Thursday, February 25, 2010
Holmgren sounds off on McNabb
By Dan Graziano
INDIANAPOLIS -- Most NFL general managers and head coaches try to be in and out of the Lucas Oil Field media room as quickly as possible, but Browns president Mike Holmgren is the exception. The former Packers and Seahawks coach appeared out of nowhere earlier this afternoon, wearing the largest Browns parka I've seen since Sam Rutigliano prowled the sidelines at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Holmgren isn't scheduled to address reporters until Friday, so no one really knows why he was working the room. But knowing that he's one of the most interesting -- and patient -- guys in the NFL, I decided to pepper him with a few Donovan McNabb questions. Holmgren recently hired former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert to take over the same role in Cleveland. There's been speculation that the Browns might try to make a play for McNabb or even his backup, Kevin Kolb.
Of course, Holmgren can't field that type of question because it could be viewed as tampering. But I did ask him what he thought about the fact that a lot of Eagles fans are ready to see McNabb go.
"I'm astounded by that," Holmgren told me. "I'm like most of the folks around the league. With all that he's done for that team over the long haul...I guess part of it's that he hasn't been able to get over the hump [and win a Super Bowl]."
I asked Holmgren whether he thinks McNabb could play as long as Brett Favre or Kurt Warner, and he sort of hesitated.
"It's looking like, physically, he could play a long time," said Holmgren. "But he's a guy that when he loses the ability to move around, it'll probably be near the end."
I asked Holmgren whether Heckert was trying to convince him to start signing Eagles players.
"Heckert's driving me crazy," joked Holmgren.
It was obvious that Holmgren has a huge appreciation for McNabb's body of work. Does that mean he's willing to trade the No. 7 pick overall for McNabb? That seems pretty far-fetched to me. Heckert is a big fan of Kolb's but it's unlikely the Eagles would trade him at this point. Even if the Browns were willing to give up a second-round pick for Kolb, I still don't think the Eagles do it.