PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Donovan McNabb likes to crack jokes, play loose and be silly.
His act wore thin in Philadelphia, even though he was the best quarterback in franchise history. In the nation’s capital, McNabb is a welcomed addition. It begs the question: Are the Philadelphia Eagles better off without No. 5? Are the Washington Redskins better with him?
The answer could be yes to both questions.
But he didn’t win the big one, and the organization decided to move on with Kevin Kolb.
Though Kolb has started just two games in three seasons, he’s received high praise from coaches, teammates and analysts. He’s considered a born leader who is perfectly suited to run Philadelphia’s offense.
“He’s not like a first-time starting quarterback,” wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. “He knows what he’s doing out there. On the field, you see him directing guys where to go and what adjustments to make. It’s like he’s been doing this for years.”
While McNabb did his thing in Philly, the Redskins had a revolving door at quarterback. They used 10 different starters in 11 years and only one made a Pro Bowl _ Brad Johnson in 1999. Washington won only two playoff games in that span.
So, McNabb brings stability and a strong pedigree to a critical position.
“I think it’s more psychological for the team, because everybody knows what he’s done,” fullback Mike Sellers said. “There’s no guessing, no questioning. He’s proven. Just coming out with that mindset makes everything a lot better.”
McNabb’s success in Philadelphia is tarnished somewhat by off-field issues. He was a model citizen and class act throughout his tenure with the Eagles, but seemingly always found himself in the middle of odd controversies.
There was the famous booing on draft day, which he never forgot. There was Rush Limbaugh’s critical comments in 2003, the feud with Terrell Owens in ‘05, the halftime benching in ‘08, vomiting incidents in the huddle and three regular season-ending injuries.
McNabb’s personality sometimes rubbed people the wrong way, too, especially when he portrayed himself as a sympathetic figure or promoted his leadership skills. His critics say true leaders don’t talk about it, they just do it.
McNabb angered his younger teammates last year when he said the Eagles showed their youth after a costly loss. The final straw for many fans and some radio talk-show hosts was McNabb’s air-guitar entrance onto the field before his final game _ a 34-14 loss at Dallas in the playoffs. Would Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady act that way before a big game?
Kolb, the son of a football coach, takes a serious approach. He also leads in a quieter way.