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Donovan McNabb calm when game's on the line

In this morning's dead-tree edition, we took a closer look at the Redskins' string of tight games. Since 2006, the Redskins have played more games decided by eight or fewer points (46) and more games decided by three or fewer points (23) than any other team in the league. Though they went 2-8 last year in these close games, this year the Redskins already are 3-1.

One difference we didn't touch on much in the story is the impact of the new quarterback. Donovan McNabb has played in plenty of close games over the years, and he explained his mellow approach during his weekly radio show Tuesday on ESPN 980. In 11 years with the Eagles, cameras would often catch McNabb smiling late in nail-biters, which McNabb says many fans misinterpreted.

"I'm not a guy who's going to bang my head against a locker or flip a table that's filled with water," McNabb said on his show. "I think it's important as a quarterback not to get caught up in the moment."

Different players have different approaches. Late in close games, McNabb says "you see guys bouncing around, swinging towels, things of that nature." That's not really his style, and his calming presence might benefit the team.

"I think you have to be even-keeled in this game," he said. "This game can be stressful, This game is already enough on your heart and on your mind." While McNabb had struggled in the second half of recent games, certainly his performance improved late in Sunday's win over the Packers.

Prior to the fourth-quarter drive that resulted in the Redskins first touchdown, McNabb was 15-of-28 passing for 176 yards in three-plus quarters. As the Redskins battled back -- with McNabb keeping his cool -- the quarterback was 11-of-21 for 181 yards through the final quarter and overtime period.

Even if the Redskins are getting better at pulling out these late wins, the preference would be to put teams away much earlier.

"We would like to eliminate these games from being so tight," McNabb said, "but I think it will help us down the road when we get in a situation like this, we'll have the confidence that we can pull it out."

By Rick Maese  | October 12, 2010; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  Donovan McNabb  
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Next: Russ Grimm to receive Hall of Fame ring at halftime Sunday

Comments

Careful, Don. People might confuse even-keel with lack of desire and heart.


There was this one QB that played here not too long ago who was tagged as such with the fans.

Posted by: RedDMV | October 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

DM5 may you have a long and fruitful Redskin career.

Posted by: fat_back | October 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is, F the Cowboys, and may they hire another clown after they fire the current clown.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 12, 2010 1:44 PM

A statement anyone can co-sign.

Posted by: Curzon417 | October 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

what exactly did Larry Brown and Charley Harraway win that was different from what Clinton Portis has won? I get your point about how beloved those guys were, but they didn't win diddly squat, so you might oughta throw that out of your equation.
Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Nate-
Larry and Charley won an NFC championship game, and made it to a Super Bowl. That's in my equation.

Posted by: CynicalFan1 | October 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

That said, McNabb is good, especially teamed with Shanahan. I'd prefer better short passes, but that was always the rap on him in Philly ("worm burners"). Still, he seems to be able to win; can't say so much about JC.

Posted by: CynicalFan1 | October 12, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

My only fear of kicking the ever-loving crap out of the teams we are playing is that we are then making life easier for the 'Pukes, G-Men and Iggles.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | October 12, 2010 1:37 PM

I'm hoping the redskins are getting a reputation as a team that you are not looking forward to playing that week!

Posted by: PlayAction | October 12, 2010 1:41 PM |

I feel that rep taking hold if we knock anyone out next week is what should be a pretty high-profile match-up.

So far, we are continuing on the path of fortune relative to the personnel of our next opponent:

Addai is dinged and Donald Brown isn't close to 100%. Collie is back in a boot-cast today. Garcon has a hammy that could re-pop at any moment. This is all along with various O and D linemen who are already questionable today, Tuesday.

Sackpo could have a night and if old fresh-legged Haney is in the mix, Manning could get flummoxed again the way he was last Sunday.

This team beats mother fu*kers up. And with Dirty30 making most of his tackles in-bounds this season, we aren't cheap-shotting anyone or getting 15 yarders on these blasts. I freaking LOVE it!

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | October 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

jumbo, I didn't mean to tout Parcells as a faultless genius, I just wanted to note that he is the exception in the clown parade of Cowboys head coaches over the past decade-plus:

Barry Switzer
Chan Gailey
Dave Campo
Bill Parcells
Wade Phillips

And yes, I do realize that Switzer won a Super Bowl and that the Redskins lost what felt like 132 straight games to the Cowboys during that stretch of clown coaches.

What I'm saying is, F the Cowboys, and may they hire another clown after they fire the current clown.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

That's some funny list, it's like the Who's-Who of NERDS! And other than Parcells, they all have something else in common: They were all Puppets and spineless, just there as 'yes men' to follow Jerry's orders. None of them could coach their way out of a phone booth!

And about Barry Switzer and his 'Super Bowl' that he won? That sh*thead didn't deserve that, he had basically lost that team halfway thru the year and the players themselves had to step up and win that SuperBowl. He got lucky and rode on the coattails of Jimmy Johnson.

Posted by: monk811 | October 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Is McNabb saying he's keeping medium?...

Posted by: CynicalFan1 | October 12, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

1. Donovan McNabb calm when game's on the line.

2. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

3. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

Posted by: dcsween | October 12, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

jumbo, I didn't mean to tout Parcells as a faultless genius, I just wanted to note that he is the exception in the clown parade of Cowboys head coaches over the past decade-plus:

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse


I knew what you were getting at..I posted that for the guys( jason reid and a few of the regulars on this board) who always say we need a good footbal man like parcells to run the show,and now that we have 1 they still hold this clown in such high regards and dump on every move this team makes.same with the Ravens and Patriots...for all of their high draft picks i bet no one can name 5 good starters on either team from the past 3 drafts in the top 3-4 rounds(you know the rounds they always critisize the Skins for)...


Posted by: jumbo5383 | October 12, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So i guess we dont need all the additional wall padding we put up for Gus Frerotte anymore...

Posted by: Stu27 | October 12, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dcsween | October 12, 2010 1:58 PM

You merely THINK I chose wrong, that's what's so funny!

Posted by: Rypien11 | October 12, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

McNabb got better in the second half because Matthews was getting to him so much, he pulled his own hammy. Once he went out, McNabb had "more" time in the pocket. Can a brother get some pass protection?

Also it was a complete embarrassment on how Rabach was being blown back into the backfield by Raji. I'm going to look at the game again tonight on NFL network, but I sware there was one play where Raji knocked Rabach into McNabb and McNabb got knocked back into Torain.

Posted by: clark202 | October 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to look at the game again tonight on NFL network, but I sware there was one play where Raji knocked Rabach into McNabb and McNabb got knocked back into Torain.

Posted by: clark202 | October 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Rabach = Human Pin Ball

Posted by: monk811 | October 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Rabach = Human Pin Ball

Posted by: monk811 | October 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but he's supper smart!!

Posted by: jumbo5383 | October 12, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

F the Cowboys, and may they hire another clown after they fire the current clown.


cowboy player 1: I'm sooo glad they fired the last clwon that was our coach.

cowboy player 2: You mean the mime?

Whateva happened to him?

cowboy player 1: He got stuck in an invisible box and couldn't get out because no one heard his screams for help.

He still was better than that other clown they hired.

That guy spent most of his time juggling his own balls.


Posted by: MistaMoe | October 12, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

What exactly did Larry Brown and Charley Harraway win that was different from what Clinton Portis has won? I get your point about how beloved those guys were, but they didn't win diddly squat, so you might oughta throw that out of your equation.
Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

First of all...hello my fellow PDX friend...let;s get the gang together again soon for a game.

As to your point, Larry and Charlie are beloved because of when they played. They were a part of the rebirth of a franchise after 20+ years spent in the wilderness of the 50's and 60's...

Their teams made the Redskins relevant again...

Posted by: dchandl3 | October 12, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Rabach = Human Pin Ball

Posted by: monk811 | October 12, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but he's supper smart!!

Posted by: jumbo5383 | October 12, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but aren't pigs supposed to be the smartest animal? And they get slaughtered every day!!!
Here's to Rabach; the 'Pinball-Pig' of the Washington Redskins!

Posted by: monk811 | October 12, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

rabach super smart..that kind of idiotic comment about rabach being smart is a LIE only so-called whites use that kind of stupidity trying to justify a bum who is a notorious weakling, slow and gets destroyed in most games rabach should not even be in the league he is a worthless oaf as litchensteiger shanaKLAN's favorite player and many of the fools that watch these games pretend this is not a problem. shanaKLAN is super DUMB for making these bozo's starters another example of so-called white privelege.

Posted by: wathu19 | October 12, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but he's supper smart!!

Posted by: jumbo5383 | October 12, 2010


2:30 PM


Yup, he knows what time the dinner bell rings.

Posted by: wireman65 | October 12, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love Donovan McNabb. The fans in Philly don't know what they had. He isn't flashy, he has throws that make you groan, and then he lights the pilot light and burns the other team's arse.

For a second round draft pick and some chump change, we obtained a quarterback with experience, with character, with backbone, with the ability to channel his emotions into production, and with the intangible of field general leadership.

In short, McNabb is exactly the quarterback this team needs. For too many years we had a quarterback afraid of making mistakes. But he was a nice guy. Now we have a quarterback with "street cred" and is able to instill confidence that we have a chance to win when he takes the field. And hopefully, this team will reward him with a multi-year contract in which he can help groom his replacement so that we have not wasted our draft picks.

After watching McNabb these five games, I am struck by his commitment to making his team better and this is not the same player that Philadelphia allowed to almost get killed against the last two Dallas games. We have a quarterback, unlike Romo and that jerk Fav-ray, that is not larger than his team - either in ego - or in actions. He is a blue-collar worker quarterback who pulls victory out of the jaws of defeat.

As a former McNabb hater, I want to thank Donovan for being a Redskin and may you get to stay here as long as you want and as can do so at your high level. We don't need flash - and you aren't that - we need a spark - and you deliver that with one pass like a dagger to the heart of the competition.

Meanwhile....Redskin defense is eighth in allowing points....is quickly becoming a hitting team that sends other teams' playmakers to the sidelines....has knocked out two quarterbacks....and will only get better. Those players who manage to come back from their redskin injuries have a lasting reminder what a hitting team is like.

HTTR. And may the sunshine of this team continue to glow and to make us proud each Sunday - if not in victory - but in effort that shows character and a will to win and to play to their best ability.

Posted by: laserwizard | October 12, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Incontheevable!

Posted by: ImIdaho | October 12, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

whoooaaaa there, wathu. Someone forgot to turn on their sarcasm detector today. stay medium, friendo. and easy with that shanaKLAN stuff... we've got four white guys starting, out of 22. and even if it were a higher number, it's awfully presumptive of you to imply that the coach has anything but the best interest of the team in mind when making roster decisions...and you're entire post was just kind of offensive, and I don't have time now to explain why. good day!

Posted by: John_Keats | October 12, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

McNabb has his imperfections (inaccuracy, e.g.) but he's the best QB the team has had in years. I wrote an article about it on my blog
http://briancarrocio.blogspot.com

Posted by: bricarr2 | October 13, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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