Washington Redskins: Donovan McNabb Works Out with the Eagles on His Basics

Josh McCainSenior Writer IJune 23, 2011

DETROIT - OCTOBER 31: Kyle Vanden Bosch #93 of the Detroit Lions hits Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins during the first quarter of the game at Ford Field on October 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, Donovan McNabb made comments that during the lockout he was back to working on the basics—his throwing motion, footwork, etc.

Then on Wednesday he was spotted working out with his old team, the Philadelphia Eagles, according to CSNPhilly.com's Dave Zangaro. Zangaro reported that McNabb was laughing it up and having a good old time with his former team.

As a fan and someone who covers the Redskins for Bleacher Report, I'm a bit put off by both things.

First, one of the things Mike Shanahan was trying to work on with McNabb was his throwing motion. A quick look at just about any pass from last and you'll see poor and off-balance foot placement. Also because of his poor mechanics McNabb one-hopped a lot of passes to receivers under 20 yards.

Apparently trying to calmly work on flaws in his game isn't that appealing to McNabb; it takes drastic action by a coach to actually make the veteran see the holes and want to improve.

In a way it's kind of a slap in the face to the Redskins franchise and fans that Donovan McNabb suddenly wants to work on his basics.

Where was this urgency to improve last offseason?

If you compound McNabb's resistance to work on his throwing motion with his alleged refusal to wear a play-calling wristband, then you have a diva quarterback who was too concerned with people thinking he was less than perfect than a quarterback who would humble himself in order to make the team better.

John Beck and Rex Grossman combined do not have half the God-given talent that McNabb has, but what they do have is a willingness to do whatever the coach asks of them in order to make the team better. 

Honestly, that is what this team really needs—leaders who will work on whatever the coach feels is a weakness. If a player sees the starting quarterback taking the coach's advice and works on something simple like footwork, then he'll probably less resistant if the coach asks him to work on some sort of basic skill.

Humility can be contagious and get the rest of the team to start working on things that will make them better.

Now on to McNabb working out with the Eagles. 

Other players—Justin Tryon comes to mind—have worked out with former teams during this lockout and honestly it's not that big of a deal because the players who have done this have done it when their teams weren't working out, and have shown up to their team's own camps.

McNabb hasn't shown up to a single Redskins practice.

Yes, it's no big secret that the Redskins are probably going to deal McNabb as soon as they can, but everyone likes to talk about the class McNabb has and the team-first guy that he is.

If he is really a team-first guy and he's still on the Redskins, why not show up and work with Beck and Grossman and help make them better?

I think back to 2007 when the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb in the second round and the big stink McNabb made about them drafting a quarterback.

Don't be fooled by McNabb's smile and his polite exterior. The guy only cares about himself. He's no dummy and he'll show and happy-go-lucky side to the press but if he really cared about his team he'd be helping them.

Shoot, Rex Grossman isn't even on the roster and he's at the player practices working with the offense. Maybe if McNabb would have shown the same willingness Grossman and Beck have shown he wouldn't have gotten benched last season and this team would have finished better than 6-10.

However, McNabb had to do it his way.

I remember the comparisons to former Denver Broncos' quarterback John Elway when McNabb came to D.C.

People were saying that McNabb was at the point in his career that Elway was when Shanahan became the coach of the Broncos.

Shanahan was going to revive McNabb's career and get him over that hump and win a Super Bowl.

However, there was a major difference between Elway and McNabb.

Elway tried to do things his way at first with Shanahan.

Shanahan threatened to bench him because Elway's way wasn't working. Elway decided to try it Shanahan's way and, lo and behold, he won back-to-back Super Bowls.

That's not to say that McNabb would have won a Super Bowl in D.C. had he listened to Shanahan; however, his refusal to at least try to do it the coach's way sent this team into a disastrous 2010 and 2011 isn't looking too bright right now.

McNabb has vowed to make whatever team he plays for next season better and he'll have a great year in 2011. Honestly, I doubt he will. It won't be too hard to play better than his 2010 season, but with little time to adjust to his new offense the start of his 2011 season will probably equal to his 2010 season.

Maybe McNabb is past his prime. Maybe he was a system quarterback and Andy Reid knew how to hide his flaws. One thing is for sure: McNabb can't wait for the 2011 season to kick-off so he can attempt to prove all the doubters wrong.