Donovan McNabb to Call NFL Games for Fox During 2014 Season

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb looks on from the field prior to the game between the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. McNabb will have his jersey retired at halftime of the game.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Fox Sports is mixing things up this year in its NFL broadcast booth, with former Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb highlighting a variety of new color-commentator hires announced Wednesday.

According to an Associated Press report, McNabb is scheduled to be part of a three-man rotation with veteran broadcaster Dick Stockton for the upcoming season. Fellow ex-NFL signal-caller Brady Quinn and linebacker Kirk Morrison will comprise the three-man rotation. There is no word on whether the trio will split the assignment evenly or if more of a hierarchy will be established through the regular season.    

Stockton, 71, has become a reliable play-by-plan man to pair with green color commentators looking to get a jumpstart. In recent years he's worked with John Lynch and Ronde Barber, both of whom have worked their way up the ladder within one or two years. Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing notes that the Stockton/McNabb/Quinn/Morrison pairing will be the network's sixth broadcast team, meaning they will mostly handle locally broadcast games.

Dick Stockton at the International Press Conference at the Super Bowl XL Media Center in the General Motors Building in Detroit, Michigan on February 3, 2006.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Fox also announced former New York Giants lineman David Diehl will be joining the network on the fourth broadcast team with Thom Brennaman. Diehl, a 2009 Pro Bowler, retired in January. He joined Fox as a game analyst in May.

McNabb has worked for Fox Sports 1 since its inception, working primarily on Fox Sports Live, the network's answer to SportsCenter. He will continue his work on Fox Sports Live while calling games. Quinn, who is still working out in hopes of continuing his NFL career, signed on with Fox last week to call college football and NFL games. Morrison appears on Fox Sports 1 and hosts a radio show with Bill Reiter.

Philadelphia Eagle's QB Donovan McNabb with the ball during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX between the Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Of course, the most notable news of the day belongs to McNabb, by far the most accomplished on the field of the trio. The former Eagles, Redskins and Vikings star made six Pro Bowls and took Philadelphia to Super Bowl XXXIX. He retired after the 2011 season, having thrown for 37,276 yards (17th all time) and 234 touchdowns (22nd). The Eagles retired his No. 5 last September.

His bonafides as a broadcaster are a little more up in the air. Writing about the hire for USA TodayChris Chase dove into some of his Fox Sports 1 segments and came away with a negative review:

It’s not that McNabb’s a bad talker, it’s that he’s proved incapable of speaking in television-appropriate soundbites during his brief time on TV and was never very good at explaining his play or knowing the rules during his career. Every sentence becomes a paragraph. Most of those paragraphs somehow reference his playing career. 

Then again, McNabb is used to skepticism. The entire city of Philadelphia was ready to burn down when the Eagles selected him with the second overall pick in 1999. It's safe to say that worked out for the Eagles—just as Fox hopes some seasoning will make him an excellent game analyst. No one can say for sure until we hear him in the booth.

Just one piece of advice, Donovan: If a game goes to overtime, let Dick do the talking.


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