Tracee Hamilton - Sports Columnist

Donovan McNabb's public impression never gets old

"It feels like I'm about 22 again," said Donovan McNabb, 33, at his introductory news conference at Redskins Park. (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
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By Tracee Hamilton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Washington Redskins have made Donovan McNabb feel young again. This is not a feeling normally associated with the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. You might feel bruised or battered or numb. But young?

McNabb on Tuesday told a packed auditorium at Redskins Park that he felt like he was 22 again. And he seemed to mean it.

"It kind of feels like being drafted again," he said. "You've been selected by a team and you're going through all the motions of learning the new plays, being here with the guys working out, so it feels like I'm about 22 again."

Then he laughed and added, "The body may not respond that way."

Oh damn, someone told him about the offensive line.

Well, too late. McNabb is the Redskins' starting quarterback for 2010. He said exactly the right things Tuesday: He felt he was treated fairly in Philadelphia by the fans and the media. He would like to have finished his career as an Eagle. He is a Redskin now. Time to move on.

McNabb has a lot of charm and a good sense of humor, which will come in handy. Asked at what point he knew he wasn't coming back to the Eagles, McNabb said, "Easter." And then he waited for a room full of slow journalists to figure out that he meant Sunday, the day the trade was announced. He said he wanted to meet President Obama at some point, but he wouldn't just go up and ring the doorbell. Asked about his first meeting the previous evening with Coach Mike Shanahan, he said, "He paid for dinner."

He wasn't laughing when asked how much football he has left in him.

"A lot," he replied, deadly seriously. "A whole lot."

Does he? At 33, one would assume he has three or four good years, perhaps, if his knees hold. The freakish Brett Favre has done his peers no favors by playing into his 40s; that's a high bar, but Shanahan seems to think McNabb could do it. He certainly takes care of himself; he prefaced his news conference by having a weight-room session with his new teammates. In turn, some of them, including Mike Sellers and Mike Williams, attended the news conference to hear their new signal-caller, who wasted no time in talking the team leader talk.

"One thing we need to focus in on: We talked so much about me-me-me," he said. "This isn't an individual game. If you look to the right corner of the room, you see some of my teammates here supporting me today because they have that attitude and understand that it takes all of us to achieve that common goal. We shouldn't focus so much on myself. It's about team. For those guys to be here, that says a lot."

Not everyone was at Redskins Park on Tuesday. Jason Campbell, who has apparently decided he has had enough, will work out away from the park, with Shanahan's blessing, while he waits for his agent to engineer a deal that will get him out of Dodge. The last straw apparently was learning about the McNabb deal not from the general manager, the coach or even his agent, but from a reporter calling for his reaction. Nice.

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