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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On the importance of gaining momentum with back-to-back division games:"We harp on the importance of this game, not just because it's a Giants-Eagles rivalry, I think it's more for respect in the division and to move up into first place. Any time that these two teams get together, obviously it's a battle, it's a grind – us coming off of kind of a short week playing Monday night and having to bounce back playing a team like the Giants. But they are pretty much treating it as such as well. Playing Sunday night against Arizona is a tough, tough game for them, and they are looking forward to using this game to bounce back and get themselves on top as well. Just have to have a great week of practice, guys just staying focused all throughout practice and coming out in the game ready to go."

On whether he thinks RB Brian Westbrook could play Sunday against the Giants: "That's a touch situation and I'm not a doctor and I'm not Brian, so those are probably two people that you have to talk to. It was a tough deal being out there and seeing – one that I haven't seen, especially Brian, go through, and you never want to see anyone go through it. You get a knee to the head and you're kind of laying there, I was just worrying about his health and being able to bounce back from it, and just making sure he was alright."

On whether the idea of Westbrook not being able to play puts more pressure on him:"Not really. I try to make sure that I come out ready to go and just do my job. I think over the years, that's kind of one that I had to adjust to is that if one person isn't playing, to try and put more and more pressure on yourself to do more, and I think everyone has a job to do. If you do your job the way it's supposed to be done, everyone else will begin to follow. Will there be pressure if Brian can't play on guys? I hope not, but it probably will. But still, we can relieve that pressure from whoever feels that way by just going out and doing our job to the best of our ability."

On whether the inconsistency of the offense is a result of personnel changes made due to injuries: "I don't make any excuses. Inconsistency in the offense, I wouldn't say that that's the case. It could be just maybe one throw, or a throw here, or a route there. I wouldn't say that there's that much inconsistency. I would say, after the Oakland game, there were a couple of miscues and some things that we can obviously clean up. I thought last week that the offense played well, they played hard.

"There were some throws that I would like to have back, but you have to give respect to them. They are a top-five defense and haven't allowed a lot of points and for us to put points on the board against them is still a challenge. But still, just over the weeks I've thought we've gotten better, and minus the Oakland game, I thought we played hard and we played effective. We have to play really well this weekend."

On WR Jason Avant having success on third downs in his career and whether the fact that he has not been involved as much the past two games has contributed to the offense's struggles on third down:"Teams have truly focused on Jason because everyone knows that. A lot of times I've thrown the ball to the outside guys and have gotten the ball in their hands. Sometimes when they take away the outside guys, that's when you come back inside to Jason or [TE Brent] Celek or the running backs. We've kind of spread the ball around. Jason will be involved more but any time that you can get the ball to the guys on the outside and let them do what they are capable of doing, being explosive and making big yards for you, or the running backs.

"Not everyone is going to get the ball all the time. You want to get the ball to Celek, you want to get the ball to [WR] DeSean [Jackson], you want to get the ball to [WR Jeremy] Maclin, you want to get the ball to Jason. There's just not that many balls to go around. But again, Jason is a guy that has made big plays for us over the years and he will continue to do that."

On whether the throws that he would like to have back are based on mechanics: "Yeah, definitely. If it's footwork or you just look like you're aiming. The same goes for a pitcher, if you're off key with the target, you ask for the lower corner and you hit him up high. It could be footwork or release, and that's something that I've watched over the last game of just ways of trying to correct those. I look forward to getting out and showing what I was studying this week."

On whether he goes into games with a number of third-down conversions he wants to convert: "Before the Oakland game we were in, I believe, the top five in third-down [conversions]. You want to be, I want to say in the 45-50 [percent] range and that will put in you in the upper echelon, if not the best in the NFL. When you go into games like we've had where it's third-and-short or third-and-four, you want to convert those, you have to convert those. Third-and-five, third-and-eight, those are where you kind of hit the 40-45 percent range. Obviously when you get to third-and-10 or third-and-11 or more, the percentage gets lower. You want to put yourself in third-and-short and be able to convert those and that's kind of where you want to be to have a successful game and put points on the board and continue drives."

On whether it's fair to say that it's more than one or two throws that can throw off the offensive rhythm: "It's a lot of things. I'm just speaking on behalf of myself, of what I can do to correct those. But as a team, we have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities."

On whether he has ever had a concussion like Westbrook's: "I've never had, knock on wood, a concussion that I know of. But none to that effect that I've seen with Brian."

On how the Giants' defense has changed with Bill Sheridan as the defensive coordinator: "Every coordinator wants to add his wrinkle into things and I think that they are very similar of what Spags [Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo] had them doing. There are some things that Sheridan has pulled out that Spags is doing that he's not doing. If it's fronts, if it's coverages, if it's involving guys in the blitz, those are the things that he's kind of added to his own little wrinkle.

"They have been very successful. I believe they are the number one ranked defense right now in the league, statistically. Just over the past weeks you can see why. It's going to be definitely a battle for us, competing against these guys we have to be very efficient in the run game as well as the play action game to try and soften up what they like to do."

On whether he feels like there have been throws he's missed that he should have had: "Absolutely."

On whether there is one thing in particular that he looks at:"Like I was telling Les, if it's footwork or just aim, just throw it out and get those guys an opportunity to make the play instead of trying to be perfect with it."

On how you go about changing that: "You spend time after practice or in practice; you throw it like you would throw it in a game and have the receiver react to it. I think that anytime you get to footwork or not aiming or trying to place it in a perfect spot, that's when there's not too perfect, so just go out and let it go."

On how you simulate the pressure of a third-and-long situation in practice: "You have to get yourself out of that third-and-long, and you get yourself out of third-and-long by being successful on first and second."

On what causes him to miss throws: "Rushing throws. Trying to rush them, trying to get the ball out quick to give them an opportunity to get up the field, make the guy miss, or whatever it might be instead of just giving it to them."

On whether he feels like he's had less time to pass in games: "I wouldn't say that. Like I said, I thought the guys played well. Now it's just being able to execute."

On what he tells RB LeSean McCoy going into the game this week: "For him, it's just to relax. Obviously it's a different role now for him if Brian's not able to go, for him to be in that starting role instead of just rotating series by series or every other series. You want him to just relax and just see his holes and hit it. Hit it hard, protect the ball, get away from the defender, catch the ball, make the guys miss – things that he did at Pitt, things that he did through training camp and the preseason. You want him to kind of get back to that mode, mentally, and the physical aspect will follow."

On whether his rib is 100 percent:"No, but I'm good. I won't be 100 percent for a while."

On whether the hits that he's taken has anything to do with why he's not 100 percent:"No."

On whether he's still wearing the flak jacket: "Yeah."

On how wearing the jacket feels: "It protected me well last week."

On how the big hit he took last week against the Redskins felt: (Jokingly) "It felt good. It felt great."

On whether that set him back at all: "It didn't set me back. I'm fine."

On whether T Winston Justice is using 2007's game against the Giants as motivation: "I don't think so. You want to forget things like that and you obviously want to get a chance to redeem yourself, but you don't want it to become a problem or distraction. For him, there's nothing that any of us can bring – you want him to just focus in on who he has to block and his keys and his rules and things of that nature. I thought Winston has been playing well and he's going to continue to play well, and I don't think he's looking at it like we would, or like you guys are bringing up right now."

On whether it was tough for Justice after that first Giants game in 2007 because he didn't really get an opportunity to play that much after that:"That's tough because that's all people remember him as and it's probably what people remember of him now, just looking at him now. Winston has done a great job. He's done a great job for us so far and he will continue to play well."

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