Donovan McNabb learning new system

When I caught up with Redskins Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo via phone Sunday, he was still amazed that Donovan McNabb is playing for his team.

"It was so strange to see him out there in our colors," said Orakpo. "I spent my first season learning how to hate the Eagles, and all the sudden McNabb's on our team. But I've been a big McNabb fan since I was growing up. Having him here is pretty special."

I'll have more from Orakpo on Monday, but this weekend has been all about McNabb. On Sunday, he talked to reporters about what it was like to learn a new offensive system.

"I feel like a freshman just getting into college," said McNabb following the final session of a three-day minicamp at Redskins Park. "You spend extra time studying at night so when you do come here, you can win the guys over by knowing what you're seeing and being able to get the ball to different guys."

McNabb has been watching film of the Houston Texans' past three seasons to get an idea of what the Skins will do under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. But mainly, this weekend was about spending time on the field with his new teammates. Coach Mike Shanahan has been impressed with McNabb in every way.

"There is a sense of urgency," Shanahan said of his new quarterback. "He’s a natural leader the way he handles himself with his teammates. Just the way he goes about his business. Anytime you have a guy who’s a natural leader it’s very easy to see."

Shanahan is even impressed with the way McNabb handles news conferences.

"I always liked the way he handled himself with the media," said Shanahan. "I thought he always handled himself in a class manner, and some of the toughest questions I’ve ever seen asked to somebody were some of the questions I’ve seen Donovan handle. I thought he handled it with as much class as anybody I’ve ever seen, and he handled himself the same way on the football field with his teammates. He’s a guy that has a lot of talent, and at the same time has a lot of charisma and class."

You can read about Orakpo's role in Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme on the NFC East blog Monday. We'll also have Shanahan's latest thoughts on Albert Haynesworth.