Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Jaguars: QB Donovan McNabb

On rotating in and out with QB Michael Vick and how easy or difficult it was to maintain rhythm: "It was tough. I think in any situation, honestly, when you're trying something new, it's important that you get into a rhythm first and then try to work it and work it in there in the offense. Offensively, we just can't really get that going consistently and I thought we did some great things that presented some pressure to the defense, but at some point you have to get into a rhythm and get things going down the field and move the chains. Then you kind of show them something, but this was the first time. That's what preseason is for- trying some different things and seeing if you want to run them during the year or eliminate them in the offense. We got that out of the way and now we can move on."

On how he feels things are going with sustaining the drives, especially in the red zone: "In the red zone, especially right now, we're not trying to run red zone offense and I thought we did a good job of moving the ball, getting first downs today but it wasn't as consistent as we wanted it to be. You try to interchange with different guys in there and you try to get a different chemistry up front and try to get different looks while our backs will be able to pick up blitzes and we can respond to it with different routes and things of that nature and I thought we just weren't able to get that rhythm like we needed today. We were able to put up points and move the ball and eat up yards, but in those plays that we really needed we weren't able to capitalize on and that's something that we definitely have to eliminate before our game against Carolina."

On how important it was to get this first game out of the way for both he and Michael: "It's good. I think it's good for him. Offensively I thought this was a game in which we needed to come out and start strong and then get into that rhythm and get things going, convert third downs, second and short, and be able to convert that with maybe runs and things of that nature and we weren't able to do it as consistent as we needed to. I thought for him, to get out there and get some plays and get his feet up under him, get back into seeing things move, seeing the safeties move, seeing the defensive front, recognizing coverage and getting the ball out of his hands…I thought we did a good job with it and everything that he was asked to do he did well. Just a lot of things that we can do so far with this upcoming year with him and the rest of the guys, it's going to be interesting."

On how he feels about the possibility of him lining up and receiving under Vick, based on what people are saying: (Jokingly) "I've got to get some catches. I've got to get some catches. I mean, if I'm going to run the routes, I've got to get some catches. You're seeing some of the divas at the receiver position- I've got to get some catches. I'm open. A couple times I was down the sideline and he didn't even look my way. I'm open. I'm just putting that on the record. Throw me the ball."

On whether he would like the ball thrown to him when he lines up at receiver: "You just never know what we got in the books. We got a lot of things in the books. (Jokingly) You know, I pulled out some Pop Warner film where I had a couple catches when I was younger. The hands are still there, the speed has gotten better. Just watch the film, I was open."

On whether he felt there was a need to get into a rhythm after the first series and get back to basics: "Absolutely. I did, and in that situation it's needed. And I know what we were trying to do and we were able to get that done. And I thought it was time to kind of get our offense going. You know, after the first play when I tried to go deep to (WR) DeSean (Jackson)--it got thrown out of bounds a little bit—we started getting positive plays and got the drive going. I think that is very important in a game when you're playing—if it's the regular season or preseason—to get that rhythm going. And if you're going to show different looks, make sure it's the right time. That's what the preseason is for, to make sure that you know when that time is. And we'll get that time together, but I thought it was important at that time for our offense to kind of get out and run our offense."

On whether he thinks WR Jason Avant is a forgotten man in the offense: "(WR) Jason (Avant) had about three catches today—five. I mean, that's not forgotten. I think he led the team in catches. But he's not, and a guy that I definitely rely on and trust. Offensively, I think that all of our guys do on second and third down."

On outside perception that WR Jason Avant is the forgotten man in the receiving corps: "I mean if they forgot about Jason, that's great, we haven't. I think people kind of look at guys who have 70, 80, 90, catches and guys who have 1,000-1,200 yard per season, but they don't look at the guys who kind of get the job done in the trenches and guys who aid in blocking. Guys who pick up those first downs when you need it. Guys who run through tackles and pick up that first down. Those are the guys that we like and all our guys can do that. So everyone knows about what (WR) DeSean (Jackson) can do. Everyone knows what (WR) Kevin Curtis and (WR Jeremy) Maclin can do. But (WR) Hank Baskett and (WR) Jason Avant in the slot have really been doing a great job for us."

On what he thought about the reception for Vick:"That was great. And I knew that it would happen. Too many times we get caught up in the outside world, where people say what they may do - may not come to the game and giving up their tickets. Well, sell your tickets pretty cheap, it's a recession, give people the opportunity to come to the game and they'll enjoy themselves."

On whether he thinks people would have been wrong if they booed Vick: "I thought so. I think they would have."

On whether he thought it was hard for head coach Andy Reid to know what Vick can do on the field but not get caught up in getting him on the field and getting away from a basic offense: "It's good that we did it in the preseason, so that we all can get a feel of what we can do. But I think reality hit as we continued on throughout the game that we need to get the flow of the offense going. That's when you got to just see the offense out there, sustaining drives and coming up with points. It's important when we get big drives like that to come out with touchdowns instead of field goals. But they are going to be plenty of times when we're in back and forth or you rotate, but offensively we just need to stay on course."

On whether he expressed to the coaches that enough was enough and the team needed to get back to basics: "(Jokingly) Yeah, I sat all of them down and I told them 'that's it.'"

On whether the importance of winning changes from one preseason game to another: "In a preseason game like this, where you're not playing the whole game, you treat (your time) just like it's a regular game. You want points, you want to score touchdowns and you kind of gauge it by what the score is when you're in there. Then when you get out of the game (you look at) what the score of the game was. There were opportunities in the red zone where we didn't score before the half. We had the opportunity to score a touchdown and we came back in the second half and scored on a great defensive play. (The defense) got us the ball back in the red zone and we scored on that. There were opportunities early on in the game to make plays and keep the drives going and we weren't able to convert on those. Field goals are great, but we prefer touchdowns."

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