McNabb having more success in shotgun

The addition of WR Terrell Owens is not the only reason for Donovan McNabb's improved accuracy.

Updated: September 30, 2004, 11:35 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Donovan McNabb
Quarterback
Philadelphia Eagles
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
106 74 8 2 0 122.0
Terrell Owens wasn't the only new weapon Donovan McNabb added this offseason to give him a better picture of his passing options. McNabb has been utilizing the shotgun formation more. In his first 70 games, McNabb completed only a 2-yard pass in seven attempts from the shotgun. This year, he's four for nine for 57 yards as he gets the feel of how to view the pass rush and his receivers out of the "gun." So far, McNabb's completion percentage is 69.8, almost 13 percent better than his career number.

Getting after Vick

Carolina's four-man defensive line has had its worst games against Michael Vick. In the last three Falcons victories over the Panthers, Vick has 629 yards passing and 252 yards rushing. Sunday's showdown in Carolina will be the first time the Panthers have had their entire front seven on the field to face Vick. It will be interesting to see if the Panthers borrow some of the five-man line schemes the Cardinals used last Sunday to give Vick problems.

Playing the part

Roy Williams' 17 catches and four touchdown receptions for the Lions have put him in the spotlight as one of the early candidates for rookie of the year. But on Oct. 8, Williams will be in a different kind of spotlight for the debut of the movie, Friday Night Lights. Williams was home in Odessa, Texas during the offseason and was given a part in the movie after being introduced to the director. Williams had one line. He also had one tough assignment, playing the role of an assistant coach for his high school's biggest rival. To the former Texas star, wearing rival colors was like putting on an Oklahoma jersey.

Byron Leftwich
Quarterback
Jacksonville Jaguars
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
72 40 3 0 2 73.3
Spread 'em out

Byron Leftwich may have found the keys to invigorate a Jaguars offense that has had 13 three-and-outs and 21 punts in its first 28 possessions. By spreading the field with three- and five-receiver sets and using some shotgun formations on first down, Leftwich opened running lanes for Fred Taylor and got into a passing rhythm in a last-second victory over Tennessee. His challenge Sunday is trying to match Peyton Manning possession for possession in what may be the featured divisional showdown of the week.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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