Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said no ill will was intended toward current Eagles QB Carson Wentz with comments he made on the radio last weekend.
On Saturday, McNabb told CBS Sports Radio that Wentz, who has suffered season-ending injuries each of the last two years, needs to "find a way to get out of the second round of the playoffs" within the next two seasons in order to secure a long-term role as Eagles QB.
If that doesn't happen, the Eagles "should look to possibly draft another quarterback, because they just don’t know about his durability," McNabb said.
Those comments angered some Eagles players, including current offensive lineman Lane Johnson, who called McNabb a snake on Twitter and added, "and you wonder why nobody respects you when you come back!"
In a pre-NFL Draft conversation with ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy on Tuesday, McNabb clarified his remarks about Wentz.
"My comments were strictly based off of play and strictly based off of durability. It wasn’t anything that was (intended as) any ill will toward the Eagles or Carson," McNabb said.
"I talked to Carson during his reign and kind of letting him just mentally get himself into this whole situation, because he’s battling with a lot right now. Had the locker room talking bad about him, they were questioning his leadership, they were questioning if he was too arrogant, too selfish. So, he’s battling that situation. He’s battling, obviously, his health. His back’s not 100 percent. His knee’s not 100 percent. So, there are a lot of things right now in the path for Carson Wentz that he’s going to have to overcome."
The Eagles went on to win a world championship without Wentz in the 2017 season, as backup Nick Foles led the franchise to its first-ever Super Bowl victory. Foles filled in for Wentz once again late last season and led the Eagles to a Wild Card playoff win before suffering a close loss to the New Orleans Saints in a divisional round game.
"It’s being a starter and having a great season, and obviously the injury happens and the backup comes in and wins the Super Bowl with your team. And then the next year, you battle that knee injury, you hustle back, you get hurt again, and (Foles) takes them to the second round, really close to making it back to the NFC championship," McNabb said.
"So, it’s tough really for any starting quarterback. It’s not just Carson; it’s any quarterback that’s put in that position. I was in that position where I was hurt, the backup came in, did a great job for them, I came back the next year, I battled some injuries as well. But these are the mental things that we go through; not just athletes, but really in the 9-to-5 jobs, as well. If you’re not available when they need you, they’ll go get someone else."
McNabb said he didn't have a problem with Johnson and others defending their teammate, but said he wishes his comments were viewed in the proper context.
"That’s what they’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to protect your quarterback," McNabb said. "But you have to actually understand what it is that’s been said. There’s no direct hits toward Carson, and there’s no direct hits at all toward anything at the Philadelphia Eagles."