Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On how he feels: "I feel good."

On how much he thinks about the fact that he and head coach Andy Reid have been together for 10 years: "I really don't. I think anytime you begin to dwell on the past, that means your future is not bright. Every year that I come [to camp], I try to challenge myself to do something different. I look at it as this is my job and I'm not going anywhere else, so just kind of get used to it. We have been here for 10 years, not too many people have been together in a coach-quarterback combination that long, that I can remember. I think for both of us, we've had a lot of success—more success than down years—and we want to keep it that way and continue to get better each year."

On how he plans to challenge himself: "I'm looking forward to having a great year. I don't look at the individual aspect of it, but when you come off of an 8-8 season and being a part of a [6-10 season in 2005], you just want to do better. I look forward to getting back to the type of season we had in 2004 that led us to the Super Bowl, but most importantly coming out of the gates and starting fast. I think we can do that by just being consistent and eliminating the mistakes early on that obviously will put you in a position where you'll be fighting towards the end."

On what can be done to improve the offense without many major offseason moves:"I think for us, we pretty much have to get back to the basics and not try to come out and shock people with different types of plays. I think if we run our offense and get everybody involved early, I think that will be important for us to get into that rhythm. We started fast [in 2006] against the Houston Texans, and opened up the offense a little more. I think we can do that. With the guys we have here, fortunately we've had the opportunity to work with each other, pretty much for a full year last year with [WR] Kevin [Curtis] coming in. Now, we have [WR] DeSean [Jackson] and [RB] Lorenzo [Booker] added to our offense, and the rest of the guys are veterans, we've been here. It's important for us to get into that rhythm early and continue to stay consistent throughout."

On how important it is to have RB Brian Westbrook in camp and happy: "Westbrook will be here. We all have the confidence that if he's here or if he's not here, he's going to be the same guy we know. We use him a lot and he's an important factor in this offense. For the both of us, if we are in this offense together, we have a great chance to win."

On whether he expected that it would be hard to get off to a good start last year: "I didn't prepare for the type of start we had last year. I thought we would come out of the gate a little bit better than we did. You focus on yourself and not necessarily everybody. For myself, I expected to come out a lot better than I did. That was the frustrating part about it, because you just don't have all of your faculties. If it was the mobility, or if it was just the sudden movement to be able to react a little bit quicker. Fortunately, I've had a great offseason and look forward to having a way better start than last year. As a team, I just kind of thought that we were trying to find our niche in this offense together. I thought we began to get that towards the middle of the year on, and it got better and better. Now, we need to start that way."

On the key to getting out of the gates fast: "I don't necessarily think it's a mindset, I think it's more of just going out and doing your job. I think if everyone just focuses on what they need to do individually, everything comes together. When you're out here, things seem to click well and guys are flying around. We need to transfer that out on the game field and do it for four quarters. Out here, we will progress each day and we will compete. When you see a different team and obviously different helmets, you have to translate that on the field as well. For us, I think it's important to begin to do that—get into that rhythm, guys clicking and the chemistry where we need it to be. Things will kind of work themselves out."

On personally getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2004: "The team has been to the playoffs. I've been in the playoffs a lot, so it's not like I don't know how to play in the playoffs. Again, for me it's just doing what we need to do in order to get there. Once we get there, it will take care of itself. I've missed three years of not being in the playoffs. A lot of teams haven't been to the playoffs in six or seven years. I look at it as riding a bike. If you do your job during the regular season, everything takes care of itself in the playoffs. When we were in 2004, nobody thought our offense would click without Terrell Owens [in the playoffs]. We put up big numbers without him and then when he came back, we did pretty well in the Super Bowl. We just have to make sure we're all on the same page and going out and playing well."

On whether he thinks they have become an afterthought in the NFC East: "Not at all. A lot of people have picked us to win the NFC and rightfully so. It's not that hard to see the type of team we have. You don't win NFC Championships or the NFC on paper. You put it out on the field. Our team hasn't changed that much where we can't win the NFC again. We've beaten our teams in the NFC and now we just need to do it twice for each team and take care of the opportunity when it's there."

On whether it will take 13 wins to win the NFC East: "It doesn't matter what it takes; we just have to do our job."

On whether he has talked to Westbrook: "I haven't talked to him. I just feel like he'll be here."

On whether he has talked to Westbrook's former agent, Fletcher Smith: "I didn't hear about the whole situation until pretty much the day before I got here. That part of it is none of my business. I didn't hear what was going on. I don't pay attention to what's going on in Philly while I'm in Arizona. I can tell you a little bit about the Cardinals and Rattlers. But, I did hear the Soul are in the championship, so congratulations to them."

On his endorsement of Westbrook's contract extension before the 2005 season: "I said Brian will be here. In that situation, I think it was different because we needed to sign him. Again, I don't know what this situation entails or what is going on with it, so I can't sit and comment on it."

On whether it's important that Westbrook is happy when he's here: "I think we all want to be happy. Again, I commented on the whole [CB] Lito [Sheppard] situation at minicamps and I don't know what's going on in this one. There's nothing I can give you right now. In some situations, it will happen to all of us. I've said that with the Lito situation. Who knows if it will be me next year or whenever. Again, I don't know what's going on."

On whether he has had any reoccurrence of tightness in his shoulder: "I haven't had any reoccurrence. It's fine, and I don't expect to have any reoccurrence."

On what his shoulder needed in order to feel fine: "It took rest and stretching. In this position I play, it's just repetition and continuing to throw the routes and getting that velocity back that you would throw in game speed. It's very similar to a pitcher. If I'm a pitcher throwing 25-30 pitches and all of a sudden throwing 85-90 pitches in a game, you see so many pitchers going through it now with tightness. Tightness, which is what I said, not tendinitis. It's just rest, and continuing to stay on it."

On whether he feels sore at all right now: "Not at all."

On whether he monitored himself while he was training out in Arizona: "You keep a pitch count day in and day out, of stretching it and going out and throwing, then coming back and stretching afterwards and doing the same thing the next day. We kept a count on it each day and it feels fine now."

On whether he will use a pitch count in training camp too: "I believe so. We talked about it, but I want to just go. These guys we have here are not a lot of the guys I will be throwing to during the regular season, so you are just kind of going through the repetitions now and getting ready for when the guys get here."

On how it feels to be a part of Andy Reid's over-30 club: "I told him I feel 28, my body feels 28 thanks to my offensive line, like [Colts QB] Peyton [Manning] said."

On whether he qualifies for the days off: "My body feels 28. I am 31, I'm not going to lie about my age. We'll see how that goes. We talked about ways of handling my situation, which is different than most guys. It will be interesting to see how it goes."

On whether he would say he didn't want a day off: "I could. Will I say that? I don't think so."

On how it will feel for him to have a full training camp with the receivers: "I think it's very important. I think we will take full advantage of that, having the opportunity to work with the guys and getting out here and taking full [advantage] of going up against our ones, our corners, our safeties. Working with guys like [WR] Reggie [Brown] and Kevin [Curtis]. I've worked with [WR Jason] Avant and [WR] Hank [Baskett]. Now I'm working with DeSean out here. [TE] L.J. [Smith] is healthy and looking good, and the same thing with [TE Matt] Schobel. Now I get a chance to work with [TE Brent] Celek. He's out there and he's healthy now. I think it's important and we will take advantage of it."

On working out with some of his teammates in Arizona: "It was good work for us. L.J. came out, Lorenzo Booker, Hank, Jason Avant, guys from our team. It was really good work; we got a chance to push those guys in training and throwing in the evening. It was a good opportunity for us to spend time together and just kind of talk about things we want to get done. It was a great time for us and we will benefit from it here at practice."

On whether he was disappointed that Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis didn't come to work out with him in Arizona: "You throw the invitation out there. I invited a lot of guys, but due to situations they had to take care of before camp, you understand. We have families and we have kids, some things happen."

On whether he is happy with the weapons he has on this team: "I love my guys."

On what kind of contribution he thinks DeSean Jackson can make: "It's tough to say. You don't want to put that much pressure on any of our rookies or free agents or new guys who we are asking to step in and play a major role. I think in DeSean's case, we know special teams will be big for him and it will be big for us to have him back there in punt returns and kick returns. You want to throw him into the fire to be your main number-one guy. We have guys who can make plays for us and I think he will definitely help for certain situations on the offensive side. It's the same thing with Lorenzo Booker. You don't want to put that much pressure on him when you have a guy like Westbrook back there. We are going to be moving guys around and trying to get everybody involved somehow."

On whether every training camp feels the same for him: "Each year feels the same that I have to answer pretty much the same questions. I think for a lot of us, when you come into camp, early on things are pretty much the same. Things sort of change as it continues on because of the team we have. I thought, probably about three years ago, because we had almost everybody on the team was a veteran, so we backed off a little bit because he knew that he would get everything full-speed from us. We knew how to prepare ourselves. I think this year reminds me back to either my rookie year or when we asked a lot of the young guys who were stepping in. We have a pretty decent rookie class that we're asking a lot from with DeSean and Trevor Laws. We have three young linebackers and we brought in [CB] Asante [Samuel]. We're asking those guys to step up and be big for us. We're going to be pushing the older guys to step their game up a notch too. You need that."

On the fact that they went 5-11 his rookie year: "My rookie year, he didn't ask us to step right in and play, either. He wanted us to learn on the run and kind of watch the veterans to see how they prepare, what they do during the year, and make sure we pick up on it and go out and know what to do when the time comes. We're asking those guys to do the same thing right now. Some may have to play quicker than others, but for the veterans, we need to make sure we show them the way."

On whether there was a point last year when he felt like himself again: "I kind of felt like that during the end of the year last year. Then I started rehabbing again and strengthening the leg, and really the whole body, in February. Working with my guy in Arizona, I just felt like my body was progressing to get back to where it was before the injury."

On whether he felt like himself at all last season:"Not at all. I felt like the knee was getting stronger, but confidence was always in it. I felt like I was always preparing for the next week. In any situation where it deals with knees or ankles or shoulders, it seems like you're just getting ready for that next week. Then, once you feel like it's better, you are preparing for that next week again. With rest, taking a little bit of January and February off, I didn't really start running until the end of March, where I was just focusing on those particular injuries and getting them back to speed."

On how DE Jason Taylor's arrival in Washington will affect the division: "Jason is a great player; he's done a lot for the Miami organization and you hate to see that happen. He's moving on. I think it will be a great addition for them on the defensive side. I look forward to the challenge; I'm sure [LT] Tra [Thomas] looks forward to the challenge. We just have to do our job. Really, if we do that, we won't have to worry about anybody else."

On whether he feels like he needs to win the Super Bowl to be the starter in Philadelphia: "No. I'll be here. We'll sign another 10-year deal and I'll be here (jokingly)."

On whether he fears anybody in the division: "I don't. We beat the Cowboys last year and we should have beaten them in the first game. The Redskins, we should have beaten them the first time. The Giants, we should have beaten them both times. It's not just teams in our [division], it's the NFC period. I feel like we can compete with all of them. If you ask those teams, they'll tell you the same, that we have the type of team you have to look out for. Again, the ball starts with me. Then you go throughout the whole offense, everybody knows who number 36 is. Just like on defense, everybody knows who 20 [FS Brian Dawkins] is. We have the players, we just have to put it together."

On the fact that they might have to win 13 games to win the division: "If we do, then we'll do that. It doesn't matter. If you get into the playoffs, anyone can lose."

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