Former Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was brought to this franchise as the Eagles' first round draft pick in 1999. From the start, he was expected to turn the team into the perennial playoff contender that the fans have become accustomed to.
He was a double threat guy: McNabb displayed a strong arm and could gun sling the football down the field but also had an uncanny ability to run like a tailback, scrambling from defensive players, and, amazingly, breaking free from many of them if they did manage to get their hands on him.
It is how McNabb carved his name into the NFL world, spending his entire career in Philly doing it, and setting almost every team record in the process.
Now, after all his success with the Eagles, he must face them as a Washington Redskin twice a year—with an offensive line that isn't even close to being as good as the Eagles'.
Even though they signed RG Artis Hicks, RT Jamaal Brown, and used their first round draft pick to select LT Trent Williams, the Redskins still won’t have the type of offensive line that will allow McNabb the time he will need to get rid of the ball.
Remember, one of McNabb's biggest flaws is that he tends to hold the ball, looking for a play to emerge rather than letting the players make the play.
The Redskins' potential new look across the O-line are all playing together for the first time so there will be a lack of chemistry there, at least through the first few games, which could set them back.
On the other hand, the Eagles have spent their off season assembling a full fleet of pass rushing threats across the defensive line, mainly at the defensive end position.
Check out a previous article of mine here to take a look at the players the Eagles acquired at defensive end.
It is going to be very odd to see the Eagles' relentless defense, under defensive coach Sean McDermott, attack a man the city of Philadelphia grew to love on the playing field.
McNabb is very familiar Eagles' veterans Trent Cole and Jaqua Parker. He knows how Cole is capable of producing near double-digit sack seasons, even if he is being double teamed.
McNabb is also aware that Parker is another solid end who put up eight and a half sacks in 2009 and will be looking for more.
However, with the Eagles' addition of three new faces at the defensive end position during the off season, each capable of bursting through the line at any time, the Washington Redskins' new and improved offensive line could still experience trouble containing the Eagles front four—or any front four.
The Redskins have done a fine job trying to create camp battles with quality players with the very little they have had to work with, but will it be enough to make them contenders in 2010?
I would be surprised if it were.
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