PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Donovan McNabb says he has no problem with Michael Vick taking some of his snaps and warns opponents that the two quarterbacks could be on the field together at times.Vick was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles last week to add a different dimension to the team’s offense, not to push McNabb for a starting job. It’s likely that Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, will be used in a variation of the Wildcat formation.
But even in that scenario, McNabb won’t necessarily be watching from the sideline.
“I’ll be a receiver. I might be a tight end,” he said with a smile Monday. “You never know where I’ll be.”
It’s uncertain whether the Eagles would risk putting McNabb at an unfamiliar position and expose him to the defense. Coach Andy Reid isn’t revealing any secrets.
McNabb said he first lobbied the Eagles to sign Vick a month ago. He said he approached Reid with the suggestion even before Vick was released from federal custody after serving 18 months of a 23-month sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation. The two have been friends since McNabb escorted Vick on a campus visit to Syracuse a decade ago—Vick chose Virginia Tech.
|DOUBLE TROUBLE—Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks Donovan McNabb, left, and Michael Vick are seen during afternoon practice at NFL football training camp in Philadelphia, Aug. 17.
“I believe in second chances and I have strong faith in God that he forgives our sins,” said McNabb, a dog lover who owns two American bulldogs and a Belgian Malinois. “Yes, it was a bad thing and a malicious act, but somewhere in your heart, you have to have forgiveness.”
So far, McNabb has been impressed with what he’s seen from Vick on the practice field and in the film room.
“He’s done a great job. You have to be excited about his work ethic and attitude,” McNabb said. “I see a guy doing whatever it takes to turn his life around. He’s going through the proper channels.”
McNabb isn’t concerned that Vick’s presence ultimately will create a quarterback controversy. When McNabb went down with a season-ending knee injury in 2006, Jeff Garcia stepped in and led the Eagles to a division title and a playoff victory.
But the Eagles didn’t re-sign Garcia after that season, and McNabb regained his starting spot once he was healthy.
“I’ve been through many situations here throughout my career when they’ve cheered for the backup,” McNabb said. “It happened with Garcia. It happened with (Kevin) Kolb. It happened with A.J. (Feeley). I’m used to that.”
McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl pick, has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in 10 seasons in Philadelphia. He was rewarded with a $5.3 million raise in the offseason when the Eagles tore up his old contract with two years remaining, and gave him a new deal worth $24.5 million over the next two seasons.
McNabb doesn’t consider Vick a threat to his job.
“I kind of can be a mentor to him, give him an opportunity to get his feet under him, get his life together,” McNabb said.