McNabb on GQ

Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb did an interview with GQ.  Here are some of the highlights:

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb (L) chats with tight end Chris Cooley on the bench during the second half of their pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Maryland, August 21, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

So were you upset the Eagles traded you within the division?
I was more happy that it was over. Every year for the last three or four years, it was the same drama, me and Brett Favre, going back and forth, “Is Brett going to play, is he not, are the Eagles going to trade Donovan, is this it for Donovan McNabb?” Brett does what he wants to do, he’s his own man. For me, I just believe in keeping everything to myself and continuing to stay focused on the goal at hand—to win a Super Bowl no matter what team I’m with.

You’re a pretty placid guy. Some people take that to mean you don’t care.
The people in the Eagles locker room and the people in that building know how much I care, and am truly passionate about it. If they come out here and watch me train, they’ll understand. If I’m in 112-degree weather working out, then I truly care, and when I step out on that field, I care. You can’t focus on what people may think. Everyone has their own opinions, and if they express it to me, I say ‘Thank you for sharing that with me,’ because that bothers them more, when you don’t get upset.

What was the secret to your relationship with Andy Reid?
He stuck his neck out to draft me when he had the Mel Kipers of the world and some scouts who said, “He’s not accurate, he’s going to take three, four, five years to learn a West Coast offense.” Our relationship is so strong that I can finish his sentences sometimes. We laugh about it. When I’m out on the field, if he calls a play and I can’t hear it, I’d look back and mouth “What is it?” and he’d just say, “Just call something.” I’d go out there and probably get a first down or we score or whatever, and he’d say, “Why don’t you just call the whole game?” and I would say, “I’ve been waiting on that.”

I asked Governor Rendell if he had any questions for you, and he said to ask you if T.O. had not gone crazy, how many Super Bowls would you have made it to?
The whole T.O. situation, it was unfortunate, to say the least. When we both decided to make that move and bring him over to Philadelphia, the atmosphere changed in the locker room, the atmosphere changed in the city of Philadelphia. Every time we stepped out on the field, it wasn’t, “Are we gonna win?” It was, “How much are we gonna win by?” and everyone had that confidence in the locker room that they were going to make a big play to either score or put us in position to score – I’m talking about defense, special teams, offense. And it’s unfortunate how everything panned out afterwards, and we’ve talked about it to this day.

The NFL Network did a show on the league’s top ten feuds, and you and T.O. were number six. You don’t seem like a feud guy.
It’s so funny because they always try to bring that up, and the clip that they show, we weren’t feuding then. The whole feud happened in the offseason. When he was walking behind me at the Pittsburgh game, he was actually trying to calm me down. At that time I believe we were 7-0, and we went out there playing like a team that was 1-8 or something, and he was trying to calm me down: “Hey, we’re going to get this thing going, don’t worry about it, talk to the O-line, just give them some time.” After he talked to me, he went and talked to the offensive line. Then if you remember, we played that game, and then we played Dallas the next Monday night, and we re-enacted it, I was following him and made fun of the whole deal.

Here’s the question every Eagles fan wants to know. It’s the Super Bowl, you’re down by 10 to the Patriots late in the fourth quarter. Why did that touchdown drive take so damn long?
We were trying to figure out if T.O. was in or if T.O. was out, because of his leg. T.O. wanted to be in. We were trying to rotate different guys in and get the personnel together and things of that nature. The play calling was a little slow, maybe, but it made it look like we were just kind of standing around. We were hustling, it was just blown out of proportion.

What was the secret to your relationship with Andy Reid?
He stuck his neck out to draft me when he had the Mel Kipers of the world and some scouts who said, “He’s not accurate, he’s going to take three, four, five years to learn a West Coast offense.” Our relationship is so strong that I can finish his sentences sometimes. We laugh about it. When I’m out on the field, if he calls a play and I can’t hear it, I’d look back and mouth “What is it?” and he’d just say, “Just call something.” I’d go out there and probably get a first down or we score or whatever, and he’d say, “Why don’t you just call the whole game?” and I would say, “I’ve been waiting on that.”

I asked Governor Rendell if he had any questions for you, and he said to ask you if T.O. had not gone crazy, how many Super Bowls would you have made it to?
The whole T.O. situation, it was unfortunate, to say the least. When we both decided to make that move and bring him over to Philadelphia, the atmosphere changed in the locker room, the atmosphere changed in the city of Philadelphia. Every time we stepped out on the field, it wasn’t, “Are we gonna win?” It was, “How much are we gonna win by?” and everyone had that confidence in the locker room that they were going to make a big play to either score or put us in position to score – I’m talking about defense, special teams, offense. And it’s unfortunate how everything panned out afterwards, and we’ve talked about it to this day.

The NFL Network did a show on the league’s top ten feuds, and you and T.O. were number six. You don’t seem like a feud guy.
It’s so funny because they always try to bring that up, and the clip that they show, we weren’t feuding then. The whole feud happened in the offseason. When he was walking behind me at the Pittsburgh game, he was actually trying to calm me down. At that time I believe we were 7-0, and we went out there playing like a team that was 1-8 or something, and he was trying to calm me down: “Hey, we’re going to get this thing going, don’t worry about it, talk to the O-line, just give them some time.” After he talked to me, he went and talked to the offensive line. Then if you remember, we played that game, and then we played Dallas the next Monday night, and we re-enacted it, I was following him and made fun of the whole deal.

Here’s the question every Eagles fan wants to know. It’s the Super Bowl, you’re down by 10 to the Patriots late in the fourth quarter. Why did that touchdown drive take so damn long?
We were trying to figure out if T.O. was in or if T.O. was out, because of his leg. T.O. wanted to be in. We were trying to rotate different guys in and get the personnel together and things of that nature. The play calling was a little slow, maybe, but it made it look like we were just kind of standing around. We were hustling, it was just blown out of proportion.

Do you regret being honest enough to say you were confused about the overtime rules?
The media wants you to be honest and up front with them, and then when you are, they just throw the dagger at you. “Oh, what was he thinking?” There were a lot of responses from other players who said the same thing I did, and then when the referee tells you, “Hey, you get another five minutes to go after this quarter…” Nobody talks about that.

You’re in the game and the ref…?
We’re in the game, and we go off on third and out, they’re out there, and I’m like, “Hey, we need to get this thing going, how much time is left?” I’m looking at the clock and the ref is like, “We’ve got another five minutes after this quarter if no one scores.” [Editors note: Yep, that's what he said. The NFL had no comment.] I didn’t think nothing of it, but I did hear it. It was a mistake on my part. I’ve got to know the rules.

To learn more about…
To learn more about Mike Shanahan, his approach, things of that nature, to learn more about [his son] Kyle Shanahan as an offensive coordinator. I think it’s important, if we’re going to work together, we need to know a little more about each other, and more than just me talking to them. I need to talk to some other people, and I’ve been learning a lot on the run. We’ve been running through OTAs [organized team activities], three minicamps, working out at the facility, and I’ve been at the facility more in Washington than I have in Philadelphia, so I’ve been putting that time in and trying to get the understanding together, the chemistry with the guys. I think it will pay off.

You’re a veteran, but you don’t know all these Redskins that well. And then Albert Haynesworth stages an epic holdout. Did you weigh in?
Yeah, what I tried to tell Albert was just to come in, talk to [defensive coordinator] Jim Haslett yourself, you can’t hear Jim Haslett telling you one thing, then you have [general manager] Bruce Allen telling you another thing and Mike Shanahan telling you another. Come and talk to Jim Haslett yourself, find out exactly what he wants you to do, come to minicamp–it’s only three days–come to three-day minicamp, see where they’re at, and make a decision from there.

And he said…
[laughing] He said he was going to be there for the mandatory one. And then I just looked up on TV and found out he wasn’t coming.

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