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Archive for Monday, September 17, 2007

McNabb not likely to be ‘Houdini’ tonight

September 17, 2007

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— Donovan McNabb had shown only flashes of his running skills until a game against the Redskins seven years ago instantly turned him into an elite scrambling quarterback.

McNabb was in his second season in the NFL and his first full year as a starter when the Eagles visited Washington in Week 13 of the 2000 season. The game had important playoff implications for Philadelphia, which was only two years removed from a 3-13 finish.

Against the Redskins on Nov. 26, McNabb displayed moves that could make any running back envious. He frustrated defenders with hurdles, jukes, power and pure speed, finishing with 125 yards rushing - at the time the most by an NFL quarterback in 28 years.

"He's Houdini," teammate Brian Mitchell said after that game.

It'll be a different McNabb when the Eagles (0-1) entertain the Redskins (1-0) at Lincoln Financial Field tonight.

The five-time Pro Bowl QB is playing his second regular-season game since tearing a knee ligament in Week 11 last year.

He had a so-so performance in a 16-13 loss at Green Bay and didn't seem too eager to run out of the pocket unless necessary. McNabb scrambled four times for nine yards against the Packers, and completed fewer than half of his passes (15-for-33) for 184 yards, one TD and one interception.

"Well, the explosion is not where it was when I was healthy, but it will get there again eventually," McNabb said.

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