ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Donovan McNabb isn’t the only one stumping for Donovan McNabb to be Canton-bound.
A few months after the former NFL quarterback made it known that he deserves to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside the league’s best, his former Philadelphia Eagles head coach, Andy Reid, echoed the same refrain.
“I’m his biggest fan,” said the Kansas City Chiefs’ current head coach and, apparently, McNabb’s No. 1 supporter. “I was there. I know he belongs there.”
McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, played the bulk of his 13 professional seasons in Philadelphia, where he was drafted No. 2 overall in 1999. He finished his career with 37,276 passing yards, while throwing 234 touchdowns and 117 career interceptions. He also helped guide the Eagles to eight playoff appearances, five division titles and an NFC championship in the 2004 season. His bid to be a Super Bowl champion ultimately fell short when Philadelphia lost to the New England Patriots, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Even without a ring, McNabb should be a lock for Canton, according to Reid.
"When you're talking about the great players in the National Football League,” added Reid, who was asked about McNabb in advance of Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. “Five championship games, a Super Bowl, all those things. Good football player, man. Great football player."
Naturally, McNabb agrees.
In May, he told TMZ that he “absolutely” belongs in Canton.
“And I'm not hesitating on that. I am a Hall of Famer. My numbers speak for [themselves],” he said during the interview, noting that Super Bowl wins carry “a lot of weight” with voters. “… My numbers are better than Troy Aikman’s, but he has Super Bowl rings and he’s played with Hall of Famers as well. … When they look at my numbers, yeah, but then they always want to add other stuff into it: Was he an All-Pro? Was he this? How many Super Bowl opportunities [did he have]? People don't realize how hard it is to get to the NFC championship — and to get there five times and then make it to a Super Bowl? It's tough.”
McNabb’s stint as the Vikings’ starter was short-lived. He was benched after their first six games and replaced by Christian Ponder. McNabb later requested, and was granted, his release.
The 42-year-old, who officially retired in the summer of 2013, is eligible for a gold jacket. Time will tell if he’ll eventually get one.
Meanwhile, the debate over his Canton qualifications rages on.
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