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McNabb Leading Young Flock

Like the rookies and new veterans, Donovan McNabb has gone through an ajustment period, adjusting to the many new faces and to life without veterans like Brian Dawkins, Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas.

With the team off to its best start since 2004 -- when, coincidentally it reached the Super Bowl -- that transition has appeared to be a smooth one.

In fact, head coach Andy Reid praised McNabb leadership in a recent one-on-one interview with NFL Network's Steve Mariucci.

"Donovan's leadership has never been greater than it is right now," Reid said in the interview.

McNabb is at the controls of an offense that has had an infusion of youth and mega-talent from the draft the last two years.

Leadership was the buzzword surrounding this Eagles team after Dawkins signed with Denver in free agency. Everyone wanted to know who would step up and fill that void leadership void.

It's only natural that players would look in the direction of seasoned veterans like David Akers, Brian Westbrook and McNabb.

"It's really no different than what I've been doing the past couple of years," McNabb said. "I guess they probably hear my voice a little bit more or pay more attention to what I'm saying."

Center Jamaal Jackson has taken notice.

"That's going to happen when you lose Brian Dawkins, a guy like that," Jackson said. "You just need the other guy to step up and just take more of the responsibilities."

McNabb isn't really a "rah-rah guy." Rather, he prefers to lead by example, through his work ethic and preparation and his performance on the field.

"Most guys lead by talking to other guys on the team or by example. He does a little bit of both," Jackson said of McNabb. "We need that vocal leader and we also need somebody to go out there and just set an example, and that's what he's done."

Reid credited McNabb with keeping the team together in the aftermath of the forgettable loss in Oakland.

"Anytime you suffer through adversity it's really magnified on how you are able to overcome it," McNabb said. "I think in our situation versus Oakland, we understood that that just wasn't our football team and that the things that we were doing out there just wasn't us. I challenged the guys and the rest of the guys challenged themselves individually ..."

McNabb said he was "embarrassed" by the loss to the Raiders. The team has won two straight since, both against NFC East foes.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 5:08 p.m., November 4

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