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Of Course Donovan McNabb Thinks He’s a Hall of Famer

May 16, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT

Image (1) mcnabb.jpg for post 485279

Donovan McNabb was a guest on 97.5 the Fanatic this morning to talk about the news that he’ll be coming back to Philadelphia this fall to retire as an Eagle. He throws some cold water on the idea that the ceremony will take place the week Andy Reid and the Chiefs are in town, pointing out that nothing has been set in stone. McNabb also reflects on what it will be like to return to Philly after being traded away, whether or not his No. 5 jersey will be retired by the Eagles, and whether or not he thinks he’s a Hall of Famer.

Shocker: Donovan McNabb believes he is a Hall of Famer.

You can listen to the entire interview here. Thanks to 97.5 for the quotes.

Also, if you missed it this morning, Kulp wrote that McNabb does not deserve to have his number retired by the Eagles. Read it. Argue.

On when the ceremony will be…

McNabb – “I never put out the fact that it was going to be the Kansas City Game. I don’t know where that came out. I said that that I will be retiring as a Philadelphia Eagle and that they will be retiring my number at Syracuse.  Everybody kind of speculated the whole Kansas City game.”

On returning to Philly to retire after being traded away:

McNabb – “When I was traded to the Washington Redskins obviously there was some upsetness and some doubt. I wanted to step away and kind of think about – reflect on – the great times in Philadelphia. What better a place to go back and retire and close the chapter of my NFL career than to be back in Philadelphia and do it in front of those great fans.”

On the date and ceremony when he retires:

McNabb – “We haven’t chosen the date yet. The ceremony is something that we’ve been communicating back and forth. I want [the retirement ceremony] to be something that is special. Not only for me but for the fans. We’re discussing some different things that we want to get done, that I would like to see get done. Everything right now is in the works, nothing is written in stone. It was just one step of acknowledging that I wanted to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. As things continue to break down for the particular event I’ll let everyone know exactly what is going on.”

Have they discussed retiring your number 5 with the Eagles?

McNabb – “We haven’t gone that far in different things. Syracuse is definitely retiring my number. I know [the Eagles] retired Dawkins’ number and that was well deserved. He deserved to be retired and no one should ever wear #20 again. We’re talking about different things. Everyone will know more information as we continue on. […] That comes down to Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie being the great owner of the Philadelphia Eagles obviously took a chance on me and Andy Reid in 1999. That’s will be Jeffrey’s decision as to what the next steps are.”

On his legacy:

McNabb – “You don’t play to say ‘I’m going to be a Hall of Famer, I’m gonna be this, I’m gonna be that.’ You play the game to make your mark, to build your legacy and how you wanted to be remembered. Stepping away from the game I think I made a good mark.”

Do you think your number should be retired? What do you expect the fan reaction will be like?

McNabb – “That’s really not my call. I would love for that to happen but if they don’t I won’t be upset about it. And with fan reaction I just hope that they just appreciate everything that we were able to accomplish as a team over a decade.”

On Andy Reid’s Week 3 return to Philly:

McNabb – “That’s a great weekend. I might actually be back if [the retirement ceremony] is not that day for Andy. He’s a great coach. He stuck his neck out for me, drafted me when there were questions about can I play in the NFL. He took a chance on me with the second pick.”

Are you a Hall of Famer?

McNabb – “If you ask me and I had all the votes to put me in I would say yes.”


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  1. ochospantalones - May 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Before we mock McNabb’s Hall of Fame candidacy, we should keep in mind that by the numbers he has a strong case. Jim Kelly and Warren Moon are both in the Hall of Fame. McNabb’s passing numbers are remarkably similar to Kelly’s, and if you add in his rushing production he is clearly the more productive player. Both players obviously shared the habit of losing in the playoffs. Warren Moon played longer, so he has higher cumulative stats across the board, but season for season was not good as McNabb. He likewise did not win anything. Maybe you think Kelly and Moon don’t deserve to be there. Maybe Moon deserves it for his role as a pioneer at the position (I actually think there’s a good case for that). But at first glance McNabb has a strong argument, and he shouldn’t be criticized for making it.

    All that being said, I suspect he will actually fall short. He will be on the leading edge of QBs whose stats will be discounted by voters because of the increase in passing in the league. He also faces comparison to guys like Tom Brady, Rothelisberger, Brees and the Mannings who have won a Super Bowl (or more). The only recent or current Eagle I see making it into the Hall is Brian Dawkins, which is richly deserved.

    • Philly - May 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      It is called the PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME, not the NFL Hall of Fame.

      STOP comparing McNabb to Jim Kelly, their numbers are not close at all…

      Pro Football – Kelly – 45,309 yds 310 td’s – 220 int’s
      Moon – 70,553 yds 435 td’s -310 int’s

      McNabb – 37,276 yds 234 td’s -117 int’s

      Not really that close, and with only 1 super bowl he is well outside of the hall of fame.

      • willh888 - May 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        haha, the CLF and USFL. There’s a reason Moon threw over 5,000 yards in consecutive seasons in that league. McNabb and Kelly spent about the same amount of time in the NFL. It’ s a completely reasonable comparison when judging them on similar criteria. But these B leagues? Nooo no no

  2. Von9 - May 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I wish he would just go away. If they retire his number every time I see that 5 I’ll think of the fattest QB in Eagles history. That WASN’T flak jacket.

  3. hitnrun - May 16, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Before the post-2008 NFCCG, everyone said it was a play-in game for the Hall of Fame. Kurt Warner or Donovan McNabb. Warner was a grocery bagger who was capital-G great for a couple years but had wandered around hurt since then. He needed another Super Bowl appearance to prove he wasn’t just on one last fluke run. Donovan McNabb had never won the Super Bowl and his one appearance could best be described as infamous. He had numbers that would have been considered great 10 years earlier but by the end were barely worthy of note. He was a mediocre quarterback in terms of accuracy but a HoF’er (and maybe the GOAT) in terms of protecting the football. He won lots of games but spent a lot of time on the bench and leaned on a legendary defense. Both of them had the basic resume but only one of them would answer their critics.

    They’re still right. Warner will go to the Hall of Fame and McNabb won’t. In whichever generation you try to wedge him, there are too many other QBs and he did not get the one piece of jewelry he needed.


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