Philadelphia Eagles News

Game vs. Rams: QB Donovan McNabb

On getting going early and starting off well on the first few drives: "Well, I think it was important for us to start that way. Coming off of a good preseason and obviously a great training camp, to start out early was very important to be able to set the tone early, and in previous years we weren't able to do that. We had big plays and the drive and also being able to run the ball and pick up some yards to capitalize on the touchdown obviously does well for the confidence factor. But we were able to bounce back again on the second drive and pretty much do the same thing and do it consistently throughout the whole game."

On tempering the expectations of WR DeSean Jackson after his solid performance this game: "Same thing, he's still a rookie. And I think, like I've always said, just be patient. We haven't hit the bump in the road yet and we're going to do that and I just try to prepare him for that and through my duration of being here, I've seen it happen. You just don't want him to hang his head when it does happen. You want him to continue to stay strong and be confident with it, but that goes for all of us. We all have to continue to battle. (We have to) watch the mistakes we made this game and be able to bounce back against the Dallas team that's pretty experienced. It's not going to be pretty much as easy as it was today."* *

On not being sacked this game and being healthy going into the season: "Well, it's always big when you don't get touched too much, but I think a lot of it is getting the ball out and letting the guys outside work. They did a great job creating a little bit of separation where I could just put the ball out and let them compete. The offensive line did a wonderful job today. I reward them and commend them but we have to come back out there and keep doing the same thing."

On DeSean's first game and if he's ever seen a rookie have a game as good as that: "It's just one game. I mean he played well, he played well. Don't discredit that. But I've seen a lot of rookies play well throughout the season in one game. He's a guy that's willing to work and willing to get better, and that's an important factor that you have to have playing this game. Have a short term memory, put that behind you know matter how well you played or how bad you played. Move on to the next week and hopefully have a great game."

On whether he remembers the last time he had a game where he was barely touched:"You know what, I don't know. I was hit a lot last year. But you know I don't think so."

On whether he thought the Eagles were trying to trick the Rams on the drive with two straight handoffs backed up deep and then the play action pass to WR Hank Baskett: "Not necessarily. They brought the pressure, which (RB Brian) Westbrook had to come inside and block and I kept my eyes downfield and on the coverage and the pre-snap reads that I had. And once they blitzed I was able to get my eyes back out. Jason did a good job of grabbing the safety which led to Hank being wide open down the sideline. I took the air out of the ball and tried to put it in a position where he could catch it and protect himself in case the safety fell off on him. He ran through the tackle and picked up big yards for us."

On his initial reaction to that play call and whether he was surprised they weren't running down the clock: "Well, you have to be aggressive and we've been doing it all through the whole game and there's no reason to stop now. I thought it was a great job on (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) and (head coach) Andy (Reid)'s part of just taking a shot and it paid off, but we're going to have to do that this year. We're going to have to keep defenses on their heels wondering what we're going to do. We just can't keep running, running, running the ball and not giving the guys on the outside the opportunity to make plays for us, and they did that throughout the whole course of the day and good things happened for us today."

On what it says about the receivers, since there were three players with at least 100 yards today: "Well, they work hard. Like I said in the offseason, like I said in interviews that I've had, in order for the guys to be successful and guys to make plays for you, you have to call plays for them. We called plays for each and every one of those guys and they made plays for us and throughout the whole game we were able to spread the ball around and get everybody involved. (TE) L.J. (Smith) had a good day today. Westbrook had a good day. (WR) Jason Avant played well. (WR) Hank Baskett, DeSean Jackson. When things are rolling like that, when you spread the ball around and getting everybody involved, it does wonders for your offense."

On what he expects about the atmosphere on Monday night in Dallas: "Well, I've been watching 'Hard Knocks'. Who hasn't been? It's been on. They're a confident bunch. They're an experienced bunch. There's a reason why they won 13 games or whatever last year. So we know that it's going to be a battle. Every time we play it goes to the wire somehow, so we have to prepare ourselves to go out and give up a good fight. We know what their defense kind of entails with (LB) DeMarcus Ware and (LB) Bradie James and now you're talking about adding Pacman (Adam Jones) involved in the secondary. It's going to be a challenge for us. The same goes for the offensive side, there's a reason (QB Tony) Romo had a great year last year."

On whether he feels winning in Dallas last year disrupted the Cowboys play in the playoffs: "I mean, we could say that, but it did nothing for us, so it doesn't matter what it did for them. It didn't do anything for us, and we didn't continue on. They made it to the playoffs. It's a new season, we're looking forward to playing those guys and we just have to have a great week of practice."

On the red zone being an issue last year and how TE L.J. Smith is making his presence felt this year: "I said that. I said that last year. Good ends do a lot more. Teams have to focus in on the tight end position and when you have a guy like L.J. where you can do different things with him, spread him out, run him from the down position, put him in motion to try and create a mismatch. Now, they have to focus in not just on Westbrook and just playing a base coverage, but there are other guys that have to get involved. But again, it's just one game. We've got to continue to focus in on our red zone play and do that and be consistent on the field."

On whether he thinks next week will be a challenge against Dallas in prime time: "We're looking forward to it. We're going to look at it as a test to see where we're at because no one knows how they played against Cleveland. So I mean, in this particular time of the season it's important that we try to master the fundamentals, make sure the chemistry is where it needs to be, and the timing and the run game and the pass game and the same on defense. Just being able to execute if there are opportunities there and take full advantage of it. In this game I thought we did that and we need to do that next week and the same the following week, so it's a growing process for all of us."

On having success on opening weekend: "You know, for an opener or whenever, it's hard to get wins in this game. People can look at other teams records and say, well, 'They weren't that good last year', but things could be different this year. So you have to take full advantage of the wins that you do have and be able to feed off of that. I thought we did that later in the year last year. So to start out the season the way we did this year, it's important that we feed off of that and continue to push yourself, to challenge yourself in practice to do better. No matter how good you played or if you played bad, you have to do better and get better each week."

On the receivers' play today: "I think they played great, and we're going to continue to work together."

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