McNabb bonds with wide receivers as he adjusts to Redskins
The process of adjusting to a new setting and a new offense has continued for Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb this weekend and the veteran said he is beginning to settle in to both new aspects of his career.
McNabb is charged with helping to resurrect a Redskins offense that has lacked in production in recent years, and will do so in a new system under the charge of coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of that process will be the continued development of wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, two members of a crowded group of receivers competing for space on the roster this weekend.
McNabb said he has made it a focus to develop a relationship with the two during the offseason training program.
"It's really a lot dealing with in the weight room, out here on the field running and then spending time throwing after we run," McNabb said. "And then what we'll do is sometimes we'll go to lunch and just kind of get together, get to know each other away from the game. I think that's very important in everything that you do because that builds a lot of trust and a big bond for certain situations. And these guys are willing to learn, they're all willing to get better and I'm doing the same myself so that helps in so many ways."
While the growth and production from the receiving corps will be vital to the big-play ability of the offense, McNabb also touched on two other areas that will be key as the players learn the new system: tight end and running back.
With proven running backs Clinton Portis, Willie Parker and Larry Johnson all on the roster, McNabb expressed confidence that a successful running game "opens it up for big plays downfield."
McNabb also pointed to the success the Houston Texans had with tight end Owen Daniels under Kyle Shanahan last season and said the use of tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis could be a major strength in the passing game. In fact, he said they are "two of the best tight ends -- not only just in the NFC as far as the tandem is concerned, but up there in the league."
"Two athletic guys that can block as well as get out and catch the ball," McNabb said. "The success that Houston had last year with Owen Daniels before he got hurt is something we'd like to do in this offense as well as what we did with Brent Celek [in Philadelphia], as well as what Dallas does with [Jason] Witten. When you have guys like that you want to try to give them an opportunity to make plays for you and they definitely can do that.
May 8, 2010; 4:16 PM ET
Categories: Donovan McNabb
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