Hours after being released by the Vikings, quarterback Donovan McNabb appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to discuss the situation with Jay Harris.
“I thought it was best suited for Christian [Ponder] as well as Joe [Webb] to get an opportunity to develop and mature in the offense which they’ve had and I just wanted to be the guy to try to add that confidence and sort of that spiritual advice to provide for those guys to better them,” McNabb said. “But I just thought the best move for me at this particular point was to move on and clear my thoughts and clear my head and see what’s next.”
So what’s next? Asked to explain what a new team would be getting, McNabb rattled off his attributes. “You’re bringing a veteran who can bring experience to your ball club, athletic ability, a guy who is not a locker room cancer, he works hard — great work ethic and only wants to win,” McNabb said. “And you know I’m a winner and I’ve proven that, and a guy who will make the players around him better.”
Of course, McNabb apparently was able to make the players around him only so much better. “I think we began to lose focus of this being a team game,” McNabb said. “The teams in which I’ve played with, you know, a lot of great athletes, a lot of positive things, but nothing to really show for it. Obviously, the quarterback is the one who receives a lot of the credit, and as well as too much criticism. Being the leader of the team, you just want to prepare your team each and every weekend, while you’re being prepared as well. The teams with which I’ve played with, unfortunately we weren’t able to accomplish the things that we wanted to in the winning department, but still individually each and every person can move on, including myself, and possibly have a better life somewhere else.”
So what will that better life entail for McNabb? “Being surrounded by a great supporting cast,” McNabb said. “When you’re surrounded by experienced players and veteran players who know how to win, then that’s something that’s contagious. And I think there are a lot of teams who are in desperate need of a quarterback at this particular point who are surrounded by veteran players, and teams that play well together. So for myself it’s really an opportunity for me to at this particular point clear my head, concentrate on the goal and the task at hand and get back to thinking and getting out on the field and playing the way that I know I’m capable of playing.”
There actually aren’t “a lot” of teams who are in “desperate need” of a quarterback and “who are surrounded by veteran players.” There are, as playoff contenders go, two. The Bears and the Texans. And the Texans reportedly aren’t interested.
So that leaves the Bears.
Regardless of the destination, McNabb sounds ready to play. “Taking time is very important, although I’ve spent enough time resting so to speak in this last couple weeks, so I am pretty fresh,” McNabb said. “But you know what the thing about it [is] you have to refocus your mind on being the guy back out there again, and I look forward to that.”
McNabb, who described his last two seasons as “exciting” (which is sort of like calling a visit to a funeral home “scintillating”), seems to acknowledge the possibility that no one will want him.
“There’s always Plan B, but one that I’m not focused on at this particular point,” McNabb said. “Clearing the mind and getting the body back where it needs to be is the most important thing. But if anything was to happen, I have a career that I can look back on and be very excited about.”
Exciting, but ultimately unfulfilling. But not just because of McNabb’s ability. Because of his supporting cast.