Redskins' McNabb: 'It feels like being drafted again'

Ex-Eagle aims to make Washington competitive

  • Donovan McNabb holds up his Washington Redskins jersey with coach Mike Shanahan.
Donovan McNabb holds up his Washington Redskins jersey with… (Getty Images )
April 07, 2010|By Rick Maese | The Washington Post

ASHBURN, Va. — — The last time Donovan McNabb held up such a jersey, his last name and the familiar No. 5 hastily stitched in foreign colors, he was 22 years old and just hours removed from the NFL draft. Then, just as now, the expectations found his shoulders with much more force than celebratory confetti flakes.

The colors are now burgundy and gold. The name, the number and the haughty expectations, though, are the same.

"It feels like being drafted again," McNabb said Tuesday, less than 48 hours removed from the Easter trade that took his career from Philadelphia to Washington. "You've been selected by a new team. You're going through all the emotions of learning new plays, being with the guys, working out. So it feels like I'm about 22 again."

But now he's 33, with 11 years of highs and lows behind him - and he hopes more years of highs ahead. While some will deride his age, he said he comes to Washington with experience that will again make the Redskins competitive in the NFC East. The six-time Pro Bowl selection is in position to know, having won five division titles from 2001 to 2006.

"Every time we stepped out on that field, we felt confident that we could win, and I look forward to bringing that to Washington," McNabb said.

Coach Mike Shanahan introduced his new starting quarterback at the news conference. Team owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen watched from the back of the room.

McNabb wasn't the only quarterback in the building Tuesday. Colt McCoy, a draft prospect from Texas, was in town for a visit. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford landed in Washington later in the afternoon and had dinner with coaches in the evening. The one quarterback who was missing from the mix was last year's starter, Jason Campbell, who, people close to Campbell indicated, has decided to stop attending the team's offseason conditioning program.

Despite acquiring McNabb, Shanahan would not rule out the possibility of using the No. 4 pick to select a quarterback in this month's draft. The team opted against canceling visits this week with McCoy, Bradford and Florida's Tim Tebow. In addition, the Redskins are still scheduled to travel and hold private workouts for both Bradford and Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen this month.

"We go according to our draft. We're going to take a look at that board. There's a lot of possibilities," Shanahan said. "You got free agency, you have the draft, you've got possible trades."

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