Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On the Falcons defense: "When you look at the Atlanta Falcons, obviously I don't focus in on rankings and numbers and things of that nature, I just kind of watch how they fly around the ball and the intensity they play with and the plays that they make. Their middle linebacker, (LB Curtis) Lofton, he seems like he's (there) on every play, everywhere the ball is he's there. He's their leader. A little bit more about (LB Mike) Peterson obviously from coming from Jacksonville and his athletic ability and the things he's able to do. (DE) John Abraham and his ability to come off the corner and create pressure on the quarterbacks and getting sacks. And their safeties are very aggressive. Kind of when you watch this team, it seems like at home they are a whole new different team. They are a team that plays well, flies around the ball, and constantly just makes plays."

On whether this team has a different attitude than last year at this time: "I don't think there's too much difference because the situation is that we still have to win. No matter what our record is, the attitude is still the same because we have to come out and continue to elevate our game week in and week out to position ourselves, obviously at the end of the year, of being in the playoff run. I think right now, obviously with where our record is, it looks a little bit better, but the attitude is still that we have to go out and make plays and make sure we do whatever it takes to win the game."

On how big of a loss it would be to not have WR DeSean Jackson this week: "It's a loss any time you lose one of your playmakers. There was a loss when we lost (RB) Brian (Westbrook) and (RB LeSean) McCoy had to step up. In this situation guys just have to step up. We are counting on (WR) Reggie (Brown) obviously to do that and we know that he can do that. We have full trust in Reggie and (WR) Jason (Avant) to fill in at the flanker position. What we have to do as an offense is just continue to spread the ball around in the passing game, be very effective in the run-screen game and move the chains and come out with touchdowns instead of field goals."

On whether it's a big deal that they passed the "gut checks" of coming from behind in the fourth quarter: "I don't know if there were any gut checks, I think in the last two weeks there were opportunities that we could have taken more advantage of. There were plays that we left out on the field, there were points that we left out on the field, but I think those are things that happens throughout the course of a game. I think in the past two weeks we have been able to overcome some of the adversities because of our fourth-quarter play. We don't have to be in that position. I think everyone on the offense obviously challenges himself this week to eliminate that from happening, but what we can take from it, obviously is that we can get the job done in the fourth quarter and drive down to try to win the game."

On the differences he has noticed about Atlanta at home vs. away: "Obviously it changes each week because of the teams that they play. They definitely play better at home because they have the crowd noise and I think the comfort of being there at home. Away, obviously there are other factors that play into it and when you watch it they still apply pressure to quarterbacks. They also still keep their blitz package going and try to eliminate the run, stop the run, and get the opposing offense to third-and-long. But, I think the key factors that play such a major part for them at home is the crowd factor and just kind of the past few years, I think they've only lost one game, so that confidence factor is something that they kind of ride off of as well."

On having continuity in the offensive line the past two weeks: "I think the chemistry is definitely there. Then, it's obviously a positive when you can look in the huddle and see the same faces. You had the experienced guys with (G/T) Todd Herremans now having games under his belt obviously after the injury. (G/C) Nick Cole who was bouncing around from right to left, now kind of stable in that position. (T) Jason Peters getting comfortable and being effective in what we do. (T) Winston Justice the same. It's obviously a trust factor for myself to know that those guys are going to be there and the things that we can do. The communication is there, and I think we have to continue to build off of that each week with those guys knowing that we are trusting them and we're relying on them to obviously open up holes in the run game and block their guys in the pass."

On what kind of reaction he thinks QB Michael Vick will get in Atlanta: "I believe he will get a standing ovation. You talk about a guy who for six years or so was the face of their franchise and the guy who led them to an NFC Championship and multiple playoff appearances. The people in the community love him. I think those are things that you don't forget. Sometimes they never really miss you until you're gone. He's been gone obviously due to the situation he was in and he's back playing again, so a lot of people in Atlanta are happy for him."

On whether he's spoken to Vick about going back to Atlanta: "Not necessarily because I don't want it to be kind of his focus in the situation. I think he's handled it well as far as focusing on just kind of doing whatever it takes to help us win. He's a Philadelphia Eagle now; he's not an Atlanta Falcon. In this situation he just wants to win, so that's his mindset."

On how much of a role he thinks Vick will play in Atlanta: "(Jokingly) I don't know. He may have 20-30 plays. I don't know. (Seriously) It's not really about trying to impress or trying to showcase. I think in this situation it's no different than the other regular games that we've had. If he has three, if he has five or six plays, just trying to make as many plays as possible, I think that's something that he will continue to have as his mindset, and as his teammate, I want him to have a great game. I would love for him to throw three touchdowns or rush for two touchdowns, whatever it may be. Will that happen? Maybe not, but it'll be good for us."

On what emotions he thinks Vick is feeling this week: "I don't think it's kind of overbearing emotions as far as overflowing with kind of anxiety or his anticipation growing to get out there. I think for him it's just kind of a settling effect of knowing what we are doing around here and what we want to get accomplished as a team, and I think that's something that he's seen all of us approach it with, that attitude of doing whatever it takes to win. We've had a lot of success here over the years and he's a part of it now. When you talk about the Atlanta Falcons you don't talk about Michael Vick anymore. It's (Falcons QB) Matt Ryan's team, and Matt has had success in his first year. Right now he's had some bumps and bruises but he's still the face of that organization."

On whether he's noticed any changes over the past couple of months with Vick now that he's part of a team again: "Obviously it's an awakening effect of having the opportunity of kind of getting back on your feet. I think at this particular point, of going through half of a season now, it's a settling effect of obviously him being able to kind of go through the regiment of Monday workouts, Tuesday workouts, taking care of your body, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we're practicing, and Saturday walkthrough. So when you get in that situation when you've been away from the game for however many years or months or whatever it may be, I think that the comfort level of understanding that you kind of can continue your journey of playing in the NFL and obviously trying to win a Super Bowl, kind of gets settled into your mind."

On whether he and Vick talked about this game when Vick first joined the team: "No, I don't even think he looked at the schedule. I know I don't but that's nothing that we even talk about."

On Allen Iverson coming back to Philadelphia: "I'm happy for him. I'm happy for the Sixers organization, happy for everyone in the Iverson camp, and I think it's going to work out well for those particular guys. When you talk about the Sixers, Andre Iguodala is kind of the face of the team, (and) I'm sure he would welcome him with open arms to get more support in the scoring department and obviously in defense with steals. It's only going to improve their backcourt and their frontcourt; their individuals will continue to elevate their game, Elton Brand and (Samuel) Dalembert. It's going to help in many ways for them."

On how well he knew Iverson and whether he's followed Iverson's career the past few years: "I've known him pretty well. Iverson is a guy that we spent time together talking. I think a lot of people from the outside who don't know him, that's when you start to assume a lot of different things. I've known him personally, gotten a chance to talk to him on more than a few occasions and he just loves the game of basketball. He has a passion for the game. He has a passion for winning. The success that he's had here and the excitement that he brought to the Philadelphia area, they haven't had that pretty much since Andrew Toney and Dr. J. (Julius Erving). And, for it seemed like every time that he stepped out on the court, you didn't see too many red empty seats in the stadium. Now it seems like you can pretty much go sit anywhere you want. When you talk about bringing Allen back, you'll start to see more #3 jerseys back out of the closet, kick the dust off; some people have probably spilled ketchup and mustard on them for sitting in there so long. I'm excited, I look forward to when he plays his first game there, but I think in this situation he's looking at it as more of getting himself back on his feet and trying to help the team win."

On the differences in the past couple of games in the fourth quarter: "We eliminated the miscues. We eliminated miscues and guys making plays. I think when you get in that situation you count on your guys to make plays for you, and obviously as a quarterback you have to make plays as well. In these past two weeks we've all stepped up and made plays when we needed to and capitalized whatever we needed to win the game with. You're going to go through games with highs and lows. It just so happened that last week it was a little bit in our third quarter, against Chicago it was a little bit in the third quarter as well, two series. You have to be able to overcome that and be able to bounce back on a positive."

On whether he needs to talk to Reggie Brown about his role against Atlanta: "Not at all. Reggie and I have built a rapport from the previous years. Reggie works hard at practice. We're comfortable together of being able to make plays. He's made plays for us a little bit this year. You want to kind of get everybody involved and this is a great opportunity for him to make some big plays for us. We have the full trust that Reggie will do what needs to be done. Like I said, he works extremely hard and I'm sure he's excited about this opportunity."

On what makes Avant so successful as a number three receiver: "I don't look at Jason as a number three receiver. Really to be honest with you, I don't look at any of our guys as a one, two, three or four because every guy on this team makes plays for us. You try to reward them if they create separation and run great routes, you try to put the ball out there in a position where they can make plays and catch a ball, make a guy miss, pick up big yards. I think in certain situations teams try to eliminate DeSean, try to eliminate (WR Jeremy) Maclin to try to force us to work the tight ends or the slot guys or the backs and we feel like we have an advantage when we have Jason in the slot, if they decide to do that, to create some separation and make big first downs or possibly touchdowns for us."

On whether Avant has toughness: "Yeah, he has a big-time toughness. Like I said last week, he has 'it' and he's a horse. A guy that you definitely need on your team, not just by his play but by the way he carries himself and the way he prepares himself."

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