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Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether it's easy to focus in on this game and not think about the team's record: "When you play against a conference opponent, an opponent which you play twice a year, it's easier to focus in a little bit more on your opponent and what they do because you are very aware of a lot of things they'd like to do in certain situations. I think playing against the Redskins, the Giants, the Cowboys, it's something that feels like you just played last week. Whenever you play a team like this you know that you are going to get their best and you're going to compete at a high level. You want to match their intensity and come out with best results."

On whether the strength of the Redskins' defensive line, particularly DT Albert Haynesworth, is something that he needs to be particularly alert to: "Not necessarily. You know that he is going to be down on the line. Most of our schemes are not just based on where he is at. We don't have to focus in too much on where he is lined up. I know that they like to move him around and he was moving around at Tennessee from inside to outside. I think that is more for our offensive line to focus in on and to make sure that were very aware of their coverages and where their linebackers and safeties are, there are the most important individuals on their defense that we focus on."

On the effect of G/T Todd Herremans return: "I think it's good for him. It's good for our team to get another one of our guys who is an experienced player on the offensive line. I know it was a long haul for him going through the rehab for so long and he was anticipating this opportunity. Being in there with him, we've talked about getting out and getting back to old form. I know he is looking forward to it. We're excited for him. I think he will help our o-line as well."

On whether the game against the Redskins last year is something that has stuck with the team: "Not necessarily. The two games, the game here as well as the game there, we had an opportunity to win those games and we just didn't. In this situation obviously you have to have short term memory and just focus on what you have to do now. It's a different team than last year that they have, we have a different team. At this particular point, what we have to do is focus in on our job. Each individual player needs to make sure we elevate our play and go out there and play mistake free football."

On why he thinks the offense struggled against Washington last year: "We just weren't consistent for whatever reason. You watch the film and the opportunities that were there and it was a mistake here, a mistake there, it just kind of multiplied as the game continued on. I think for us now to watch those and be aware that they're correctable. This is a different year and we look forward to getting out on the field."

On whether he thinks that running ball less and running the play action more allows the linebackers to relax because they know that they don't have to worry about the play action: "No. (Jokingly) Nice try. We just have to execute. Whatever play is call we just have to execute."

On how personally he takes a loss like last week's: "I take it seriously. I take it as a challenge for me. For 11 years I have been a part of different games that have a ended that way or have went along that way, win or loss. I take it as a challenge for me to try and go out and make sure that the team is ready to go so that it won't happen again. I am not the only one who felt the way that I did, like I explained after the game, I felt embarrassed. When you get embarrassed you don't want to get embarrassed again so you are going to do whatever it takes to erase that and make sure that you turn a negative into a positive."

On whether he will spend extra time with communicating with the offensive line to make sure they are all on the same page: "You communicate all throughout practice. I spend extra time with (C) Jamaal (Jackson) and some of the other guys watching film. We communicate in the meeting rooms to make sure we are all on the same page. The trust and confidence in those guys is still there. I don't think anyone on this team is losing confidence in those guys. We want to make sure they feel that way and they understand that. It was just one game and a game that obviously, we don't want to happen again. What I try to do is try to provide confidence for them, so they know that I haven't lost confidence and that I am looking for good things. You want to reward them as well. If it's throwing a touchdown pass or (RB Brian) Westbrook or (RB LeSean) McCoy running through the open holes and picking up first downs or big yards, that's how you reward the offensive line."

On how big of a loss losing WR Kevin Curtis would be: "It would be a big loss because of his talents, because of his awareness, and also his experience. (If) you look across the board at our wide receiver position (WR) Reggie (Brown) and (WR) Jason (Avant) are the two guys that we have with experience at the receiver position. You have (WR) DeSean (Jackson) coming off a year, where now he is seeing different coverages and he is seeing how teams are really approaching him differently. Then you have (TE) Brent Celek starting for the first time. It's tough when you lose experienced players, but now that puts a little bit more pressure on guys to step up. (WR Jeremy) Maclin now is gaining more experience by playing, starting and seeing different looks. It's going to be incumbent on us on offense to really take the pressure off of some of those guys and be able to execute plays that are either going to them or going away from them, so that we're not asking them to really fill in and do everything."

On going from seemingly having too many WRs to just two experienced players: "That's kind of the way it is. They always say you can never have too much and then before you know it, you don't have that much at all. I think that's why when you come into this league you don't think, 'oh I've got a year to just relax and learn.' You have to be ready to go at all times because you never know when your name is going to be called. For (WR) Brandon Gibson, a guy who was really developing, playing well, practicing well and working hard, I think it will work out well for him over in St. Louis. Things like that happen. You just want an opportunity to play and for guys like Maclin, who stepped in for Kevin Curtis and now is really getting his feet up under him at the position, you have to work on your timing and make sure you guys are on the same page because you never know who may be rotating in there. You have to be ready at all times."

On struggling to get Maclin involved in the game against the Raiders: "You credit Oakland, but also I think it was more that (we were) just a little bit off, a little timing and really for me that was the second game that I had an opportunity to work with Maclin. For me, I was trying to get my feet up under me, just like I said after the Tampa game, I excepted kind of a slower kind of a start. For me it was my first game back since the first game and Westbrook's first game back and that was another game to kind of get things flowing and we didn't have an opportunity to do that and we were a little off. I look forward to this game being a game in which, now we are starting to get the tempo flowing and I'm very excited about it."

On how important it was for Westbrook to have a strong game coming off of his injuries: "It's very big and again it does a lot for your confidence. Coming off of an injury for my first game against Tampa where it seemed like every pass we threw was complete and was going to be a big play and for Brian every time he touched the ball it ended up big a big play. It does well for your confidence knowing that as much time as you put into the training room, you're still focused on your job, you never lost a beat and for him to have a game like that, now he looks forward to this game and the games to come. I think for all of us, to make sure that we are all on the same page, first of all for me and Brian coming out of the training room and out on to the field, it's good for us to get our juices flowing and get things moving so we can kind of get up to speed with the rest of the guys."

On how important this week's game against the Redskins is: "It's a very big game. This is a very big game. Not necessarily for us playing against our conference, the Giants, Redskins and the Cowboys, but coming off of last week. I think it's important that we erase what happened last week. We've all seen the film, we all know what mistakes that we made and now it is time for us to come out off the practice field and correct those and get ready for this game. We are playing against a team that really doesn't care what happened in the past couple of weeks, because I am sure they are tyring to forget what happened in the previous weeks, and just trying to focus in on playing against a division opponent. When you play against a team that you see twice a year, for your first opportunity you want to kind of make your mark and you want to kind of set a statement. That goes for both teams."

On whether losing can snap the team back into focus: "It does wake you up a little bit, because now you realize the mistakes that you made and for the younger guys they understand that in this league you have to be ready to go at all times. You have to be ready because everyone gets paid to play. Everyone was an All-American or some sort. Everyone, no matter what they're record is or where are ranked as far as total defense, or offense is concerned, it could be their day. For all of us it was sort of a wake up call, yes and we are going to treat it as such to go out to this week in practice, as well as in the game to be very alert and be ready to go."

On DeSean Jackson talking about wanting to make up for his struggles against Washington last year: "It's rare for a player to remember a game like that when you go through a season like he had and for him to use that as motivation looking forward to this game, but I think a lot of players still have that mentality and it's not just one particular game it could be a season, it could be a couple games that you look forward to just getting back out there and changing those negatives into positives. He's not the only one, it was a tough game for us and to go all the way down to pretty much the one-yard line, we are never going to forget that. In this opportunity, what we can do at this point is obviously do the right thing and try to win this game."

On whether he ever looks back on some of the things he has done in the past against the Redskins: "Not necessarily. Things happen throughout the course of a game and you have to be aware of your surroundings and be able to react to them. I think when you're playing against the Redskins, the Cowboys, or the Giants there are going to be plays where you say 'I can't believe I did that' or 'how did I do that?' But again, you want the positive plays to happen for you and not for any other team. We see these guys twice a year and their very aware of that, we're very aware of different things that happen throughout the course of a game. We just have to make sure that we make more plays than they do."

On whether younger guys are always going to be working their way in this team or if eventually they will come together: "We definitely are going to get thing together. That's the exciting part. One thing that I tried to express during training camp is, everyone started to (talk about how) we've got the weapons, you have the guys, and I said hey it's kind of premature at this point. We're going to have games where we're going to be high and some game we are going to be low. These games where we gain experience together and guys begin to understand and put in the time and go out and try and be consistent on the field."

On whether his ribs were bothering him at all on Sunday: "No not at all. I felt really nimble, loose."

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