Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On how tough it is to see RB Brian Westbrook going through his second concussion: "I think there are a lot of ways that you can look at it. I know that there are a lot of guys who have played in the recent years who have made the decision to retire early who have had more concussions than Brian. I believe, that I know of, this is just his second (concussion) in years. (Buffalo Bills QB) Trent Edwards has had two or three this year. I know (WR) Michael Lewis in San Fran has had three this year and two last year. It's a scary decision that you have to make and I don't think it's based on whether you retire or not, I think that it's just making sure that there is nothing else that's lingering around or anything besides just the concussion, if it's migraine headaches that he could have that maybe he hasn't had before. That's why you go see a specialist and then you can sit down and talk with the specialist about the future and what decision he should make at this particular time."

* On whether he's had a chance to talk to Westbrook in the past couple of days:*
"I talked to him after the game, during the game. I believe he left yesterday to go see the specialist, so I'll wait to see him when he gets back. Just as a friend and just kind of as a teammate, I think the best thing we can do is pray for him right now and also to have in our minds whatever decision Brian makes will be the best decision for him. Not to try to second guess him or second guess his thoughts or decision or whatever it may be, but just continue to support him and make sure that he's fine."

On how they are preparing if Westbrook won't be back this season: "I look for him to be back. I think in this situation, really it's out of Brian's hands, it's in God's hands and He'll put him in the best position possible. I look forward to Brian being back."

On how much football means to Westbrook: "He's a competitor. He has a lot of drive and determination and he wants to be the best at everything that he does. In this situation you have to take a step back. You have to take a step back and look at your future and look at the possibilities of what it could be. You want everybody to walk away from this game on their own terms and be able to hold their kids and play with their kids in the future, travel and take trips with their families and not have to worry about anything."

* On how careful you have to be with head injuries:*
"In this game, obviously, head injuries are something that people really focus on because of what has happened to the previous players, guys who played in the '60s and '70s, the things that they're going through, the '80s and '90s as well. It's something, obviously, with helmet changes and shoulder pads and things of that nature, injuries happen. You just don't want the severity to be to the point that later on in life you're starting to pay the price for what has happened 20 years prior. But the thing about it is that we know what we're getting into when we're playing this game but you just try to prepare yourself for eliminating that from happening."

On whether there is less room for error on the offense because of the youth at running back: "I think that first and foremost you have to prepare those guys for what they'll be faced with. Secondly, just try to provide confidence for them that you have the utmost confidence that they'll be able to get the job done with whatever play is called. If it's a run play, if it's a pass play with them being able to pick up the blitz and recognize what front coverage is in front of them and be able to get out in their route, catch the ball, pick up yards. For them and as an individual, I think you have to challenge yourself to be prepared, studying your book and asking questions if needed, know what you're seeing and be able to recognize and go out and play error-free football. You know that they're going to make some mistakes, everybody makes mistakes and you just have to continue patting them on the back, get them confidence, knowing that 'Hey we're behind you 100 percent, we know you're going to get the job done next time,' and we're going to get this thing rolling."

On whether the youth at running back is a concern: "The (youth) list goes all around the offense pretty much. We have a lot of young receivers, (TE Brent) Celek is starting his first year as the starting tight end. (T) Jason Peters is starting his first year (in Philadelphia). (G/T) Stacy Andrews, his first year (in Philadelphia). (T) Winston Justice started his first year. The running backs, their first year of being here or being drafted. So, we have a lot of youth on the offensive side. Those guys have really challenged themselves to be better at what they've been doing. As a veteran on the team and in the position, you have to challenge yourself as well. But we have the utmost confidence that they'll be able to step in and hopefully get the job done."

On whether going back to Chicago is more special than other games: "This game is a little bit more special because we definitely need this game. It's not for me just going back home. I think that's something early on in your career that you look forward to going home and playing in front of family and friends. I've been in the league for a while now, 11 years, and at this particular point in my career, as well as this point in the season, this is a must win for us and that's the way that we have to approach it. I wouldn't care if it's at Soldier Field, I wouldn't care if it's playing in Champaign, IL, or we can play in Oklahoma, it doesn't matter. This is a game that we need to win. That's the way I'm approaching it and that's the way the other guys are approaching it as well."

* On what makes him feel that this week is such a critical game for them:*
"It's the way the last two weeks have gone, also the position that we're in. Fortunately Dallas lost, the Giants were off. Just kind of our position in the NFC. You try not to, as a player, look back at that and look and see what teams are playing, you want to put yourself in a position where you don't have to do that. The last two weeks we haven't been and it's important that we go out with that attitude that this is a game that we have to win to put ourselves at 6-4 with a better opportunity, a better chance going into the following week."

* On whether it's frustrating having this kind of season after the upgrades the team made after last season:*
"You can make upgrades but some things happen anyway, but you want to put yourself in a position where you don't have to. Does what happened last year and the previous years help us? Yes. But also, you have to remember that a lot of the guys that were here last year aren't here. We have a young group who weren't a part of what happened last year. I think it's just incumbent on us to make sure we take advantage of each opportunity that's given to us. We have seven games left and we have to make sure we're playing at a high level."

On whether he feels like he has to put more on his shoulders than ever before: "I don't approach it as such. I've tried to put a little pressure on my shoulders to challenge those guys and make sure that they are prepared early in the season, also throughout the course of the season. As this particular point, I think every young guy and guy who is in their first year here with the Eagles has been faced with a lot of different adversities. I think they have understood exactly the things that we have to do and what we ask of those guys to do. I don't think at this point, is for me to go back into what I talked about during mini camp or going back to talk about what I talked about in training camp, it's just kind of reiterating it and just going out and showing them on the field about work ethic, preparing yourself, film watching and just going out and playing the game."

* On how ready he thinks RB LeSean McCoy is to step in*
: "I think he's ready to go. I think, again, it goes back to just providing that confidence for him. That he understands that we're all behind him, we're supporting him and that we know he's going to do a great job."

* On whether he would like to see more of a balance in the play calling*
: "Week to week it changes and our pass game was very effective last week. Things would have been different obviously, if we would have scored on one or two of those touchdowns in the red zone, and we know what we have to do in order to answer that. The thing about it is that whatever is working at that particular time, you stay on it and you just make sure it works for you."

On there being a video clip of him appearing frustrated on the goal line and whether or not he said "just run the ball": "I'm a football player. I want to score. Do I remember that? I don't know. I've said a lot of different things through the course of the game. I'm sure they might have clips of it, they might not. But again, it's about winning ball games and I want to do whatever it takes to have a win."

* On whether he thinks it's important that the coaches don't lost faith in the run game if Westbrook is unable to return:*
"I don't think they will lose faith in running McCoy. I don't think they'll lose faith in running (FB Leonard) Weaver and (RB Eldra) Buckley. I think that whatever play is called, we have to be able to execute and do the right things, do our job. If it calls for us to block somebody, we block somebody. If it calls for me to check into another play due to the front coverage, check into another play. To get it to our receivers, get it to them and let them work. I think that each individual has to do their job and if we do that, good things can happen."

* On whether he can check into a run if a pass play is called*
: "If the pass is there we'll pass the ball."

* On whether it was a lack of execution or whether some plays were there last week*
: "It was a lack of execution."

On whether he feels that the roll-out play in the red zone should have been a running play instead: "If we would have completed the pass or if the guys would have been open, that wouldn't have been a problem. If we would have run the ball and gotten the first down, it wouldn't have been a problem either. Should we have run the ball? That's (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) and (head coach) Andy's (Reid) decision."

On whether he was upset that the roll-out play was called because it limits half of your options: "We wouldn't roll to the left. We would never roll it to the left. We've run it before and we've been successful with it. It just didn't happen that time."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.