Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On his initial impressions of QB Michael Vick's work ethic: "I think he's doing a great job. We work out every morning and communicate with each other throughout the practice, and if he has any questions and if there's something he obviously wants to work on and spend time after practice. But, you have to be excited about just his work ethic and his attitude. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get his feet up under him and hopefully continue to try to put himself in a position to try and contribute to the team, but everybody has been pretty much impressed about the way that he's been handling himself."

On the potential for this developing into a worrisome situation for him if he hurts himself and Vick gets a chance to play and impress: "I don't understand why. It wouldn't be any different with (QB) Kevin (Kolb). I've been through many situations throughout my career where if I got injured or someone wasn't liking the way I was playing they cheered for the backup, or whoever they wanted to cheer for was the one they wanted in. It happened with (QB Jeff) Garcia, it happened with Kolb, it happened with (QB) A.J. (Feeley). So I'm used to that. That's not the reason why this is going about right now. And I think it's a situation where I can kind of be a mentor for him and give him an opportunity to get his feet up under him and get his life together. And for us, the guys that are out there, to stay healthy and just play or game and to have fun doing it."

On how he was able to reconcile his love for dogs and forgive Vick to the point that he went to head coach Andy Reid and lobbied for Vick to join the team: "I believe in second chances. I believe everybody deserves a second chance and I have strong faith in God that He forgives our sins and give an opportunity to move on in a positive light to continue to inspire others. And, in this situation I just want to try to inspire others to understand that yes, it was a bad thing, it was a malicious act, and one that you don't want to see happen to anyone, including animals. But somewhere in you heart you have forgiveness. And, if he understands the negative aspects of what happened and he understands the penalty and consequences of what happened and serving time, then you deserve an opportunity to turn your life around and show people there can be change. And he's on a path to do that right now, he's been going through the right channels and talking to the right people and I think it's important for us to try to surround him with some positive input or positive people to lead him in the right direction. Because if you can change and inspire one person, than you've been doing your job. And then he can inspire someone else and then that person again can inspire someone else and then hopefully we can make this world a better place, where you can go in different places and feel comfortable and you know that what you've been doing and the way you've been reaching out has touched someone's life."

On how involved he plans to be with Vick's community outreach: "I think as a grown man that's somewhat something that he has to deal with. I don't want to make it like I'm his father or his blanket or anything of that nature. You definitely communicate in aspects of places where you need to go or places you may not want to be. But in his situation right now, working with whoever he's working out with off the field and working in the community, that's something the people around him, his marketing people and things of that nature, have to communicate for him to get the message out, get the word out that he's still staying active and doing the right things."

On his initial reaction to Vick's dog fighting allegations: "First of all, I'm not from Virginia. I'm from Chicago and really moved out to the suburbs of Chicago, or Illinois. But I didn't know much about dog fighting. So, before I was able to make any assumptions or any conclusions I wanted to learn more about dog fighting. And, I have relatives in the Mississippi area and down south and asked them questions about it and learned about it. I mean, some people grew up with that, some people can't pull themselves away from that, some people can. In that situation he didn't and he served his time and paid the consequence. I think for me, loving dogs and having dogs all my life, I would never put my dogs in that situation because it's a 50-50 chance that he lives or dies and you don't want to see that happen."

On the torturous acts that Vick committed against the dogs: "You hear a lot of different things and you don't know actually what happened. You know, sometimes you get into questioning some people say some people did something else and some people say he did it. I don't know what was happening but I think that's cruel and that stuff should not happen. Again, he served his time. He paid the price. And now it's time for him to move on."

On changing Vick's work ethic from the way he behaved in Atlanta: "You have to show by example. And the way that I try to do that is having him here working out with me and get a feel for how I prepare myself, the work ethic that I try to display and the benefit of the work ethic. I don't know for sure, some people say that he was lazy; some people say that he worked hard. He was just the first one there and maybe one of the first to go because he got his workout done, so I don't know for sure about that."

On Vick admitting he was lazy in Atlanta on "60 Minutes": "Well I didn't watch the show. But, just communicating with him and I try to show by example. I think for him being here he gets an opportunity to see other guys working, if it's working in the weight room, spending time after working on the field, communicating with the coaches, doing whatever it may be. I think it's important that we show that to him, to show him why we've had so much success around here. The guys put in the extra time to get great results."

On Vick developing into this offense here after he ran the show in Atlanta: "You kind of have to go back to the way he was coached. The guy had about (two) head coaches and three coordinators, whatever it may be. And, when you have a guy with that much athletic ability, you want to see it. Remember, I've been hearing it all throughout my career here; people want to see me run. Well people wanted to see him pass the ball. And, the coach probably taught him to, if one is not open, then take off or, if one's not open look for two and then just go. Here you have to know the offense. You have to know where everyone is going to be and the right routes and if you get a certain coverage things might change how, to be able to adjust to that. Sit in the pocket and have confidence that your guys will make plays for you. I think that's something that he's learning right now. It's just like he's a rookie again. He knows the different concepts, but he still has to get his feet up under him of just playing the quarterback position."

On whether he thinks the Wildcat popularity is based on terminology: "I think it's just the terminology. If you look at it in the football Wildcat so to speak, when he was in Atlanta he sort of ran the same thing. If it was read handoff with (RB) Warrick (Dunn) in the backfield reading the end, he was coming off of the corner, it was some of the same things that Miami was doing. Miami decided to draft a guy like (QB) Pat White, who played the quarterback position. Some people say that drafted him to play the Wildcat. The Wildcat is really just a terminology that they use. I mean, Arkansas ran it with (RB Darren) McFadden, where it was pretty much the same thing Mike was doing in Atlanta. I think that's just an excuse that people use because no one has seen it in the NFL or knew of the term. But now that Miami brought it out last year everyone expects that to continue on."

On whether he thinks the name simplifies what is actually done: "The Wildcat? Not really. But I mean, there's a lot of different things you can do in that scheme."

On Vick not being a typical backup since he's been to multiple Pro Bowls: "Well (QB) Jeff Garcia has been to the Pro Bowl as well and you know they're starters. When you have guys with great backgrounds like that who have had success throughout their career they're not typical backups. In Oakland, Jeff Garcia is out there competing to try and push (QB) JaMarcus Russell and that's just the way it goes. When you've been at that starting limelight, so to speak for a while you don't look at yourself as a backup, you try to prepare yourself; you try to get on th,e field."

On his discussions with owner Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid about signing Vick: "Just to put it out there, I brought it up to his attention in July, before Mike got away from house arrest, before July 20th. And I mentioned it to him and I said why don't we think about signing Vick and bringing him into camp and he'll get an opportunity to get his feet up under him, I'll get a chance to work with him and he'll get a chance to learn from the best. Obviously, at that time nobody wanted to put it out there if they were interested or whatever. And I just kind of reassured him a couple weeks later and just said 'what do you think about Vick? I think it would be a great opportunity for him.' And they thought about it and obviously continued to have things happen. And hopefully with this, we can get something from it and help us out in so many ways."

On whether Reid was receptive when McNabb approached him with the idea: "When I brought it to his attention it was just kind of breath in the air, I thought I'd toss it to him and see what he thought."

On whether he had been speaking with Vick during that time: "I had been talking to him on the phone. I talked to him on the phone a couple times. It wasn't something I brought to his attention; it was just something I talked to Andy about."

On the fans that are turning away from the team because of the acquisition of Vick: "It's unfortunate. At this point, it's still fresh in their mind to people and they're upset. With everything that's happened, things will change. But again, the only thing that we can do right now is focus in on football and making sure that everyone knows what they're doing to go out and execute. You can't change some people's opinion, you can't change the way they may think. But, you can just go out and do your job. We hope that everyone will be out at the stadium and cheering just they have been doing before, tailgating and getting ready for the game. It's going to be an exciting year, we've got a great schedule ahead of us and we hope that everybody will be there."

On whether the controversy and media firestorm that has surrounded both of them has made his relationship with Vick stronger: "I think our relationship goes beyond that. I think the things that he's watched about how I've been able to handle certain situations. And obviously, he's been in some situations not really similar to what I go through here, but he's been through some things like that in Atlanta. Every quarterback goes through different things and you kind of watch the way I handle it and the way I handle myself in the public as well as with my family. We communicate on certain aspects of it but, right now it's pretty much strictly football and life. That's the most important thing right now for us, to focus in on how to get his life back and in a positive light. Focus in on football and getting his feet up under him."

On what makes him believe in Vick: "I see a guy that's willing to do what it takes to turn his life around. He's going through the right channels right now. And, I try to instill in him at times that you need to have God in your life and feel that no matter what may happen, that God will be on your side and will point you in the right direction. That's the thing that I try to do right now, just making sure that he keeps his head high and moves forward."

On how he envisions Vick getting on the field: "That's up to the coach. As quarterback I'm just getting the offense and defense going and coach will come up with something."

On whether this decision to help Vick was based on their relationship or if he would do the same thing for someone like WR Plaxico Burress: "(Jokingly) I did. I brought (WR Terrell Owens) here. I have a relationship with Plaxico as well. When you have been in this league for a while you build relationships and you want to see guys get an opportunity to continue on. And (Ravens LB) Ray (Lewis) was able to get his feet back under him and move forward as well. I'm sure Plaxico, hopefully, will get an opportunity to do so as well. Michael, there are a lot of guys who have gotten into certain situations, maybe not as deep as this one but, you just want to see guys get another chance."

On whether Burress would help this team: "I don't think he would hurt. We have some great guys here at our receiver position. But, whatever you can do to enhance the team, you would look into it."

On his concerns regarding the tight ends: "It's tough right now obviously with guys being banged up. You don't want to see any of your guys getting hurt, whether it's one, two, three, or four and right now we're kind of the walking wounded. But, we have a good training staff that will get the guys back on the field and we look forward to that."

On what Vick said in their conversation that made him believe he had earned a second chance: "He said 'I was ready.'"

On Vick getting seven snaps a game: "I wouldn't have a problem with it if it's helping us win. As you can see it helped Miami last year, from winning one game to winning eleven or twelve games last year. Is that was the direction we were going in I wouldn't have a problem with it at all."

On him possibly not being on the field when Vick is: "I could. (Jokingly) I told you at the press conference (after the preseason game against the Patriots) I could play receiver."

On how Dolphin RB Ronnie Brown couldn't throw the ball: "That's why they drafted (QB/WR/RB) Pat White, right?"

On how Chad Pennigton won't be on the field when White is running the Wildcat: "Who's to say White is going to play that?"

On the idea that McNabb won't be on the field if Vick is: "(Jokingly) I'll be a receiver. I might be a tight end, I might be running back. You never know where I'll be."

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