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Eagles Droppings 4/4: Reaction to McNabb Trade, Strange Inter-Division trades, etc...

Eagles Players React to Trade, Shanahan Comments, Strange Trades, Etc...

By Lance Epstein

Hours after a blockbuster trade that will forever change and alter two NFC East franchises, two Eagles players have reacted to the trade of their former teammate Donovan McNabb. The two players being tight end Brent Celek and wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Both sounded shock that a trade went down and that he will not be back next season. Celek also talked about Kolb as well. Here are some of their quotes:

Tight End Brent Celek On McNabb:

"Don was one of the players who helped bring the organization up to what it is today. He was a great teammate and leader. I will miss playing with him, and I wish him the best in the future."

"I'm OK with it if Coach Reid's OK with it and our front office is OK with it, I'm all right with it. We get to play him twice a year. It'll be fun and exciting. Don was a great teammate of ours. We'll love to compete against him."

Celek On Kolb:

"There wasn't a guy that was better than him on the field wanting us to win, doing everything in his power to help us figure out what coverages we were going against, what routes we should run. He was a quarterback on the sideline for us. I think that will carry over on the field."

Desean Jackson:

"It is definitely a surprise to hear that he is gone and won't be with us anymore. But it is definitely a relief to be able to know that us and Donovan McNabb can move on and look towards the future."

"One thing that caught me off guard was him staying in the division. Us being able to play him two-times a year. The biggest thing I can say is I know when it is time for us to play him, he will go out there and give it his best shot and beat us. But I like I said, I think he is a great quarterback and he has done some great things here. Like I said he has done everything in his career to keep him where he is at and still be able to play in the league. I say for him I hope the best, but the biggest thing for us is to go out there and beat him."

There is also another side to the trade and that is the Washington Redskins. Many of their players along with their new head coach Mike Shanahan have weighed in on getting the 6-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Here are some of their quotes:

Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan:

"Donovan is an accomplished quarterback who has been a proven winner in the National Football League. "I have long admired his competitiveness and feel he will be an outstanding addition to the Redskins and our community. He knows our division and the roadmap to success in the NFC East. He will set a high standard of excellence and we are very excited to welcome Donovan to the Washington Redskins."

Outside Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander:

"Obviously, it's very surprising. You're talking about a guy who has been to the big game [Super Bowl XXXIX] and played in a lot of NFC championship games. He's done it for a long period of time, so he can't do anything but make your team better.

"I love Jason Campbell as a person and a player, but the front office wanted to go in a different direction. Who knows what other moves they'll make and where Jason will wind up, hopefully he'll be here, but he'll be successful wherever he is. But we all know what we signed up for being in the NFL."

Center Casey Rabach:

"It puts a face and a leader, an identity, to this offense. That's what this trade does. Donovan is a guy who has done a lot of great things in the NFL for a long time, and he's done it in this style of offense also. And for him to be our teammate now, it's definitely a big move for us."

Cornerback Deanglo Hall:

"He's a proven winner in this league and I'm excited to have him as a part of our football team. This instantly makes us a contender for a Super Bowl championship."

Former Eagles and Starting Guard Artis Hicks:

"When you talk about leaders, Donovan is a great leader. He always did everything that was asked of him as a starting quarterback, and sometimes quarterbacks just have to be vocal. It's the position teams look to for leadership and Donovan understands that."

"I know they [the Eagles] wanted to trade him, and he got a lot of criticism coming out of there at times, but that's just a tough city for quarterbacks. You can go back to the days of Randall Cunningham . . . that's just the way it is. But he's won more than his fair share of games, he's a great competitor and a great leader. I'm excited about this, and I think [Redskins fans] will be, too."

Strange Trades Between Divison Foes:

On ESPN.com's NFC East Blog, they had some of the most unique trades between division rivals in every sport. Shockingly, Philadelphia made the list four. The four trades were: The Sixers trading Julius Erving to the New Jersey Nets, Flyers dealing Eric Lindros to the New York Rangers and two Eagles quarterbacks--McNabb and Sonny Jurgensen--to the Redskins.

To read more here is the link: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/12656/a-deal-between-rivals

Redskins Favorite with Cowboys:

According to ESPN's Senior NFL reporter John Clayton, the Redskins addition of McNabb vaults them to the top of the division. He says Washington and Dallas are now the co-favorites to win the NFC East. Clayton points out the Redskins scored 16.6 point with Jason Campbell at the helm so imagine what the Skins could do with McNabb under center.

While he anoints Washington, he has the Eagles stock is going down. He states at best they can hope for is a wild card berth. His reasoning is that even Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers struggled in certain aspects of the game in his first year as a starter.

I do not necessary disagree on the Eagles side of the argument. The team needs to rebuild a defense and relying solely on rookies to make a playoff (dare I say Super Bowl run) is just plain laughable. It will take two years for the Eagles defense to gel and mature into a championship caliber defense. Also, I agree that Kolb will need a year of seasoning before he becomes the player that fans expect him to be (might be too lofty of expectations though).

However, I totally disagree with him on the Redskins. They have a putrid offensive line. Hicks could not even start on Minnesota last season. Second, even if the Redskins grab Russell Okung with the No. 4 pick in the draft, they still have holes at right tackle and right guard (probably left with Hicks too). Although if they go after free agent tackle Flozell Adams, their line would be much better with him and Okung protecting McNabb.

On top of a bad offensive line, the Skins do not have the wide receivers that the Eagles have. Yes, McNabb has won games with James Thrash, Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell, but that was when he was younger and had much less wear and tear.

This is the 33-year old version of McNabb not the 2002 version. Of course, the Redskins defense is good enough to carry the team, but they will be hard pressed to surpass a Giants team that also has a high pick and fixed their biggest weakness in their secondary. Plus they also have to leapfrog the Cowboys, who are the favorites to win the division.

Clark Judge's Source Says Eagles Know Something by Trading Him In the Division:

According cbssportsline.com's Judge Clark, one NFC personnel director says by trading McNabb to a divisional rival that the Eagles must “know something”.

Clark backed up his source with an intriguing thought. The Eagles could have waited to deal McNabb closer to the draft and got more for him, but they did not even hesitate to make the move to a hated foe. Clark believes that the Eagles do not think McNabb can hurt them with the Redskins, otherwise why would not have traded him to Washington.

Additionally, the Eagles were willing to take a chance on the unproven Kevin Kolb over the proven McNabb reiterates that they “know something”. Furthermore, he claims the tape of the last two Eagles games against Dallas will prove the Eagles know something is up and that's why they were willing to pull the trigger even though they face him twice a year for the next 2-3 years.

Clark and his source hit the nail on the head. There is no way the Eagles trade a quarterback with McNabb’s pedigree to the Redskins unless they thought his play was going to drop off dramatically. We have seen this before with Steve McNair and the Ravens.

I have said in the past that besides the Cardinals playoff game, McNabb did not have great performances in the last two post-seasons. In the 2009 post-season run, the defense is what carried the Eagles. Even in that Cardinals game, McNabb took 2.5 quarters to finally get going. This year, he was awful in the Eagles' only playoff game. Granted the line was equally as bad, but he did miss a ton of open receivers.

Still, McNabb gave the Eagles the best opportunity to win a Super Bowl this year, but long-term, this will help the development of Kolb immensely.


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