks' absence Sunday, which allowed Jaylen Watkins to come in and see more playing time.

If Brooks is placed on injured reserve, the Eagles will have an open roster spot, possibly for another corner.

Doug Pederson: Eagles rebound after getting 'lip bloodied a little bit'

Doug Pederson: Eagles rebound after getting 'lip bloodied a little bit'

They were great before the bye. They were bad since.

The Eagles rallied against the Lions only to lose late because of two turnovers. Then last week at Washington, they laid an egg.

But on Sunday, they looked like the pre-bye team — at least defensively — and handed the Vikings their first loss of the season.

"This is a team that for two weeks in a row has kind of got their lip bloodied a little bit," head coach Doug Pederson said after the 21-10 victory (see Instant Replay). "The Detroit game, obviously feeling sick about that one, and then last week in Washington not playing well and up to our potential.

"These guys are professionals. They know how to get themselves ready to go. I don't feel like I have to motivate them. ... They really took it upon themselves this week to really make the corrections, No. 1, from last week and the adjustments. The veterans, the leadership stood up today, took command of the game, and that's what you like to see from this group."

More from Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz:

The defense
If the Eagles were going to win this game, the defense would have to dominate.

It did (see story).

The Vikings finished with only 282 yards from scrimmage — or 52 more than the Redskins rushed for last week against the Eagles.

The Eagles held Minnesota to 93 yards rushing (3.4 per carry) and battered Sam Bradford, who was 24 for 41 for 224 yards with a pick and a garbage-time TD. They sacked him six times (they had zero last week) and forced him to fumble four times. Bradford entered the game without a turnover this season.

"I think the guys just put it in their mind to play better than last week," Pederson understated. "Our defensive line really came off the ball today, really took it upon themselves to just attack the line of scrimmage and play on their side.

Two of the Eagles' three takeaways occurred in the red zone and in the first quarter, when the game was scoreless. They picked off Bradford on 3rd-and-goal at the 6 and forced a fumble on 1st down at the 17.

"It's huge," Pederson said. "Our defense playing as well as they did down there and stopping them. ... It was fun to watch our defense today. That's the defense that we expect every week going forward."

Bring the heat
The Eagles blitzed more than they had all season (see story). 

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz prefers to let his front four bring the pressure, but it hadn't worked the last two weeks, and now they were facing Sam Bradford, who was familiar with the scheme.

"Anytime you know a quarterback on the other team and kind of know his strengths and weaknesses and things like that — just try to give him some different looks, put some pressure on him from different areas," Pederson said. "It was a great game plan. ... Sometimes just changing things up to help your guys be in position — we benefitted from that today, and guys did a nice job."

Going for two after a made PAT
Midway through the second quarter, Pederson took a point off the board and decided to go for two after the Vikings were penalized for hitting Caleb Sturgis on an extra point, which was successful.

Wentz made the conversion with a QB sneak.

"It was kind of a no-brainer, because you get the ball at the 1," Pederson said.

"I've got a lot of trust in our guys. If you don't work those situations in practice and talk about those situations, then yeah, negative things can happen. But I felt totally 100 percent confident in our guys to execute that play."

Another "no-brainer"
Pederson hasn't been afraid to go for it on fourth down — the Eagles entered the game 4 for 4 on fourth downs — and on Sunday he converted another.

On the aforementioned drive, the Eagles faced a 4th-and-2 at the Vikings' 44. After unsuccessfully trying to draw the Vikings offside, the Eagles called timeout ... and sent the offense back out to go for it.

"Sometimes at that point, they feel like you're going to rush the punt team out there and burn the timeout," Pederson said, "but I went with the offense. I just had total confidence that we were going to get the first down.

"It was a kind of, again, a no-brainer — almost like the two-point conversion."

The play was an run-pass option ... until Wentz dropped the snap. He then ran six yards for the first.

"Obviously when he dropped it, at that point, it was run all the way," Pederson said. "But great execution."

"One more shot"
With 15 seconds left in the first half, the Eagles had the ball at the Minnesota 17. 

Pederson sent out the field goal unit for a 35-yarder, but when the Vikings called timeout to ice Sturgis, it gave Pederson time to change his mind.

The offense came back onto the field. Wentz threw incomplete to Jordan Matthews in the end zone, and then Sturgis came back and hit the field goal.

"Take one more shot," Pederson said. "Max the protection. It's two-man route. It's either a completion or an incomplete pass."

Wentz said there was "a little indecisiveness on the sideline," but once the play was decided on ... 

"It was just a max protect throw to Jordan or throw it away," Wentz said. 'It was pretty plain and simple: Don't take a sack."

All's well that ends well
Wentz botched a handoff. He threw two ugly interceptions in the first quarter. 

OK, those things happen (see Wentz's overall evaluation).

But he also dropped three snaps. How?

"I'm not really sure," Wentz said. "I just have to catch the ball, for starters. Some of them were a little off, but those are the things that we have to clean up."

On one of the dropped snaps, he converted the 4th-and-2. On another, he recovered and found Darren Sproles for a 19-yard gain.

Now, about those interceptions. On the first, he overthrew a blanketed Brent Celek. On the second, he forced a throw to Nelson Agholor with too much purple around.

"That one was 3rd-and-12, and there's no need to force that one," Wentz said. "As a quarterback, sometimes that happens. There's really no rhyme or reason. You see things and you kick yourself in the tail after the play, but you learn from it and move on."

Picks aside, Wentz's numbers weren't pretty — 16 for 28 passing for 138 yards with a TD. Pederson said Wentz "might have been pressing a little bit early" but overall "played efficient."

"Love the way he settled in," Pederson said. "There was no panic for him and any of us on the sideline."

Big V
Wentz was sacked five times last week. On Sunday, he wasn't sacked at all.

The Eagles at times max-protected, but they also benefitted from the improved play of rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was in his second game in place of suspended Lane Johnson.

Pederson said he didn't help Vaitai as much as he did against Washington.

"I felt he kind of settled in this week, did a nice job," Pederson said. "The run game obviously helps. ... We were in some two tight-end sets a little more today, and that obviously helped him a little bit. We'll evaluate the film tomorrow, but I thought overall he did a nice job."