Childress: McNabb, Vikings will be good fit

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 27, 2011 - 9:29 PM

They worked together in Philadelphia, where the quarterback led the Eagles to several playoff appearances.

All that remains necessary to bring quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Vikings is the news conference to announce the deal.

The negotiations have been nearly completed with a few minor details left to settle, unless the Vikings and McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, have a last-minute disagreement on the terms of a new contract.

McNabb is no stranger to current and past coaching staffs at Winter Park. Former Vikings coach Brad Childress, current coach Leslie Frazier and ex-quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers have worked with the former Syracuse quarterback in the past and studied him on film more than once when the Vikings were considering making a deal for him when he previously was with Philadelphia and now with Washington.

Childress coached McNabb as the Eagles quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 1999 to 2005. Frazier was the Eagles defensive backs coach for three years (1999 to 2002) while McNabb was there and knows how good McNabb can be. Rogers coached McNabb at Syracuse.

Childress said he might have brought McNabb aboard last season had Brett Favre not come back, because McNabb has been a proven winner. The Eagles went to four NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl following the 2004 season while McNabb and Childress were together in Philadelphia.

"He did a damn good job," Childress said. "You'll have to look up how many years he was [a Pro Bowl player] there [six times], but it was quite a few. I can only speak for the eight years I was with him at the Eagles."

McNabb had a 5-1 record against the Vikings, including two playoff victories, his only loss coming while with the Redskins last season. And he can become only the 12th quarterback to win 100 games because he enters this season with a 96-62-1 record in regular-season games and is 9-7 in the playoffs.

Good character

"He's an A-character guy," Childress said. "I know that he'll lock his jaw, not unlike Favre coming in here from the Jets wanting to rehabilitate his image. I expect you'll see the same resolve from Donovan.

"He's a Pro Bowl guy who started about eight games into the season his rookie year. ... We were only out of the playoffs one year after that and that was my last year there. His second year basically he got us in the playoffs. He's got a great background and he's going to be a great team guy. He's a good person."

Childress said McNabb will be a good teacher for Vikings quarterbacks Joe Webb and rookie Christian Ponder.

"I think specifically what they're asking [McNabb] to do, he's starting at the same point as everybody else with the new system," Childress said. "You know what, he'll roll up his sleeves and get to work and he'll be a great leader for Joe Webb and Christian Ponder."

Childress also thinks McNabb's personality and playing style will fit in well with the Vikings.

"He's got a good, strong arm and usually when he gets ticked off about something or he has a bad outing, you've got hell to pay," he said. "He's got his jaw locked. He's a Chicago guy, you know, he went to Mt. Carmel in Chicago. He's got that dynamic. Oh yeah, he's easy to smile, big laugh, kind of a cut-up ... probably could have done five minutes on Johnny Carson. I mean he can be genuinely funny."

McNabb, with Rogers as his quarterbacks coach at Syracuse, beat the Gophers 27-17 in Syracuse in 1995 and lost to the Gophers 35-33 at the Metrodome in 1996.

Jottings

• U2's gigantic stage caused turf damage at other stadiums where it was assembled, but Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi reported no problems with the FieldTurf at TCF Bank Stadium after Saturday's concert.

• Twins closer Joe Nathan had a 7.63 ERA when he went on the disabled list May 28. Since he came off June 24, he has a 0-0 record, 1.46 ERA, no walks, 10 strikeouts and is 5-0 in save situations in 12 1/3 innings. ... On Wednesday against Texas, Joe Mauer hit his first home run of the season. Going into Wednesday's game, Mauer was hitting .296 -- third among all major league catchers -- since returning from the disabled list on June 16.

• Former Gophers football coach Tim Brewster is teaming up with Gus Johnson and Charles Davis to be the national announcing crew for college football on the FX channel. FX will have a 14-game regular-season schedule that features games with the Pac-12, Big 12 and Conference USA. The team also will announce either the Pac-12 or Big Ten Conference championship game and the 2012 Cotton Bowl.

• David Gilreath, the former Wisconsin wideout and Armstrong star, has signed a three-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Gilreath, who holds the Big Ten record for kick return yardage (3,025 yards), has a good chance of sticking with the Colts' special teams. ... Derek Domino signed as a rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos. Domino, 23, is from Spring Lake Park and was a standout linebacker at South Dakota State.

• Former Gophers running back DeLeon Eskridge told the Associated Press he is transferring to San Jose State, where he will have to sit out the 2011 season. Eskridge was the Gophers' leading rusher last season with 698 yards, but he had wanted to transfer near the San Francisco Bay area to be closer to his family.

• Felix Samuels, a swimmer from London who has done national qualifying times in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle and is rated one of the top swimmers in Great Britain, has signed a tender with the Gophers.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com.

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