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McNabb seems to be hinting about certain 'young players' in Philly

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

When I read Donovan McNabb's comments from over the weekend, talking about the criticism the Eagles will face without him, they appeared fairly harmless to the naked eye. But I also spoke to McNabb about a related subject, and it's clear that McNabb is doing some very subtle hinting about his former team.

First, here's what McNabb said publicly at his football clinic about the Eagles:

"It not only happens with me. It happens with Peyton (Manning). It happens with Tom (Brady). It happens with everybody. When you're the older guy, everybody talks about you. When you win, everybody talks about you. When you lose, everybody talks about you.

"And some young guys always want to get the credit — until they get in the shoes where they're the ones getting the criticism. Then all of a sudden, people don't like the criticism. I can handle that; some people can't. Until they get hit with that type of buzz, then they'll realize the shoes that I was in. But, from afar, everybody wants to be who you are

And here's what McNabb told me last week by phone (my underlining for emphasis):

EE: Last year’s Eagles were a younger team, but this year’s Redskins are much more experienced. Is that a better situation for you?

DM: I think for a lot of us, like me, Phillip Daniels, London Fletcher, Joey Galloway, I think what it does is that it puts you at ease. Now people really understand some of the things we have done over the years. When you have a young team, young players, they tend to listen to you early on, and then all of a sudden everyone wants to be a superstar and they want to do their own thing. And sometimes they never truly understand that you have to bring you’re ‘A game’ every year. You just can’t think that you are going to come in after having a great year one year and all of a sudden you think you are a big-time star. Expectations are high, you don’t hit expectations, and then people start talking negatively about you. And then you really can’t handle that situation.

EE: Are you referring to DeSean Jackson specifically?

DM: It’s not just about one guy. But a lot of young players behave that way. When you have veterans who have been around, they sort of know what it takes day in and day out, and I think that’s what we have here in Washington. It’s nice and refreshing, and I am looking forward to just do my part.

Based on my follow-up question, you can see where I am going with this. McNabb made sure to explain to me that he doesn't have a problem with anyone — not Kevin Kolb, not Jackson, not even Terrell Owens. But it's clear there was a division there, even if McNabb and Jackson were a very productive tandem last season.

McNabb would not go further, but you have to wonder where the fission was created. In fact, I wonder if there was just silent tension down the stretch (when the Eagles started to fade last season) that broke out when Jackson told the Sporting News he thought the team would not lose much, even with McNabb going.

It just adds one more layer — as if we needed it — to one of the most interesting trades of the past decade in the NFL.

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