Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On what concerns him about Denver's defense: "Very aggressive, plays downhill. Obviously their cornerback situation, with three or four picks from the both of those guys, (S) Renaldo Hill I believe had three picks, (S Brian) Dawkins has two. Obviously (LB/DE Elvis) Dumervil, guys that get to the quarterback and I believe they are ranked number three in the league as far as total defense is concerned. It's going to be a challenge for us on the offensive side knowing that we have to make sure, in all phases of offense, we're very effective."

On whether he would rather not have had Denver on the schedule this year with all the hype around Dawkins coming back: "It really doesn't matter who you play. At some point you're going to play against someone you're very good friends with, or you grew up with, whatever it may be. It just so happens that we had the Denver Broncos in this particular game and I think we have to approach this game like it's just a normal game, a game in which we need and in order for us to accomplish something that we set out in the offseason we have to win. We've had the mentality all throughout these past couple of weeks and this isn't going to be any different."

On whether he's had a chance to talk to Dawkins recently: "I haven't. I haven't yet. We've just kind of had text messages sent from each other, as well as his wife and all. This is an exciting time for him just like it's an exciting time for us. We're looking at it because this is another one that we can possibly go in, and if we do what we have to do to try to come out with a win, and try to put ourselves in a position for the NFC East. We're looking forward obviously to seeing him and it'll be good to see him but we have a game to play."

On whether he remembers what his first thought was when he found out that Dawkins had signed with the Broncos: "I was a little confused but being here ten years nothing ever shocks me. I think in his situation, as a player you don't understand it because – and a guy who has done so much and his body of work speaks for itself, you would think you would want him here, to be here to retire here. But as you all know in the NFL it sounds good but it doesn't really happen that way. For what we've seen from him all year and the plays that he's made for that Broncos team and just kind of the leader that he has been and you've heard nothing but positive things from their coaching staff as well as their players, it's not a shock to us. I'm sure he'll make the Pro Bowl this year, make All-Pro and rightfully so, he's a great player."

On what he thinks it's going to be like when he steps up to the line of scrimmage and sees Dawkins on the opposing defense: "I'm just going to see another safety with a visor. I don't get caught up in the whole ordeal that some people made it. I'm sure everybody will be excited about it. I'm very excited about seeing him and competing against him, but my main focus is going to be what I have to do to try and win this game."

On whether he knew WR DeSean Jackson would be this good when he first arrived as a rookie: "I knew that he had the ability to be very good, and I've always said it all throughout this season that he hasn't even touched the surface yet. I think that when you have the caliber of player that he is you put him in different positions, obviously, as you've seen us do in the recent weeks. He's a lot different than most of the other receivers in the league. You can compare him to some but I wouldn't do that because I would like for him to make a name for himself and for others to be compared to him. We've done a lot of great things so far and we look to do a lot more. It's not just his speed that everybody has kind of focused on; I think it's just his playmaking ability."

On whether he has to be conscious about anything after having played with Dawkins for so long: "I don't think so. I'm just going to play the way that I've been playing. He's a smart, smart safety, one that studies well. I'm sure he's going to take a little bit of knowledge of being here and us scrimmaging against each other in training camp as well as during the season. He's going to watch the film and communicate with the rest of his defenders but we can't get caught up in trying to change things because he used to be here. We just have to run our offense."

On whether he thinks the Eagles record would be different if Dawkins was still here and if there has been a leadership void: "That's hard to say, too. We've had a lot of success this year and with that whole void situation, I think guys have really stepped up and tried to lead this team. I just try to stay consistent in my job and doing what I have to do to try and lead this team and make sure that everybody is ready. (CB) Sheldon (Brown) has done a great job, (RB Brian) Westbrook, the list goes on of just guys who are being themselves and not trying to be anyone else. Would it be different? That's hard to say. We would have loved to have had him here, absolutely, but with the situation, he's in Denver and we're here and we're just focusing on what we have to do here."

On what it means to have Westbrook back this week: "It's great timing for us because he'll get an opportunity to get two games under his belt to get his legs back up under him. It's a different thing when you have that leadership back there in the backfield, one that he can continue to work with (RB LeSean) McCoy. It's not like he's going to come in and have 30 rushes and seven, eight catches but just the fact that is presence back there and the things that he will be able to do, as well as the things that he's capable of doing does a lot for our offense."

On what kind of performance he thinks Westbrook will have Sunday: "I would love to say 100 yards rushing and 80 yards receiving but I don't know. I try not to assume it, but first and foremost, I think it's just a blessing for him to be back out on the field after two concussions."

On whether he worries about Westbrook: "I worry about him not as a football player. I worry about him just as a person, as a human being, a very good friend. I just want things to work out for the better and he stays prayerful and understands that sometimes God puts us in positions at times to learn from our mistakes or to learn from the situations that we are in, so I think he'll be fine."

On whether he can explain the fact that the offense has been more successful in the games Westbrook hasn't been able to play in: "We've had guys to fill in; it just hasn't been one guy that's filling in the spot. That's just kind of the way it's been. If I got hurt and Jeff Garcia led the team, it doesn't matter when the guy gets hurt or is out, the next guy has to step in and do their job, and (head coach) Andy (Reid) does a great job of preparing them."

On the offense being more balanced without Westbrook and whether there is a correlation there: "Obviously we've been successful with the run and the pass, so as far as balance is concerned I don't think the mindset of just making sure the numbers are even – when you have success with doing something you stay with it. We've just been fortunate enough to be successful in the run and pass, which sets up the play action pass which is good for us."

On whether it's hard to understand why some of the great players in the league leave a team for another team after spending their whole career there: "When you come into the league all you really think about is getting drafted by a team, having success, and then you end up retiring with that same team. That's an adjustment that you have to kind of get used to is the fact that when you have a guy who has made so many plays for the organization, been the face of the organization, they've been asked to do so much for the organization, then when it comes down to the time where a lot of owners and presidents don't want to get to, and that's kind of the money time, you kind of have a disagreement here or there. But in that situation, obviously with what he has been able to accomplish, you would have thought he would have had another opportunity to finish his career here. But Joe Montana didn't get a chance to finish his career in San Fran, Dan Marino retired early I think, and the list goes on. (Dawkins is a) Hall of Famer, Pro Bowl so many times. Again, it goes back to his body of work speaks for itself."

On how he's always said he wants to finish career here and whether he thinks the same thing that happened to Joe Montana might happen to him: "I think every player has that in their mind. What you've been able to accomplish and the things that you could do, if not this year then in the next couple of years, would you have that opportunity to do that? We'll never know. Maybe there will be questions when it's my time but at this given point right now, I can only focus on trying to accomplish the main goal and that's obviously to win the Super Bowl."

On how long it took him to get over Dawkins signing elsewhere: "It took a little bit, but the thing about it is that Brian and I communicated all the way through. I actually talked to him a little bit during the whole negotiation and when he flew out to Denver. Then he came to Arizona and trained with me, and he was still around some of the guys in Arizona that are obviously still here, but he was a little heartbroken by it but still focused on what he needed to do out in Denver to get those guys going. We communicated on many occasions of what was going on out there and what's going on here. We just kind of ended all conversations with a good luck and stay healthy and we'll see each other I'm sure down the road."

On whether he's worried about how QB Michael Vick receiving the Ed Block Courage Award will be interpreted by people: "You guys know me by now, I don't care what people say on the outside. That was something that was voted by his peers and teammates, by the coaching staff. (It's) well deserved, well deserved."

On the offensive line: "I think our offensive line is playing great and I think (C) Jamaal Jackson and (G/T) Todd Herremans, I believe should be Pro Bowlers. (G/C) Nick Cole has played outstanding. (T) Winston Justice has continued to improve. (T) Jason Peters, after the first couple of weeks got comfortable and not being injured, has played great as well. Those guys have done a wonderful job of just communicating and being on the same page. I think they've allowed us, the skill guys, to be very effective with throwing the ball and running the ball. Obviously everything starts up front and with those guys being able to do their jobs (and that) makes our jobs a lot easier."

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