Veteran McNabb keeps things light for NFC

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — It took just one practice to reach the conclusion that Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is the life of the Pro Bowl party.

The AFC and NFC teams held split practices Wednesday morning, lasting roughly an hour each. During the NFC session, if there was laughing, yelling or cajoling taking place on the field, it was coming from McNabb. As one of the elder statesmen of the two teams — he, Steve Hutchinson, Julius Peppers and Jason Witten have 24 Pro Bowl appearances between them — McNabb appears intent on keeping the week fun for his younger teammates. He made sure to tell coaches how great his passes looked, and wasn’t afraid to do abbreviated dances after completions.

At one point during passing drills, McNabb badly underthrew Cowboys WR Miles Austin, offering a mock apology afterward. On the next throw, McNabb hit Austin in stride, only to watch the first-time Pro Bowler let it drop between his hands.

“Oh, my bad,” McNabb yelled. “You’re waiting until Tony Romo gets here. You don’t want to catch my ball.”

McNabb did get a bit more serious before boarding the shuttle back to the team hotel, talking to reporters about the future of teammates Brian Westbrook and Michael Vick, as well as his outlook for the Eagles.

“I don’t think we’re far off at all,” McNabb said.

— Frank Tadych

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