Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb took part in a pretty revealing news conference Monday in Philadelphia. He was very forthcoming about his desire to have Michael Vick join the Eagles, and said he started lobbying coach Andy Reid before Vick was released from house arrest in July.
Perhaps wanting to clear up some reports that he'd been reading, McNabb offered a partial timeline of how things went down. Sounds like he went out of his way to let everyone know the Vick signing wasn't forced upon him.
"Just to put it out there, I brought it up to [Reid's] attention in July, before Mike got away from house arrest, before July 20th," McNabb said. "And I mentioned it to him and I said why don't we think about signing Vick and bringing him into camp and he'll get an opportunity to get his feet up under him, I'll get a chance to work with him and he'll get a chance to learn from the best. Obviously, at that time nobody wanted to put it out there if they were interested or whatever. And I just kind of reassured him a couple weeks later and just said, 'What do you think about Vick? I think it would be a great opportunity for him.' And they thought about it and obviously continued to have things happen. And hopefully with this, we can get something from it and help us out in so many ways."
The message is clear: McNabb wants everyone to know that he signed off on Vick's signing. Some people in the national media seem to think McNabb-Vick is the perfect pairing. I think those folks are being naive, in part, because of the way McNabb responded when the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb a few years ago. McNabb's never come across as the most secure guy in the world, and that's why all this seems a bit forced to me.
McNabb did have a great line when someone asked him if his decision to lobby for Vick was based on their friendship or would he do the same thing on behalf of someone like Plaxico Burress.
"I did. I brought T.O. here," joked McNabb. "I have a relationship with Plaxico as well. When you have been in this league for a while you build relationships and you want to see guys get an opportunity to continue on. And Ray [Lewis] was able to get his feet back under him and move forward as well. I'm sure Plaxico, hopefully, will get an opportunity to do so as well. Michael, there are a lot of guys who have gotten into certain situations, maybe not as deep as this one but, you just want to see guys get another chance."
McNabb was quickly asked if Burress could help the Eagles.
"I don't think he would hurt," McNabb said. "We have some great guys here at our receiver position. But, whatever you can do to enhance the team, you would look into it."
To be clear, McNabb never indicated that he was lobbying for the Eagles to sign Burress. And here's one more interesting quote from McNabb. Asked if he would be worried about getting hurt and then potentially losing his job to Vick, he said:
"I don't understand why. It wouldn't be any different with Kevin [Kolb]. I've been through many situations throughout my career where if I got injured or someone wasn't liking the way I was playing, they cheered for the backup or whoever they wanted to cheer for was the one they wanted in. It happened with [Jeff] Garcia, it happened with Kolb, it happened with A.J. [Feeley]. So I'm used to that. That's not the reason why this is going about right now. And I think it's a situation where I can kind of be a mentor for him and give him an opportunity to get his feet up under him and get his life together. And for us, the guys that are out there, to stay healthy and just play or game and to have fun doing it."
Is it just me or will this be the most scrutinized mentorship in the league?