Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. 49ers: QB Donovan McNabb

On overcoming so much since training camp: "We have overcome a lot and I think that the thing about it is it's exciting to see the maturation of some of these young guys and guys who are asked to do a lot more than expected and the success that we've had with running the ball with (FB Leonard) Weaver and (RB LeSean) McCoy, (TE) Brent Celek and his emergence, and (you) can't just speak enough about (WR) DeSean (Jackson) and (WR Jeremy) Maclin and the rest of the receivers as well. (WR) Jason Avant has played such a major part in making the success of all of the young receivers because of the tempo he sets and the way that he tries to prepare them for any and everything that they'll be faced with. This offense has definitely opened up a lot of eyes, including ourselves, and the confidence level is high and we just want to continue to feed off each win and move forward."

On whether clinching a playoff spot now eases the burden on the team: "Well I mean it's always good to clinch a spot earlier, but we're still going to keep the foot on the pedal. I think rightfully so because our first goal was obviously to put ourselves in a position to get a bye and to win the NFC East. And we have a chance of doing that, but we have to take one game at a time, we have two more left and we have a tough Denver team coming in here and I'm sure everyone is going to be fired up with (Brian) Dawk(ins) and (Correll) Buck(halter) coming back. But we have a job to do. We're going to enjoy this win for now and then come Monday evening and Tuesday, we'll watch the film for Denver to be prepared."

On whether he believes that that he needs to play better to go far into the postseason: "Absolutely, absolutely. I mean there were throws that I definitely would want back and were kind of uncharacteristic of myself and just trying to force some things. But you know, you've got to be smart with the ball and I'll be very critical of myself just watching the film. We made some great plays out there, but there were some plays that we left out on the field. I have to make sure that we eliminate those and get ready for a tough Denver team."

On whether some of the great plays out there were a result of getting the ball to DeSean Jackson: "You don't want to get caught up in the whole forcing game. I think when you get caught up in the whole forcing game, things go negative. He broke free a little bit, got some daylight and I tried to put it in a position and they just covered up well. It was a great interception by (San Francisco CB) Dre' Bly on the dive and (CB Shawntae) Spencer cut the route in the end zone. But again, it goes back to knowing the situation. I could have ran on the one Dre' Bly had and I probably could have made a better decision with the one that Spencer picked off."

On if the LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver combo is opening eyes: "Well it's everybody in general. I would say, not just the younger guys, but the offensive line. The way that we've been able to bond and be on the same page early with the receiving core, the running backs, the tight ends, the offensive line. I mean from going to switching everybody out, to now having that chemistry that you need and this is the time when obviously you want to be playing your best. But just as a unit, it's the confidence level, whatever play is called, we feel could be a big play, run or pass."

On whether calls, such as the 3rd and 2 call to DeSean Jackson, are a result of confidence in Jackson: "Well you have the confidence in that guy, but it all starts with (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) having the confidence that that play call will be successful. If you didn't have the guys on the outside being able to work the guys on the inside (to) get the first down, and again it goes back to the effort and the ability that he has to be able to create separation and make that play. But that's just the way it's been all year. I think each week, it's just continued to grow and each and everyone on the offensive side kind of looks at each other that they're going to make the big play."

On whether they are celebrating clinching the playoffs: "It's an exciting time, but nothing to get overly excited about. Obviously you want to put yourself in the position to make the playoffs. But again, it goes back to one of our goals was to obviously have a bye week and to win the NFC East and we know the only way that will be able to happen is to be successful these next two weeks."

On whether tempering the playoff berth is a message coming from the veterans: "Absolutely, you kind of spread that early, put that bug in their ear early. I think for the young guys when they hear playoffs, they automatically go to a bowl season or something. For guys who have been on teams who have never made the playoffs, it's an exciting time for them but I think they'll be a lot more excited if we put ourselves in a better position to win the NFC East and get a bye and home field.

On him and WR DeSean Jackson becoming more in sync: "It just kind of being on the same page and communication, again, on the interception that (49ers CB) Dre' Bly picked off we went on the situation and talked about it. That's just the situation that I can't do and he'll make a better read on it. When you've been together now for two years and then the role that he played last year I think really helped him out as far as what we like to do this year. (WR Jeremy) Maclin is learning as well. (WR) Jason Avant has a great feel. (WR) Reggie (Brown), (WR) Kevin (Curtis) is starting to get his legs up under him. It was good to see him out there and being able to get nice catch for us. (TE) Brent Celek has that feel. This happen over time and fortunately for us we've been able to stay on the same page."

On having success on first drives this season: "I don't know. I would think that you just want to come out of the gate and start the game fast. There were opportunities for us to make plays and we took advantage of them. I think another thing about it goes back to that confidence in whatever play is going to be called. When you're able to get first downs and move the chains your attitude is a lot different and you just are waiting on that one big play that can propel you to a touchdown or some big yard."

On when he chooses to run: "I try to keep my eyes downfield and give guys an opportunity to peel away from their defender. I go through my reads if I have the time and if nothing is there then try to pickup thing with my legs. For the first touchdown, they did a great job of just buckling down on our guys which left a lane for me. I did expect to get in, but just trying to take what I can and pickup as many yards as I can as well. I was fortunate that I was able to cross the line."

On whether he was surprised that FB Leonard Weaver was jawing with the opponent before the half: "You have to understand about a fullback, when they are constantly running up in there hitting linebackers or chipping defensive ends, there is going to be a little anger there. There were some words passed back and forth from both of them, but you just don't want it to become a distraction and in that situation we wanted to make sure we killed the clock to try and get another play. It kind of killed us a bit, but I don't expect it to happen again."

On why he didn't snap the ball when Weaver was arguing with the opponent: "The thing that I was afraid of with snapping the balls is if they would have separated from their little conversation and then we would have gotten the penalty (because) he would have been moving. (I was) just trying to be smart with it and if we would have gotten a penalty it would have been a ten second runoff and then we wouldn't have gotten any points. Obviously we communicated about it at half, and hopefully in won't happen again."

On playing against former Eagles S Brian Dawkins next week: "The challenge of Brian is not him being out there and flying around making plays. I think for all of us it feels like it was just yesterday when he was here with us and Dawk is a guy with a lot of emotion and plays like it's his last. We'll be looking at him like he's still wearing green, but the thing about he's on the other team and we'll have to go at him. I look forward to going at him and challenging him a little bit. I'm sure he's going to challenge us as well. We can't get caught up in the whole Dawk versus us. It's the Broncos versus the Eagles and we have to make sure we take care of what we have to."

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