Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On playing against a team that is struggling and whether the veterans need to remind the younger players that they still have to take care of business: "Not necessarily. I think what we have to do is, not really show the guys, but just do the same things that you have been doing for any other team that you play, because in this situation these games are a lot harder than the games that are expected to be the battles, the grinds. Oakland is a team that plays hard. They have a lot of great athletes on the defensive side, just speaking on that side of it, one of the best corners in the game, one of best defensive tackles in the game, a young linebacker who really makes a lot of plays, and the list goes on. I think it's a challenge for us, despite where they are ranked as far as total defense and things of that nature. I think it's a battle because we're still trying to get our offense going and we're still trying to, I guess so to speak, make a name for ourselves and how we want to be looked upon this year as well."

On what he looks for when evaluating himself after coming off a big statistical game: "I try to move on past what happened last week. That's over. What I try to do is make sure that I am sound in the offense and make sure I know what we need to do in order to be successful on first and second down, as well as on third down. [That is] be very efficient in the passing game, try to be accurate and when the plays are there for us to have big plays and make sure we execute on those. Those are the things I concentrate on. Throughout the practice of communicating with the guys, talking about what I've seen through film work and just the knowledge of some of the players, of what they like to do, key tendencies and things of that nature so come game day, we're all on the same page."

On whether quarterbacks avoid throwing to CB Nnamdi Asomugha's side of the field: "For one I think there is a respect value for him and the things he's been able to do. I've seen quarterbacks go his way, but obviously a lot of quarterbacks go the other way as well. We haven't seen him as much playing the top receivers, like you see some of the other top corners. They pretty much keep him to the left side or move him around at times when there are two receivers to the right or whatever it may be. Pretty much what they are doing is just playing sound defense. This is where he is going to be and he's going to play well at it. It's not that quarterbacks haven't gone his way, they've kind of tried other guys as well, went at their safeties, went at there other corners, linebackers, whatever it may be to be successful. That's something that you game plan for and again you respect what he's been able to do over the past couple of years. There's a reason why he's paid as one of the top corners in the game because he can be known as one of the top corners in the game."

On whether his ribs are feeling normal after taking a few hits in Sunday's game: "(Jokingly) No. It's about the same as last week. Again a rib injury, any broken bone, it's going to be sore and it's not going to heal in one week. It's going to be a time period in which it progressively gets better. It was good to move around out there last weekend and hopefully it will continue to progress as these days continue on, as well as on Sunday. If we can eliminate the hits it will make the recovery a lot faster."

On whether he will wear a flak jacket again: "Absolutely."

On building trust with his wide receivers: "There is an earned aspect of it, but that's what we go to Arizona to work for. That's part of the reason why I invite the guys out to Arizona, so that we can work on different things that we will have to do during the year. What we do is we lead ourselves into training camp where now we are competing against our defense and our corners to give them a knowledge or comfort level, knowing that if they get separation and run a great route that I am going to reward them and put the ball in different positions. These young guys that we have are talented guys that the offense has the utmost confidence in that they can make big plays for us. You see just in the five weeks that we've played. [WR] DeSean [Jackson] and [WR Jeremy] Maclin, [TE] Brent Celek, [RB LeSean] McCoy, those guys have really stepped their game up to help our offense. Once we get the [TE] Alex Smiths, [WR] Jason Avants, [WR] Reggie Brown and myself and [RB Brian] Westbrook going the sky is the limit, but still that takes time. It's always good to provide that confidence for those guys so they know if I do what I'm supposed to do in this offense good things can happen.

On whether he's ever had two young receivers like Jackson and Maclin: "Well I had [WR] Freddie Mitchell and [WR] Todd Pinkston, but the thing about it is – not taking anything away from those guys because you talk about experienced guys and I think it's important on any ballclub, and I was just doing a conference call for Oakland, that you need experienced receivers. You need at least one experienced reciver who's been through the ups and downs. Who's been through games in which you are supposed to win games that are going to be a battle and we have that in a Jason Avant and we have that in a Reggie Brown. We have that in [WR] Kevin Curtis. What it does is it leads those younger guys, the DeSean Jacksons and Maclins to understand how they're preparing, the things they are going to be faced with, communication in the receiving group. It helps McCoy with Westbrook talking to him and preparing him for what teams are going to do to try and take him out of the offense. Alex Smith has been in this league for a while. He can work with Brent Celek. That's always important, to have on your roster guys that can contribute as a veteran, but yet can still help these young guys be prepared going into each week."

On how much better receivers like Jackson and Maclin can make him: "It takes a lot of pressure off of me, being a veteran quarterback and a quarterback that has been in this league. When you talk about some of these young guys and the speed and the big play ability that they have you just want to reward them with the ball. As you saw last week, you saw Maclin making big plays down field for us and some intermediate passing throws that we completed. The week prior to that, before the bye week, DeSean Jackson catching a six-yard route and going 50-some yards. When you give them an opportunity, when they run the right route, create separation, anything can happen. That's always important for any ballclub, for us to try to come up with plays to get them the ball."

On when he got the sense that Maclin could be a special player: "We don't want to start the whole special deal yet. I think that is something you have to earn over years. Does he have talent? Yes. Does he have great ability? Yes, but he's still learning about this game as well. I'm sure teams are going to start game planning for him as well, the things that we showed last week they'll try to take that away from him just like they tried to do with DeSean last week. Each week that is something that they both have to learn, teams rolling coverages to their side, teams jamming them at the line, having a linebacker underneath and things that they are going to have to learn and be able to adjust their game as the game continues on."

On what the Eagles do to help develop quarterbacks that allows them to have continued success when they have to step in: "I think it's the comfort level from the very beginning. When I took over the role after [QB] Doug [Pederson] left there was a comfort level. I just tried to go through my same regimen that I normally do, working out, preparing myself for practice, going out and having a great practice. It's a comfort level and a confidence that the guys around you display to you. For guys who have been here, [QB] A.J.] Feeley], [QB] Koy [Detmer], [QB] Jeff Garcia stepping in, with their experience of being here and seeing different games and how we prepare each week, the guys rallied behind them. That's when you begin to see guys stepping up and making plays for them. You're not asking them to win the game. You're asking them to manage it and just give the guys opportunities around you to make plays. That's something in which when you see some of the younger guys who are playing across the league now, guys are elevating their game to take pressure off of the quarterback. You look at [QB] Mark Sanchez and the running game trying to help him. They just brought [WR] Braylon Edwards in to give him a downfield threat, a bigger receiver – [QB Matt] Stafford with [WR] Calvin Johnson and they are trying to run the ball as well and give him that confidence. The list goes on, [QB] Chad Henne as we saw on Monday night, with the two running backs and [TE Anthony] Fasano. They do whatever they can to take pressure off him. That's what Andy [Reid] and Marty [Morhninweg] try to do. They are not asking quarterbacks who may step in there to win the game for them and run pretty much the same plays that we run all the time, just to manage it and get the guys around them to make plays."

On whether the younger receivers are picking things up faster than other receivers have in the past: "I think we've kind of, not really walked them in slowly with it, DeSean was kind of thrown in there due to injury and he was able to handle it well. With that, you begin to see us begin to throw more and more things at him to see how he can handle it. He did a great job with it last year and he's doing a great job with it now. The same goes with Maclin. He pretty much was thrown in there because of Kevin Curtis being hurt and we asked him to start from the second game of the season and he's handled it well, so we are kind of working with him slowly to see how much he can handle. It's a tribute to them. Of their work ethic, of their passion for the game, their determination to be the best at their craft and these guys they work just to get the opportunity to make plays for us."

On how he has dealt with the egos in the receiving corps when guys are not getting the ball as often as they'd like: "I've been through that."

On how he deals with the egos of the receivers: "Every quarterback goes through it. It's a communication that we have as quarterbacks, I guess a way of handling it. The way that I try to handle it is for them to understand that in this offense I take pride in spreading the ball around. I take pride in getting guys involved to give us the opportunity to win. One thing that people learn after being here is the fact that one week it could be your week and the next week it could be someone else's week. We have talented guys, not just at the receiver position, we have talented guys all around. If we go out and complete 15-25 balls to the receivers and the running backs catch three balls, I'm sure the running backs want the ball more, but we have the confidence that they are not the ones that come out and speak out on it and say whatever. We don't have that problem here. The way that I try to handle it is just by giving them confidence in knowing that this could be your week. Just have that confidence that if you do what you are supposed to do you will be rewarded with the ball."

On how he communicates that confidence: "You talk to them, you communicate."

On whether he got the sense that Jackson was disappointed with his performance against Tampa Bay: "I was disappointed for him and I think when you go through a game and you go through practice and you prepare to go out and get the ball. If I was a receiver, and I've been lined up as receiver in the wildcat, (Jokingly) I'd want the ball and I do want the ball. (Serious) You want to reward them with that. Now it's something in which last year or two years ago with Reggie, we would go through the first half and Reggie wouldn't get one ball thrown to him. I would communicate with Marty, just 'hey we need to get Reggie going. We need to come up with some of our base plays of just getting him involved,' because teams see that. We may not be throwing to his side, so now what they do is they role coverage to the other side. You want to keep feeding him, so if we involve him early we keep defenses in that same scheme that we prepared for and we can continue to spread it around."

On whether he has ever played with a guy who he has lost trust in: "(Jokingly) I've had a dog that I threw my frisbee to that I just didn't have confidence in because he wouldn't go get it. (Serious) No. Fortunately I haven't had the problem of playing with guys that I didn't trust. I've had the opportunity of playing with great receivers, some great people and I felt like if I just throw it in their area they would catch it."

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