Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Steelers: QB Donovan McNabb

On the effect his injury had on his play in the second half: "It effected me a lot. We did a couple different things at halftime and a lot more once the second half started and I felt that I could go back out and try to help the team. I was willing to sacrifice my body to do that. And you're playing with guys out there who are giving it their all and you just have to do the same. A couple of throws obviously I wanted back and I thought our rhythm was a little bit off early on, but we did what we had to do to win the game and that was the most important thing."

On the pain he felt after the hit: "It felt like when Bruce Lee got kicked in the chest by Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar). Some of you don't remember that …. I've seen re-runs. But you know what, it was a tough hit. It just felt like my chest just kind of caved in, head hit the ground and I just felt like I couldn't open up. And again like I said, we did some different things at halftime which gave me the opportunity to try and be mobile with the chest and shoulders. And early on in the second half we just couldn't get our rhythm, but we did what we had to do and I think hats off to our defense. Our defense really played well today. And I guess when you're 34 years-old people count you out, then you come out and play well. And I think (Brian) Dawk(ins) really did a great job today and I think he really showed people that he's still got a lot of gas in the tank."

On how he took the hit that injured his chest: "Yea, it was the flea flicker hit… I didn't fall on the ball, they pounced on me a little bit, three guys. And I just kind of absorbed the hit and I guess I got the negative benefit out of it. It'll be good rehab this week and get back ready to go next week."

On whether his injury is similar to a bruised sternum: "I guess it's somewhat similar to the shot I had in the Atlanta game that Monday night in the beginning of the season, but it's in a different location. But it's something just like it. I guess that explains what happened in that particular injury and now I know how to bounce back from it and get ready to go."

On coming out strong and getting a win today after last Monday's loss at Dallas: "Well it's very important today. We knew that coming in against a Steelers team that's very physical, a team that's been rolling the last couple of weeks. This is something which they felt was another stepping stone to their goal and we knew that (Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) was coming in a little banged up, but other than that, I thought offensively and defensively they were doing a lot of great things. We just had to step up to the challenge and I think we did. Coming out on that first drive we had a change, a set change obviously with the injury to Tony (Hunt). And I thought our defense just really elevated their game and Jim Johnson called some great blitzes and we were able to put points on the board and come up with field goals that were good enough to win the game. But I thought it was a total team effort today. This team really stepped up to the challenge and really did what we had to do to put ourselves in a position to win."

On whether it was difficult to not play aggressive and with conservative play calling: "It is difficult, especially the way we started things out this year, the way we started the preseason actually. You know, you have to be able to change it up in certain situations. Weather conditions, the way the course of the game is going, the team that you're playing, you've got to be able to change it up. It might not be aggressively downfield, you've just got to kind of pick and choose you're plays and intermediate passing game, run game is very effective, screen game. And just try to eliminate turnovers. And I thought we did that today. We had a couple of penalties that brought us back, but I thought we did a decent job – not a good job or not a great job – but just a decent job of being able to control the clock a little bit and put our defense in a position where they had good field position and could be able to put it away. Again like I said, it was a total team effort. You look back on the film and you see we had a couple plays left on the field and get that corrected for next week."

On how concerned he is about RB Brian Westbrook: "Well anytime you have your star guy go down, it's just tough. But I thought (Corell) Buck(halter) and (Lorenzo) Booker did a good job of filling in, actually for Westbrook and Tony (Hunt). A lot of different things, as everyone across the league knows, that we do with Westbrook as our first and second option. So I thought all of us kind of came together. And even when I went down, Kevin (Kolb) stepped in there and was able to complete a nice slant pass to Hank (Baskett) and try and start things out in the second half. So that's kind of what we need of our guys – to step in when things are not going as well as we want them to or an injury happens."

On what he said to the rest of the offense when Westbrook got hurt: "When it happened, no one really focused on to see how bad Westbrook was hurt. I actually had seen the play and I was wondering if he was going to get up. And it was a good sign, for the whole offense, to see him kind of limp off the field. But at that particular time we were kind of rolling with the offense. Buck picked up a couple big yards and coming off on the sideline, you don't see Westbrook there. I just tried to veer the focus of the offense to just kind of focus on what we were going to do on the field instead of trying to focus on whether Westbrook was hurt or not. I was thinking he was going to come back in. Then obviously when I came in at halftime, both of us were in there together and I knew we wasn't coming out in the second half and we kind of communicated with each other and I told him, hey I gotta go back out and just try to help. And if we can get him back healthy and get Tony back for next week, that will be big. But if not, you know again, guys got to step up."

On his management of the game: "Well you know I think in a situation like that when you're playing against a team that's obviously aggressive like they were as far as our defense was concerned and the way our defense was playing, you want to do what you need to do in order to be successful in moving the chains and eating up the clock and try to get touchdowns. You don't want it to be a field goal battle. And I thought offensively early on the way we started the game was very aggressive. We put a lot of pressure on their defense, came up with a lot of positive plays. And in the second half, the way the game was going back and fourth we were just trying to continue to get first downs, eating up the clock and seeing how many points we can get. We were trying to get touchdowns, but if not to just try and make sure we secure a field goal. And what that does now is give Jim Johnson the opportunity to blitz, to apply pressure to Ben and it worked out in our favor this week. But who know it can work well for us again. We just got to learn from this situation and offensively be able to continue to stay aggressive and be able to change up when the time comes so that hopefully our defensive ends and linebackers can apply pressure to the other quarterbacks as well."

On what the game says about the depth of the skill players: "It definitely says something about the depth of the skill players. Those guys work extremely hard and they enjoyed a challenge and the way we worked all season and the way we worked in training camp, you just want to give guys the opportunity to be successful and make plays. And I thought we got away from that a little bit that last year, of just kind of running an offense instead of calling plays for our specific guys. I think this year we kind of set the precedent of being able to involve guys in this offense. You see we start the game out with Hank Baskett, we got Westbrook going, we got DeSean (Jackson) going, Jason Avant caught a big first down for us. Buckhalter did a great job for us. And the list continues on. I want to get L.J. (Smith) involved as well. I thought defensively they tried to take L.J. out of the game. So that left open opportunities for other guys as well. So it's going to be big these next couple games to continue to do that and progress and hopefully we'll be back here smiling and continue to roll."

On whether he had any breaks or cracks in his chest: "No, not that I know of, no. Just gotta be right back out there for the game, hopefully by the end of the week. Maybe this week I'll have an opportunity to get a day off. I'm going to shoot for it, but it probably won't work. It's just important to take care of the body. You know, do the right things and get ready to roll for Sunday. We got the Bears."

On how G Max Jean-Gilles stepped in for the injured G Shawn Andrews: "I thought Max did a great job. Max had a great week of practice. And a good thing for Max was that he had that experience in training camp and in the preseason. Of just communicating with those guys and knowing the calls and knowing who he had to pick up. I thought he did a good job in the run game as well as in the passing game. Obviously, people can look at it from the outside and see that we only scored 15 points, but it's the little things. It's the little things that really step up and we'll watch the film and correct our mistakes for next week."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising