The enlightening eight part series “The Deciders” by the Philadelphia Inquirer wrapped up Sunday with a grand finale: the story behind Donovan McNabb’s departure from Philadelphia.
Since I’m writing this post on a bus without enough coffee to write coherently, here’s a list of things I learned from the article. Lists are easy.
1. The Eagles officially decided to trade McNabb in early March, although the move felt “inevitable” by then. (Of course Andy Reid was publicly singing another tune.)
2. Unsurprisingly, Reid appeared the most ambivalent about the trade. “I think either one of these guys are top-quality guys and we can win [this year] with them,” Reid essentially said, according to Banner. “It wasn’t an easy decision, just a slam dunk, for me,” Reid said.
3. G.M. Howie Roseman and offensive coordinator Marty Morningweg become true Kolb believers after Kolb’s two-game stint as starter. Both men and owner Jeff Lurie point towards Kolb’s leadership skills. “His intangibles are off the chart — off the chart,” Lurie said.
4. The locker room was undeniably in favor or Kolb. Guard Todd Herremans: “The younger players in the locker room kind of wanted to see Kevin take
over and get their own print on the team. As long as Donovan was on the
team, it was going to be his thing, not the young kids taking over.
“We would’ve loved to play
with Donovan another year. But the majority of the locker room was
leaning toward Kevin.”
5. McNabb truly wanted to stay in Philadelphia behind closed doors. It wasn’t a public posture. His agent had to lobby to McNabb that a change of scenery could be a good thing, not that “Five” ultimately had a choice.
6. McNabb’s personal feelings really were taken into account, perhaps the most remarkable part of the entire episode. This is where agent Fletcher Smith made his money. Some within the Eagles thought a deal was done with Oakland. The Bills were interested. The Eagles delivered McNabb to a better situation.
It’s an odd way to learn it, but who says there is no loyalty in professional sports?