As if hearing the whispers that he had lost something due to injury, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was back on the practice field for the first time in since last November, eager to prove that he was still one of the best throwers in the National Football League. McNabb, who has made more headlines off the field this past offseason, participated in non-contact drills in what was his first on the field action since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Novmeber 19th.
First there was the sitting back and watching as Jeff Garcia led the Eagles to the NFC East title and the divisional round of the playoffs, where they fell to the Saints. Then there was the talk that the team should get rid of McNabb and keep Garica, which didn’t happen as Jeff signed with the Buccaneers. Then the team drafted QB Kevin Kolb in the second round with their first pick, reportedly making McNabb upset as if they were pushing him out.
Now though, he is back on the field, and reports say that day one of the new McNabb looked good. “It felt great to get back out there on the field with all of the guys,” McNabb said. “It’s just part of the rehab process and hopefully good things will continue to come. It’s important to continue to monitor my progress, but also be smart about the whole situation.”
The team had at first thought that McNabb would not be able to be back on the field until training camp opened next month, but Donovan has something to prove, which is why he pushed hard during rehab to be out there with his teammates on Monday. “He’s where we hoped he would be,” coach Andy Reid said. “He worked very hard to get to this spot, so we let him test it out. He looked strong.”
McNabb seems to be trying hard to overcome the media and fans idea of what he is about as a person and a player. Over the past few weeks, he has hired a former Eagles PR official to be his publicist, and has done several interviews to try and reshape his image. On the field, all the Eagles want is for him to stay healthy for the first time in two years. They got lucky with Garcia playing way over his head last year, but if McNabb goes down in 2007, likely the Eagles success will go down with him.