August 01, 2013
By Donald Hunt
Special to the NNPA from The Philadelphia Tribune
Donovan McNabb made it official on Monday, retiring as a Philadelphia Eagle during a press conference at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia.
Jeffery Lurie, Eagles chairman and CEO, made the announcement and talked about McNabb’s brilliant career with the Eagles.
“We’re really honoring one of the greatest players in the history of the Eagles,” Lurie said. “He’s certainly the greatest quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles. Simply put, when all is said and done, this man, No. 5, Donovan McNabb, was a franchise changing quarterback. Those words are not spoken very often.
“On the field, the numbers speak for themselves. He’s the franchise leader in every major category: yards, completions, touchdowns, quarterback ratings and most important — wins. He led the team to five NFC East titles, seven playoff appearances in his 11 years here, including five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. Donovan ranks among the all-time greats in the NFL.”
McNabb will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame and have his No. 5 jersey officially retired by the team on Sept. 19 in front of the fans at Lincoln Financial Field in a nationally televised game against the Kansas City Chiefs. That should be a special moment for McNabb. Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid is now the head coach of the Chiefs. Reid drafted McNabb in 1999 out of Syracuse with the second pick overall in the NFL Draft.
McNabb played 11 years with the Eagles. He is one of the top passers in NFL history. He became one just four players in NFL history to throw for 30,000 passing yards, 200 touchdown passes, 3,000 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in his career, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers John Elway, Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young. The six-time Pro Bowler has a special place in Eagles history.
The Eagles had a video presentation of McNabb’s career prior to the press conference. The showed some of his greatest highlights as an Eagle. McNabb was really touched by the recognition.
“I want to thank Jeffery Lurie and the Eagles organization for this unbelievable honor,” McNabb said. “To be mentioned with the likes of Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Chuck Bednariak, Tommy McDonald, Brian Dawkins and others players who have paved the way for me and for former teammates and the current players. It’s truly an honor to not only be the first pick in the draft in 1999, but to be your starter for 11 years. But most importantly, to be inducted into the ring of honor and have my number retired.”
Serveral of McNabb’s ex-teammates were there to support him such as running back Brian Westbrook who reflected on their playing days with McNabb.
“I enjoy being your friend,” Westbrook said. “A big part of my career was playing with you. So many times there was a duo in sports. [Michael] Jordan had [Scottie] Pippin. I had Donovan McNabb and to be able to say that is a special thing to me.”
McNabb finished as the Eagles’ all-time leader in pass attempts (4,746), completions (2,801), yards (32,873) and touchdowns (216).