Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On where he thinks the offense is: "From the beginning of training camp I think that we have definitely progressed. The bonus of it is that we pretty much have all of our guys up front back. I think it's very important these next two weeks that we take full advantage of that, working on timing and working on snap counts and things we will be doing during the year, make sure that we're all on the same page when the time comes.

"Just overall, I thought we definitely did a lot of positive things throughout this preseason. [There are] some things that we need to clean up, but overall, I think we did a lot of positive things."

On whether he would like to see the starting offensive line play Thursday night: "Yes and no. Yes, because I think it could help and it wouldn't hurt. No, because I don't want to get anyone hurt. I think in certain situations, obviously, you would like to [see] them do different things. But I think that's what meetings and working with [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] before practice and making sure they're communicating all throughout practice is for. Just to keep them healthy as well, in a game like this there's nothing but opportunity for other guys to make a name for themselves and possibly get their name on a roster."

On T Jason Peters' troubles with cadence: "I think it's just something that he has to get used to. It's kind of the rhythm of things, of when we get blitz—when you see blitz and be able to recognize it. A lot of times I may start the cadence and [C] Jamaal [Jackson] may make a call or I may make a call as far as blocking is concerned and I kind of get back on that rhythm of the cadence. I think that's something that he's adjusting to. Early on we kind of worked on it when he was in and out due to injury, and now that he's been in their pretty much consistently he's getting a hold of it.
"From that first game that he played, I believe it was the New England game, to where we're at now is definitely a big jump. We communicated all throughout the whole ordeal of the preseason and we're going to continue to work with it and make sure that we're all going together."

On why he thinks turning 30 will not affect RB Brian Westbrook: "I think when you talk about guys like you mentioned, when you talk about the [former Titans RB] Eddie Georges who probably rushed 350 times a year, then you talk about the [former Seattle Seahawks RB] Shaun Alexanders his MVP year, where he probably carried the ball about 330 times and the previous year before that it was around 320—somewhere in that range. Then you talk about Westbrook who may not carry the ball as much, but we ask him to do different things as far as catching the ball out of the backfield, picking up the blitz a little bit more.

"Some of those guys may have played the first two downs, maybe on the third down maybe not, we ask Westbrook to do a lot over here. I know that he prepares himself well, conditions himself well to try to eliminate that, but as a running back it happens. But for Brian, we know that when the time comes he's going to be there and he's going to be very explosive and give us all he has."

On whether he is concerned about Westbrook getting injured: "I'm not concerned at all. One thing you have to do, it's important that you have backups. We have [RB LeSean] McCoy. We have [RB Lorenzo] Booker. We have [RB Eldra] Buckley. We have [FB Leonard] Weaver, who can play both positions. So depth is very important for us, but I have full confidence that he'll be there."

On how long it took him to get comfortable in the offense in comparison to how long he believes it will take QB Michael Vick to get comfortable: "You've got to remember that coming in as a rookie and coming out of college is a lot different than being in an offense and not doing it for two years. I would say it took me about two years, two and a half years to get that comfort level in the offense—knowing where guys were going to be and the things that you can do in this offense. But again, that was me coming from college into the NFL.

"A lot of things that we do are very similar to what he did in Atlanta. A lot of things are very similar as far as the concept is concerned. Verbiage is a little different because [in] every West Coast offense, the coordinator or coach wants to put their own little spin on things so they kind of change things up. You just have to get to the terminology and get comfortable with doing a lot of different things in this offense."

On whether it is easier to come in with a blank slate as a rookie or as somebody who has played the offense but under a different coordinator: "I would say it's probably easier when you have been in the offense and can get back into the repetition and seeing things again. You have to remember [that] coming out of college, you are seeing a lot of different defensive fronts and a lot of different schemes and coverages than you see here in the NFL. It's really complex on this level if you're not prepared for it. If you haven't seen or been able to prepare for it and get your feet up under you, you'll get confused quickly."

On whether McNabb remembers speaking with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sidelines of the Jaguars game: "I remember the conversation. That's kind of the talk of everything now. I thought the conversation was very productive and very important. It's the communication between the quarterback and coordinator that we came up with the answers and we were able to go out and be able to execute. As far as everything else, I don't remember any of that but I remember the conversation and everything else."

On whether he has spoken with Mornhinweg since the game:"Yeah I've talked to Marty."

On whether he and Mornhinweg have figured out how to make the offense better:"Just play football. That's over. You have to understand with everything that's going on right now, everyone is making a big deal out of our whole situation. We communicate every game. We communicate out at practice. We communicate here in the building. It's no different than what we've done in the previous years. I know with everything that is going on right now people are searching to try and find something. With the whole situation, the whole issue, it's blown way out of proportion and we've just all moved on."

On how challenging it is for him to come in and out of the game: "It's not challenging at all. Other quarterbacks have done it and there's really no problem with it because if you look at the whole situation, it's another opportunity for us to present pressure on the defense. Like I said, I may line up at receiver, tight end, running back, you never know where I may line up but if I come out for a play, I'll be right back in the next play.

"It's whatever we can do to try and confuse the defense, or confuse the defensive coordinator to try to come up with some sort of scheme to try to stop it. But it's important for the offense to be able to execute the plays to continue the drive on, continue to score, continue to put pressure on the defensive coordinator so now they have to prepare for a so-called Wildcat or when he comes out, they have to prepare for when we're out there as well."

On whether he would be open to Vick taking successive snaps:"The game of football it's about, I always believe that before you can come up with gimmicks or come up with something else, you've got to get your base offense going. I think in game three of the preseason, that's something that teams take very important because that's really the last time that the ones get an opportunity to kick off the rust and ready for the regular season.

"There a lot of instances that it seemed like we were forcing a lot of different things just to say that we ran it, instead of just running our offense and running how things may go as far as during the year or if we decide to do it. I thought our offense continued to get things going as the game continued on and we got that rhythm that we wanted."

On whether the rhythm of play is a short-term or long-term concern: "When you talk about the game three, you've got to understand, he's not going to be coming in every second down. So we're just running plays to see how it would work or to see how the offense or defense would react to it. We got a chance to run our offense, we threw a couple of wrinkles in there, showed them some things. But, I said it a long time ago, it's definitely going to help us out in so many ways, it's definitely going to take pressure off of Westbrook.

"It's going to take pressure off of all the guys because now the defensive coordinator is going to try and put eight in a box and we come up with a scheme where we either throw out of it or run out of it, and then we run our basic offense. You're talking about an offense that really scored a lot points and did a lot of things last year to now adding another dimension. A lot of good things could happen in this."

On whether he sees the Wildcat side of the offense as a work in progress: "It's still a work in progress. Any time that you come up with something different it's going to take time. And, like I said after the game, when you have something like this, you want to get it out there. You want to see how it looks on film or ways that we can correct it, or ways that we can make it better, that's what the preseason is for.

"You look at what Miami did with it last year having [RB] Ricky Williams and [RB] Ronnie Brown and [QB] Chad Pennington at receiver, whatever it may be. And it worked for them against New England, it worked for them all throughout the year. You want to see how it works for your team. Every team is different. Every player is different. We want to see how it's going to work and try to look further into the season and see what it would be able to do for us."

On whether he personally feels ready for the season: "I am. Definitely."

On whether he thinks WR Jeremy Maclin is ready to start if need be: "I think he can. In the preseason games, you're not going to feature different guys. You want to spread the ball around, get everybody an opportunity. We've seen a lot from our receivers. We've seen Maclin catch balls and break tackles and get up field and pick up yards. We've seen [WR] DeSean [Jackson] do it. We've seen [WR] Brandon Gibson do it. We've seen [WR] Hank Baskett, [WR] Jason Avant, all of our guys. And I think that when you throw guys into a certain situation in this offense, you not asking them to be the guy. We spread the ball around so much that everybody gets involved.

"And I think if Maclin was asked to do that I think that he would be able to do that. You got to remember that [WR] Kevin Curtis is coming back an he's doing well. [WR] Reggie Brown is still going to be able to help us and the rest of the guys as well so it's just important that we continue to stay consistent with what we're doing."

On how he sees the WR cuts playing out: "I don't know. I really don't know and again it goes back to [the fact that] you want to give everybody an opportunity to show what they can do and I think all of our guys have been able to do that throughout the preseason. Guys have made big catches, guys have made [yards after the catch]. It's just that a lot of positive things have been happening at our receiver position so it's a tough decision that they've got to make and we'll see what happens."

On Kevin Curtis' performance in the preseason: "You can't really go by catches. Kevin catches balls at practice. Again, it goes back to what he's been able to do for us and he's able to do a lot of different things for us. Kevin catches balls in practice, he had two catches or so in the game, really should have had three. And we're rotating different guys in there, so it's tough to measure or say what he can do right now, or is he banged up. Kevin is doing well. We look forward to getting all of our guys ready for Carolina."

On Kevin Curtis' hernia returning: "That's all done."

On having T/G Shawn Andrews back: "It's good to have all our guys there; it's good to have all of our guys. It's good to have Shawn back. [T] Winston Justice has been playing well; [T] Jason Peters is getting his feet up under him and getting comfortable. [C] Jamaal Jackson is the leader of that line and it's tough to obviously lose a guy like [G/T] Todd Herremans right now, but [G] Max [Jean-Gilles] as well as [G/C] Nick [Cole] will fill in and do a great job for us."

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