Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether he's anxious to see WR DeSean Jackson on the field in the regular season: "I think he can present a lot of different things for us on the offensive side. One thing that we all have to remember is that (WR) Reggie (Brown) will be back, and then we'll be rotating a lot of guys in there. I think one thing that he's shown so far is the fact that he can grasp the offense, so far, and be comfortable in the offense. He's made a lot of plays for us so far, but, again, we have to stay patient with him. He is a rookie, he's just learning. We haven't gone into a full game plan for a regular (season) game. I'm sure that he'll be able to handle that, but you just want to kind of walk him in slowly and get everybody else opportunities to make plays as well."

On whether he sees the team acquiring another wide receiver before the regular season as they did in 2006 with WR Donte Stallworth: "I don't know. I don't know. When I got word of Donte, it was immediate for me to kind of work with him and make sure we were on the same page and we were able to do that. That would go for anybody if they decided to do that. If they do that, then that's just a move that we have to make. But, I think (WR) Kevin (Curtis), you have to give him some time also. I've had that sports hernia surgery; a lot of guys have. It's nothing that you can rush back from and think you'll be fine. You have to take it slow."

On whether the team has asked him if another wide receiver should be acquired: "If the question is asked, I would only be honest, but the thing I think, with our guys, is I think they can make plays for us. (WRs) Hank (Baskett) has shown it, Greg Lewis has shown it, Jason Avant has shown it—obviously, in the game vs. New England. You have to give guys the opportunity to make plays, call plays for them, get them comfortable in the offense. Let's get the guys around them comfortable with them there, and I think things will work out well."

On his initial reaction to Curtis' sports hernia injury: "'Oh no.' It seems, when I was diagnosed with mine, no one knew what it was. Everyone talked about an abdominal strain, and then, for me, it went to a torn groin and a chip on the bone and then, all of the sudden, the term sports hernia came out. Now, it seems like everybody's getting sports hernias. You know, guys had it before me: (RB) Duce Staley, (CB) Sheldon (Brown) and (P) Dirk Johnson had it. So, I was communicating with them, and now it seems like everybody's calling me once they get diagnosed with a sports hernia. Again, it's a tough situation to go through, especially being at the wide receiver position where you have to do a lot of cuts. You have to do a lot of blocking, accelerating and stopping. It's going to be tough for him."

On the fact that he wasn't surprised Curtis decided to get the surgery: "No. I actually told him to get the surgery because I think it's important to get it done early; before it becomes a real problem later. You don't want that to linger on and then, all of the sudden, you tear something else. It was good that he got the surgery now and he can start rehabbing now to get himself back out on the field."

On when he expects Curtis to be back: "I don't know. When I (had mine), I tore abdominal muscles on both sides, and also tore my groin, which chipped my bone. So, mine was a little bit different. It was a little tougher. I don't know exactly what he has, but he doesn't have all three. It may be a little quicker, it may not."

On whether he's concerned that Curtis may not be as productive as he was in 2007 because of the injury: "The concerns are, first, for his health. Will he be able to bounce back from it, and feel comfortable? Obviously, from the team's perspective, anytime you lose a guy with 77 catches and over 1,000 yards, that's tough for any offense to replace. One person just can't replace it at this particular time, it's really just continuing to involve everybody and spread it around. The important factor for us is to make sure that we get Reggie back and healthy. You know, you can't lose both of your top receivers. We have to at least get Reggie back and then, when the time comes, we'll get Kevin back ready to go."

On TE L.J. Smith and WR Hank Baskett both saying that McNabb looked like the "Donovan of old" and whether he feels that way: "I felt good this preseason. To be healthy, obviously, is important, but nothing overwhelming. I've approached this preseason, maybe, a whole lot differently, because of my health. And, because of my offseason training, I look forward to having a great season. For those guys, they're looking outstanding and they're catching the ball and getting upfield. It's an important season for all of us. I look forward to L.J. having a great year, Kevin coming back healthy, Reggie having an excellent year, as well as (RB Brian) Westbrook, and, as a team, for us to play well. For me to be told that 'you look like the Donovan of old' what year are you talking about?" 2000-2004 "Well those were great years. Those were great years, and hopefully we can put 2008 in that category as well."

On how much time it takes for a QB to synch with a WR/PR like DeSean Jackson: "You have to understand, this is exhibition play. When you get into the regular season, obviously it's a lot different. Teams are gameplanning for you, they're coming up with schemes to try and stop some of the things that we've done. So, there are a lot of things that he'll see and he'll be faced with. That's why I say 'just be patient, it's just the preseason.' He gives us opportunities to do other things. We have our 'midget-grouping,' so to speak, with DeSean, Westbrook and (RB Lorenzo) Booker. We only have one guy over six-two and that's Hank. It's kind of the 'midget-grouping' and the 'in-betweens.' You just try to involve everyone and give them opportunities to make plays for you."

On how exciting it is to have a guy like Jackson who can do the things he can do: "It's the preseason. It's the preseason. It's exciting to see a guy on special teams be able to take one back. And that goes for (S/KR Quintin) Demps as well as DeSean. Also, on the offensive side, he's done some good things, but other guys have done some good things as well. I thought L.J. has had a great offseason and preseason. Although, we didn't involve him as much as we wanted to in the Pittsburgh game, as well as in the Carolina game, but we involved him more in the New England game. Westbrook is doing a great job. (RB Correll Buckhalter) Buck is doing a great job. That's important. That's important for all the factors to key in and doing things together; more than just one person."

On whether he would like to play a series in the final preseason game vs. NYJ: "Things have been different this year. Normally, we would go three series in the first game, he had us set to go a quarter and a half. Normally (in the second game), when we would just go for a quarter and a half, he had us set for a half. And then in the third game, we usually just go the first half and a series, he had us set for three quarters. So, who knows what (head coach Andy Reid) Andy's going to do. He might have us play the whole game. Right now, we're just pretty much preparing for whatever and just making sure we stay sharp on offense as well as defense. Then, when we get the call, that's when we'll go in. (Jokingly) I wouldn't mind sitting out this game. Who wouldn't? But also, I wouldn't mind playing."

On whether he feels ready for the regular season: "Oh yeah. I feel like I'm ready to go against the Rams. Once we start gameplanning and things start kicking in, then you know it's actually going to happen."

On whether he thinks New York QB Brett Favre will play: "I doubt if Brett will play, because he just played yesterday. But, if he does, he does. If he doesn't, hey, we'll have to wait for the season to see him."

On whether the "midget grouping" guys know about the nickname: "I mess around with them a little bit on that, but Westbrook still says he's six feet (tall). So, that would put him in the in-betweens. I don't know if he's really in the in-betweens, but we'll let it go."

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