Eagles Wake-Up Call: Reid Back By McNabb’s Side

photo (48)Donovan McNabb said that 65 friends, family members and former teammates will be in attendance Thursday to watch his No.5 go into the rafters. His parents, Sam and Wilma, will be there. Brian Dawkins will emcee the ceremony. Chad Lewis, Correll Buckhalter, Jon Runyan, Bobby Taylor, Jamaal Jackson and more are expected to show.

And, by no coincidence whatsoever, his former head coach will be in the building as well.

“That was part of the decision-making,” said McNabb to a small group of reporters Wednesday evening at Lincoln Financial Field. “I wanted him to be a part of it. I think it it’s rightfully so, for me to go into the ring of honor and have my number retired, I want the person who was more than responsible for it, took a chance on me, stuck with me for 11 years and had success with me [to be there.]”

It was often said that the coach and quarterback were “attached at the hip” during their time in Philly. But Easter, 2010 served as a reminder that all unions in the NFL are temporary. McNabb was shipped to Washington, and headed south with a bad taste in his mouth. The negative feelings lingered for a couple years.

A lot of the ice was chipped off during a face-to-face meeting with Reid in March.

“We had lunch together at the [owners] meetings in Arizona. He ate more tacos than I did,” said McNabb. “It was needed. I wish it could have happened earlier but it was needed. We were able to talk about a few things and get some stuff out on the table. I think that conversation alone has given us the opportunity to move forward.

“I thought that it was important that we sat down and looked each other eye-to-eye and got a chance to talk about a few things.”

Such as?

“First and foremost I wanted to know whose decision it was to move on, and what was the next step? What was your game plan when you decided to trade me? Was it to play Kevin Kolb or start a new regime to see what happens?”

Did he just blame Joe Banner?

“No. Well…No,” he said, drawing laughs.

McNabb did not reveal the answers to those questions, but obviously felt good enough with the answers to move on. And, as he gets set for Thursday’s retirement ceremony, he appears to be in a good place when it comes to the relationship with both the organization and his longtime coach.

That doesn’t mean he’s ready to take a bullet for the Chiefs’ head man. Reid has been joking that he wants McNabb to come out of the tunnel with him Thursday night to absorb any of the potential punishment that might come his way from Eagles fans.

“No I told him if they boo him, they’re booing him,” said McNabb. “I’m not being a part of that one.

“Andy’s just going to keep the same straight face, he’ll probably pump the fist or something. I think the fans will truly show their appreciation for what he was able to do here.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Good All-22 look from Sheil on how Chip Kelly is getting DeSean Jackson loose.

What will the Eagles do to mark McNabb and Reid’s return?  Here’s a look. 

Stanford head coach David Shaw talks to The MMQB’s Peter King about Kelly.

Here’s a link to the Birds 24/7 podcast if you missed it. How can you resist Kapadia in stereo?

The Eagles sign cornerback Roc Carmichael.

Checking in on Fletcher Cox.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Ray Didinger shares an interesting conversation he had with Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi before the 1999 draft.

Accorsi knows a quarterback when he sees one and he was high on McNabb. He stunned me by comparing McNabb to Roger Staubach. “He is like Staubach,” he said. “He can do everything.”

Accorsi related a story from the Scouting Combine.  He was in a restaurant one evening and a group of players were seated across the room.  All were college stars in town to take part in the combine testing.  They were from different schools and different conferences. Most had not met prior to that week.

“All through the meal I watched them,” Accorsi said.

Hey, when you’re a GM, you never stop scouting. And what did Accorsi see?

“McNabb ran the show,” he said. “All the conversation, all the energy revolved around him. He just had a way about him. The other guys – and, remember, they’re all big-timers themselves – deferred to him. He had that ‘It’ thing we talk about.  I thought, ‘That’s a quarterback.’”

Bob Ford notes that Thursday’s game marks the end to the Eagles’ prime time schedule.

There is always the possibility, if the Eagles win more than expected, that some of their late-season games could be switched to showcase programming, but that seems like a long shot right now. Thursday’s game will probably be the last one in the national glare and if it also represents the final closing of the door on the Reid Era, then bring up the lights, cue the Liberty Bell and the city skyline and offer a hearty farewell to the guy who made the team a prime-time staple in the first place.

COMING UP

Game day. Eagles host Reid and the Chiefs at 8:25. We’ll hold a live chat during the game.

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  • nicksaenz1

    I, for one, hope we don’t get anymore prime time games. I hope we win more than expected, but, if at all possible, and I’m aware that’s a big if, but if possible, I’d like to fly as low under the radar as possible. Hype hasn’t served this team well.

  • Alex

    Both coach Reid and McNabb should not be booed, they brought us hope after all of these ugly years…

    Hope it will not turn out like it was after Reggie and BDawk’s for our current eagles though

  • knighn

    The story about McNabb at the combine doesn’t surprise me. There were similar circumstances reported a time or two when he was at the Pro Bowl – he’s there with all of these stars and he was their center of attention. The man has charisma. Unfortunately that charisma did not always come through in front of the cameras. With the press he was often too defensive or guarded. On the football field fans wanted a more serious field general, not someone smiling as if he actually enjoyed his job (God Forbid)!
    McNabb got too much blame when he was our QB. He still does.

    • borntosuffer

      Guess TO wasn’t at the dinner ;-).

  • SJNobes

    Don’t forget, Radio’s favorite target, the ground, will also be there!

  • Andrew

    I hope that the fans cheer with reckless abandon tonight. If they don’t then I think we should bring back Kotite and Rhodes along with Detmer, Pederson, Hoying, and Bubby Brister. Best years of Eagles football in a LONG time and they deserve the cheers.

    Could you imagine being the Cleveland Browns or the Detroit Lions?

    • BlindChow

      I hope they cheer with abandon if Andy has to blow a timeout at the top of the 2nd.

      • Andrew

        TOTALLY on board for that one.

    • morgan c

      Honestly it almost brings a tear to my eye. Say what you will, but we always had a shot with those two together. Double digit wins basically every year, and the playoffs. They elevated Philadelphia to a first-class organization.

  • cliff henny

    jesus, how many times does Mcnabb have to come back till he isnt ‘coming back’ anymore. guy got a 5 minute standing ovation when he came back as a ‘skin. he’ll get his repect for what he did on the field, the guy gave a ton to Philly. he was one of my all-time favorite players w/ Dawks, but i wont listen to mcnabb, Dawk has more staying power. liked Reid as a coach for 13 yrs, it’s not like his record isnt respected, but his personality maybe in private is tremendous, but he never even got close to Buddy Ryan level. Buddy sucked as a coach, but man was he fun. cant say i liked Reid as a person, he gave us fans nothing, which is fine, how he wanted it. CK has already given more to the fans in his pressers in 6 months than Reid did in 14 yrs.

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    If only the Eagles could get a GM like Accorsi. Instead, we have been run by Banner and now Howie. Want to know why Jeffie won’t win an SB, it’s because he won’t pick a real GM and let him run things. “Gold standard” my eye.

  • borntosuffer

    It was time for both of them to go when they left. That being said, I’d cheer loud and long for both if I was in attendance.

  • HaroldAngstrom

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Just kidding. Hope he’s cheered. Loudly. Not rousingly, but loudly. 75-85% effort.

  • Explorer51

    Interesting to think what McNabb would have done with a Chip Kelly offense; he was smart and had all the physical tools. Plus Kelly would have made sure he was surrounded by offensive talent. #5’s legacy may have been very different here.

  • JofreyRice

    boooooo!

  • HolidayinCambodia

    I would like to see T.O. show up. Who wouldn’t be on board for that drama?

  • Andy

    Those two guys probably put a major hurting on that Phoenix tacqueria.

  • Mike

    This whole thing is a farce. It’s Laurie grasping at the past pushing the false-reality that it was a golden era of Philadelphia Eagles football.

    Was it a good era, yes, but to act like it is the equivalent of the 80’s 49ers or 90’s Cowboys is ridiculous.

    McNabb was the best QB of all time for the Eagles, but that doesn’t make him worthy of a ring of honor and retiring his number. You should need to be IN the hall of fame before that happens. Same with Dawkins.

  • Ray

    Nothing but love and respect for Andy. He made me proud to be an Eagles fan. People who grew up in the ’00s don’t know how low it got in the 80s and 90s. Like any divorce, it wasn’t pretty in the end but why dwell on the bad times, we were good together and ruled the NFC for half a decade. This is probably the last time we will see him on the sideline in Philly and unless you’re made of stone, that should mean something to you.