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Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether this is an enjoyable camp for him:"I try to make fun of all training camps, it's not like we go anywhere else. You have to make fun of what you have, and I think that really kind of uplifts the spirit of a lot of guys who are maybe stuck into the training camp mode of the dog days, so to speak. I just try and shine a little light on it, make it positive, make sure we compete with each other and make each other better. I think that with a little bit of fake excitement, a little fake enthusiasm, it kind of would carry a long way."

On whether he "makes fun of" training camp or "makes it fun": "It's a little bit of both. I throw a little false chatter in there, stuff that's not needed, but you know what, it uplifts kind of the spirit of the team when you're competing in one on one's versus the defensive backs or the running backs, and the tight ends versus the linebackers. You just throw some excitement in there when you complete a pass. If you challenge the rest of the guys you'll start to see other guys start to do the same thing. It makes practice go a little bit easier and go a little faster as well."

On whether it would be nice for him to get more plays in the preseason games: "I like to wait. Preseason is still the preseason. That's why we turn up the tempo a little bit out here to try and get game mode because when you get into preseason, some of it is vanilla. A lot of teams are just trying to get their players to get their feet wet a little bit and get back into that game action. We sort of try to prepare ourselves like it's a game each time we scrimmage our defense. When you get into preseason you're running your basic plays, you're just trying to pretty much just get into that rhythm of game situation and get out. I wouldn't mind just playing not that much; let the other guys get an opportunity to play."

* On how important it is to have depth at tight end:*
"[TE] L.J. [Smith] is our starting tight end. [TE] Brent [Celek] has continued to progress and play the way, obviously, the way we know he can play. He's shown a lot of different things that you wouldn't expect to see in a second year guy. [TE Matt] Schobel has done a great job as well, but it's always good to have your starters out there healthy and moving around. I think this is going to be a big year for L.J., just like it's going to be a big year for a lot of guys. You just want to see everybody happy and everybody doing a great job and at the end of the day –I should say the end of the season hopefully, we'll all be happy with what we could possibly accomplish."

* On what TE Brent Celek is showing that you wouldn't normally see in a second year guy:*
"He's seeing a lot of the fronts and knowing what he could be faced with as far as blitzes are concerned. He's doing a great job blocking. He's showing a lot of enthusiasm in what he's doing, and he's catching the ball in live drills and getting yards after the catch. He's going to continue to improve, and he's going to get a great feel of the tight end position, but he's doing a great job right now."

* On who benefits the most from preseason games:*
"I think it's important for all of us, but I think when it comes to probably the most important, I think it's more important for the younger guys, for those guys who are trying to make the team, guys who have been doing well in practice out here now to really display it out in game situation. I think it's important for guys like [QB Kevin] Kolb and [TE] Brent Celek, guys going into their second year, you kind of get a confidence of being in the game and being able to do some good things."

* On whether he will be able to find out some things about his first team offense in the preseason games:*
"We've been together for years now. We kind of know what we can do. I think what we can do is just kind of go out and execute the plays and get out. That's what it's all about, going in and being able to execute, going in healthy and coming out healthy."

On using new weapons like RB Lorenzo Booker: "Booker is a running back, so we're not going to show too much what we want to do with Booker and [WR] DeSean [Jackson] and all the rest of the guys. It's just important to kind of learn the basic offense and do it well."

On the red zone: "It's for all of us; having that chemistry and timing down in the red zone. We did a great job of getting to the red zone, but we just have to capitalize. I think it's important that we be able to spread it around, get [RB Brian] Westbrook involved, get Booker involved, get the tight ends more involved in the red zone because now you have linebackers and safeties playing on tight ends and that's creating a mismatch for us. Then maybe we'll throw a couple of jump balls down there to [WR] Hank [Baskett] and [WR] Jason Avant, so we'll be able to run our offense down there."

* On what was missing from the red zone last year:*
"Just miscommunication at the wrong time; making mistakes down there where you get to that point and not be able to punch it in. If it was a pass here or there, or decision making, or whatever it may have been. Teams were playing softer down there for us, just kind of keeping everything in front. We would make a guy miss and get inside and we just weren't able to do that."

* On who he is looking forward to watching in the game on Friday:*
"I do want to see Booker and DeSean on special teams and also on offense. Defense, I want to see [LB] Stewart Bradley flying around and making plays. To get a chance to see [DT Brodrick] Bunkley and those guys do it, having our defensive ends come off that ball. But just most importantly, you see some of these young guys like DeSean and Booker, to be able to pick up big yards for us in the special teams department, that's something I'll be definitely watching."

* On what he sees in WR Hank Baskett:*
"I think Hank has continued to learn and understand that position, and then use his size as an advantage. For us, that's big for us. Hank is our tallest receiver. He has great leaping ability and he uses his body well. Hank has done a wonderful job of being able to get separation, go up for the ball, compete for it, and come down with it, and hopefully that's something that we can use during the season."

On Hank's red contact lenses:"He's has to get rid of those things. That looks bad (jokingly)."

* On whether he'd like to run more fade passes with big receivers:*
"I haven't had too many big receivers. [Hank's] one we do have and it's something that we've worked on this offseason together and we also did it out here. He's been very good with that, and it's something that we could have used last year but we didn't. It's not like it's a staple in West Coast offense, but it's something that you can add in. I think it's something that the coaches are excited about, and it goes down as a bonus for us."

* On WR Shaheer McBride and having the opportunity to show what he has in the game:*
"That's part of the importance for the young guys, having the opportunity to do that. I think when you get kind of accustomed to being in the practice mode and competing and seeing the same guys, you don't work on your game mode that much. I think for guys like McBride, guys like [WR] Bam [Childress], and the list goes on –[WR] Michael Gasperson, and then you go to offensive linemen now, instead of competing against Bunkley and [DT] Mike Patterson and those guys, now they see other guys that they have to work on their skills with. I think those young guys are going to benefit from this game as well as the second game, and then they'll begin to understand a little bit more of being in the NFL and how to prepare."

* On whether the team leaders plan on addressing the team on G Shawn Andrews' situation:*
"I don't think it's something that we need to bring the guys up and talk to about. We're all professionals. We're all men. If you have your own opinion on a certain situation, that's something I think that you keep to yourself. But you have to understand that people go through things like this, and if it was you, how would you like to be received? And how would you like people to kind of acknowledge you? Shawn, as we know, is going through some things right now, and the only thing that you can do at this point is support him. When he comes in just kind of welcome him and make sure that things are going to be okay."

* On whether he has spoken with Andrews:*
"We've communicated just back and forth. We've missed each others calls, we've text messaged each other. I just continue to show support for him, continue to pray for him, hope everything just kind of turns out for the better. I look forward to seeing the big guy back here, my right guard."

* On whether he is worried about Andrews' state of mind and whether it would jeopardize the offensive line:*
"I hope he doesn't –I don't think it would jeopardize any of us on the offensive side. It's a situation that I think, again, you have to be very supportive of. It's something that you just can't say, 'I'm fine with it now, I'm good'. He's seeking doctors. He's talked to different people, and I've always told him that if he just needs to talk or he just needs an ear, I'm here. He knows that he has people out here that are behind him, and want to see nothing but success for him. I know that once he gets going he'll be that same guy."

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