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New Faces, New Start For McNabb

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Philadelphia's offense had an infusion of youth and mega-talent from the draft, and added a few veterans players via trade and free agency. But as good as this group looks on paper, its field general, quarterback Donovan McNabb, is not quite ready to declare this the most talented offensive group of his 11-year tenure.

"It's premature to say that," McNabb said. "Obviously when guys come out of college and with the great things they were able to do in college, people think that they can translate that to the NFL. It's hard to say, because some have and some haven't. I think you have to give guys the opportunity to develop in the offense and the schemes in which they've been drafted into.

"We have a lot of young faces and a lot of new faces. For me to sit here and say, 'We're a Super Bowl team. We're going to win the Super Bowl.' I don't believe in all of that. That's something at the end of the year we'll find out who wins and who doesn't. I think we have a great team. We have some great athletes here, but we have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. And if we can do that, hopefully we can write our own ticket and be able to finish this thing off in Miami."

Last season, McNabb set single-season franchise records in yards (3,916), completions (345) and attempts (571). He reworked his contract in the off-season for the 2009 and 2010 campaigns and he is ready to take the Eagles to the highest heights this season. Photo Gallery : 2009 Training Camp

But first there is the matter of training camp.

"For these guys we've drafted and the guys we brought in as free agents, they are going to play a major part in what we do, but here in training camp it's important they understand the tempo as well as the mindset of each day at practice, as well as what we like to do in game situations," McNabb said.

McNabb spent Monday throwing to two of his newest targets - running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Cornelius Ingram. First-round pick Jeremy Maclin remains unsigned, although the receiver and quarterback worked together in Arizona earlier this month and McNabb was encouraged by that work.

"I'm just excited that we had an opportunity to work out in Arizona," McNabb said. "I've had an opportunity to work with him, so when he comes in we can just feed on that."

Like the rookies and selected veterans, McNabb, too, is going through an ajustment period during these opening days of training camp. He is adjusting to the many new faces and to life without veterans like Brian Dawkins, Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas.

"When you don't have those three it's tough because it was such a pattern that we were going through," McNabb said.

Perhaps his biggest adjustment will be his relationship with new left tackle Jason Peters, the young, athletic two-two Pro Bowl player from Buffalo.

"It's a big adjustment because that communication has to be there," McNabb said. "I have to have a great feel of his kickbacks, or if he's getting the inside rush, how he's going to be able to force them inside. He's going to have to be able to pick up on the cadence and a lot of different things that we do from quarterback to running back communication. It's going to take time."

And times have changed for McNabb, the self-proclaimed "old young guy."

"We've got a lot of 20 and 21 year old kids on this team. I'm 32 years old," McNabb said. "I've seen a lot of what they've done in college but again it goes back to, 'can you do the same things you did in college on the pro level?' And some haven't, and some have. It's hard to say right now what we have because we haven't competed, and we haven't been through the tough games and haven't been digging ourselves out of holes, and being able to come out quick and finish strong with these guys.

"So, for the veterans that we have here, we know what we can do. And obviously with guys that we've lost, being here with those guys for 10 years, having them being somewhere else and the new guys step in, you never know."

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