Westbrook: Jordan had Pippen, I had McNabb

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Westbrook: Jordan had Pippen, I had McNabb

July 30, 2013, 10:00 am
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Donovan McNabb, seen here in 2000 hopping a defender, will have his No. 5 retired by the Eagles on Sept. 19. (AP)


1. All-time leader in passing yards - 32,873

2. All-time leader in touchdown passes - 216

3. All-time leader in games played at QB - 148

4. All-time leader in completions - 2,801

5. All-time leader in wins at QB - 92

The quarterback battle of Nick Foles, Michael Vick and Matt Barkley has occupied most of the training camp attention. But on Monday, another quarterback stole the show.

Donovan McNabb officially retired with the Eagles, and his No. 5 jersey will be retired when the Kansas City Chiefs come to Philly on Sept. 19 (see story).

After the team's training camp practice on Monday, Chip Kelly and former teammates of McNabb discussed their thoughts on the legacy of No. 5.

Brian Westbrook:

"So many times there is a duo in sports, so many people play with another person. [Michael] Jordan had [Scottie] Pippen. I had Donovan McNabb. To be able to say that is a special thing for me. It's meaningful, and I just want to thank [Donovan] for that, and thank [Donovan] for the opportunity in allowing me to share the football field with [him]."

Michael Vick:

"These are moments that players like us can't miss. Those are the moments we're striving for, and we want to get there some day. Every player in that locker room desires to have a 12, 13-year career and be successful at it."

"My relationship with Donovan is a great friendship that I think will extend for a long time outside of football. The information and the things he's been able to give me and instill in me throughout our time in 2009 was invaluable. Those were the things I'll never forget. I watched him closely. I watched him on film, watched him in the field. I felt like I was finally playing with a guy I admired and a potential Hall of Famer."

Brent Celek:

"To be able to be in the same huddle as him as a rookie was an honor. And then to be able to play with him and catch a lot of passes from him, from a legend like that, it meant a lot to me. It gave me a lot of confidence as a young player, him believing in me, I owe him some credit to where I'm at today."

Jason Avant:

"When you take all those things into consideration and his whole body of work, you'll definitely realize that Donovan McNabb was great for the city."

Todd Herremans:

It was kind of a recap of everything he has accomplished for the franchise. It was a lot that he's done. I was just very happy for him and happy that I could be there. It's a bittersweet day, some guys go through it. I was talking to Tra [Thomas] about it and he's like, 'It's hard to hold your emotions in and get the words out that you want to.' Donovan, I think he held himself very well and he delivered a good message to everybody.

Herremans on whether or not McNabb received a "fair shake" from Philly:

"I think so. Things didn't go probably the way he had planned towards the end, but they usually don't towards the end of people's careers."

Brian Dawkins on McNabb's two most memorable plays:

"The one against Dallas when he held the ball and hit Freddie on the run. And the other would be against Washington, when he outran Bruce Smith to the corner and broke [Mark] Carrier's -- he shook him. It was like an old playground, Pop Warner move with his shoulders. Those are the two that stand out for me."

Chip Kelly on NBC Sports Radio:

"The first thing that stands out is toughness. I think that point, people don't realize how tough a quarterback has to be."

"The famous Arizona Cardinal game where he broke his leg and threw four touchdown passes, I don't know how many people would do that. But I think the toughness aspect that the quarterback plays is very, very underrated and doesn't get enough credit. But for guys like Donovan that stood in the pocket and take a rush like that ... I think as a coach and understanding what it's all about, I have a special place in my heart for guys like that because it's a tough game and it's probably the toughest position that no other position do they ask you to stand still and let people hit you, everything else you get to try to run away from them."

"So that part, when I watched him play it was ... you watch him and it's not something that's coached either. I think it's something that you come with. The ability to keep plays alive, that play against the Cowboys, where he continues to scramble around and gets the ball down the field. I know he reminds me, I think, big Ben Roethlisberger does it now, continuing to make plays like that with his feet and to keep the play alive, not to just turn and tuck it and take off. But to still know where your receivers are when there's kind of chaos going around you, it's a quality that not a lot of guys have, but it was fun watching him play."

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