Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Patriots: QB Donovan McNabb

On what it is about the locker room that convinced it that it can withstand outside scrutiny that comes with signing Michael Vick: "Well I've been a part of it for 11 years. You know just communicating with him throughout this whole deal. You know I pretty much lobbied to get him here because I believe everyone deserves a second chance. What a better place to come than here with this group who continues to stay together? We bond together through tough times and to be able to overcome adversity. I think for a guy who has, I mean spoken the truth in front of the nation and served his time and for a guy who is just looking for an opportunity to kind of get his feet back on the ground, I think he deserves it. I look forward to him joining us in the next couple of days."

On whether he thinks Vick will be a threat to him: "There's no threat to me. No, there's no threat for (Eagles QB Kevin) Kolb. It's an opportunity for us to add another weapon to our offense and to our team. And I think for a guy who knows it's going to take some time for him to kind of get settled back into the things that he wants to do. You know, I think patience is everything and I think for the things that we've been able to do around here, it's nothing that's going to hold us back by any means. When the time comes, when we decide to unveil him, so to speak, I think everyone across the League will understand why we did this."

On if he knows how Vick will be implanted into the offense: "I don't know. I don't know. That's something (offense coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) and (head coach) Andy (Reid) will talk about. But one thing I think people will have to remember is the fact that he hasn't played in two years. It's going to take time, with film work and getting his conditioning and strength back and his timing in the pocket and I think would be better for him so he'll be able to see things. He'll get a chance to work with myself as well as the rest of the quarterbacks and we'll be able to communicate all throughout this whole ordeal.

On whether Vick will be used in the Wildcat: "You know, I think people look at the Wildcat as a copout. He's a quarterback. He's not a utility guy. He's not a receiver. He's not a running back. Too many times people focus in on numbers instead of what we're focusing on, to win the ball game. Whenever the guy was on the team and they lined up and he had the ball in his hands, they had the best chance of winning. And that's what you want to do to great players. You want to somehow put the ball in their hands and give them an opportunity to make plays for you. Now the wildcat offense worked in college. It was something that came out last year with some teams starting to do it, but I don't think it will last that long.

On whether he had a chance to talk to Vick tonight: "I just got in here. I just left the locker room."

On how excited Vick was the past few days with the prospect of playing in Philadelphia: "He was very excited. He was very excited and I think that just by me communicating with Andy and kind of lobbying to get him here. I think he saw the sincerity, as well as someone who was willing to kind of stick their neck out on the line for him. He's a guy that I've communicated with pretty much since he was a senior in high school and continue to communicate with all throughout the NFL, as well as since he's been out. I think his guy should be rewarded with a second chance. And for all who are dog lovers, and I have dogs myself, I've looked past it and I think everyone else should as well.

On why he lobbied to bring Vick here: "Well I've been sort of a mentor for him. And you know you just want to kind of set an example and kind of lead people in the right direction and this is a better opportunity with him being here to kind of see how we work around here You know ways that obviously we both can enhance our game as well as Kolb, and to be able to add a spark to this team. We've added some guys at the skill positions and we're bringing in another guy who can definitely help us out in so many other ways as well."

On how Vick won't affect his playing time: "It's not going to affect me by any means at all. If mean if I get to move to receiver for a play and he steps in and back there with (RB Brian) Westbrook and (RB LeSean) McCoy, now you're adding another dimension that the defensive coordinators, it provides a problem for because you don't know who to stop. You know, you're ready and you add another guy who if he can get to back to 75% of the speed that he played with before, that's a problem for defenses. Then you throw in a little (WR) DeSean (Jackson) out there as well and then you me at the receiver position, I mean you're talking about some highly skilled guys out there."

On how he won't be affected by Vick playing at quarterback: "If I'm playing quarterback for 65 plays and we have 70 plays and he takes 5 snaps, I mean I think I can rest for 5 snaps. I mean I'm the quarterback of this team and if he comes in to run the so called wildcat offense that you guys say, I don't think Chad Pennington had a problem with it when they did it in Miami, so I won't have one as well.

On how he is embracing the role of a mentor and whether he is enjoying mentoring someone with similar physical attributes as himself: "Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, nobody's perfect and that's including myself. And you know I'm looking to just show him kind of how I prepare, show him me getting there 6:30 in the morning, working out in the morning, getting your body ready to go, get ready for meetings and then staying after until 6, 6:30 to watch film. Then let him know exactly what I do at home or to just kind of get away from football and get my mind focused on the next day and spending time with family. He's already spoken of (how) he's missed two important years of his daughter's life, her being born for two months and then had to go serve his time. So just kind of bringing our families together and just kind of bringing them into our households and just kind of humble and understanding what it is we do over there."

On what Vick has said that made you believe he is a good person: "That's something that stays between me and him. And everything that he's spoken with Roger Goodell has stayed with he and Roger, as well as Tony Dungy. So this isn't something where I felt like he needs to come out and explain to you guys. He's expressed it to us. He's expressed it to Roger Goodell and the rest of his NFL fraternity is behind him 100% and we're going to be behind him 100% as well."

On the effect it will have on the team that a lot of new groups and new media are going to be around: "A lot of times we focus on the wrong things here. You can't change everyone. But for the ones you can change, maybe that will be contagious and spread to others. Everyone has their own opinion. Like I said, I am a dog lover. I've had dogs all throughout my life and I've looked past the situation. And I think everyone needs to as well. For him, he served his time. He got up publicly and expressed his remorse. He has expressed how he failed, what happened and he's moving on and he's trying to get his life back. There are a lot of people who have done worse and have been able to move on with their lives. Let's give him that opportunity."

On how long it took McNabb to move on from his initial reaction to what Vick did: "Once I got a chance to talk to him. You don't know what people were going through or what was their mindset, and I had an opportunity to talk to him. I think a lot of times we make too many assumptions without talking to them individually to find out exactly what happened. We had great conversations and we will continue to have great conversations. I'm just excited that we've given another individual an opportunity to get his life back on track."

On what he remembers from Vick's Syracuse recruiting visit and why they became so close: "It was a guy who my offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, Kevin Rogers, spoke highly of. He was, I hate to say it, sort of a clone, or really identical to myself and the way I played. We just communicated through that and he told me he was a big fan of mine and watched me all through high school and just wanted to get an opportunity to accomplish some of the things that I did. And watching him at Virginia Tech and communicating with him as well as watching him at Atlanta we kept in contact. You want to see nothing but the best for everyone."

On how he keeps the ensuing media circus from becoming a distraction: "You always have that safe haven and for us it's the NovaCare facility in that locker room, down on that practice field. It's in the film room and it's when you get home. For everything that he would have to answer, obviously, tomorrow I believe he has his press conference. Just tell him to be honest and get ready to move on. I think for our locker it's important that everyone embrace it, everyone put the opinions and what people may say on the outside and their neighbors or friends of the family who disagree with it, pretty much tell them 'hey, everyone deserves a second chance and just give him that opportunity.' I think right there that kind of shows them that we definitely are behind him, and for him to just focus on what he wants to do."

On when the team found out about this: "I believe everybody found out some time in the second quarter when it was reported on TV."

On Vick adapting to the offense here: "Our offense is somewhat similar to what they ran in Atlanta. Again, you've got to remember he hasn't been in that offense in two years. Hopefully it will be kind of like riding a bike. You've got to put the training wheels on and take it off when he's ready to roll but, it's going to take time. Remember, he can't play until the last two preseason games and he's suspended for the first six weeks of the season unless (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell calls that off. So, you have time to work with him, you have to kind of groom him and throw the offense in front of him, run the film, get out at practice so he can see it and be able to react to it. It's going to take a lot of time."

On being described by the media as being insecure about having a strong second-string QB: "Well hopefully with me lobbying to get him here that would have answered that. Every year it's a competition. Every year you have to take it as a challenge to go out and compete for your job. I don't look at it by any means as that but I also look at it every year in camp to get myself better, to prepare myself to be better than I was last year and the year before. What can I do in order to get this team to where we want to go? One game away, what do I need to do? Watching the film throughout the offseason and preparing myself to get ready for this year and hopefully we'll find ourselves where we want to be. I don't look at it like it's a competition where I'm worried about my job. Every year people do need to worry about their job. But, I compete and just try to display my talents and do the right thing out there on the filed and hopefully make the decision a lot easier for them to make."

On the team's reaction: "Yeah there were a lot of cheers in the locker room (laughing). You've got to understand we're just finishing the game. And he mentioned it to the guys and just preparing them for what could happen. But, there were a lot of guys who were excited about it. Because, you think about the potential of what could happen. Because I'm going to tell you right now, if he gets back to where he played in Atlanta and for him to even have five or eight plays and he gets out of the pocket and picks up 20, 30 yards. Nobody even thinks about what happened two years ago. Everybody will be talking about what we can do in order for this team to win the Super Bowl. So this is no different really than bringing (Bills WR Terrell Owens) here, because T.O. came with baggage. He had some baggage but when he stepped out on that field people pretended to forget about that and focused on the positive, and I think that's what we need to do."

On how outside groups are going to infiltrate the locker room: "(Jokingly) They get between the doors of NovaCare that's on them. I think we have enough security at NovaCare."

On the reaction of animal rights groups: "That's something I have no control over. I know he has been a spokesman for (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and he's been travelling across the country speaking to kids and speaking to different groups. That's something that I can't control and that's something he can't control. But like I said the safe haven is at NovaCare. One thing that he can control is getting to work ready to put his hard hat on, ready to take notes, watching film, preparing himself to go out and have a great practice and step out on this field and be able to display his talents to the best of his ability."

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