Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether there were any lingering effects from the eye injury he sustained vs. Atlanta: "Fortunately, there was no blurriness after the hit or after the game. There were no headaches or other different types of feelings that you may have for it. It's healing. It's not fully cleared up, so it will probably be red for a couple weeks, which is something I'll have to deal with. But, other than that, it doesn't throw my vision off at all."

On which eye it was that got scratched: "Left eye."On head coach Andy Reid's comments that he liked how McNabb performed on his draw play vs. Atlanta and his follow-up celebration: "(Jokingly) You didn't like my dance? I haven't been in the end zone for a while, not that I was looking forward to it in any way, but for us to go up and score points and contribute in that way was big for our offense. For him to have that confidence in calling that down there, obviously, shows a lot. I guess that's the difference when you're healthy, of the choices that you have. Now, the dance, I don't know if I'll be doing any more dancing. I guess it was good to get that out of the way."
On whether the decision by Reid to call the draw play was purely based on his health: "I think there were other factors; it wasn't just about my health. I've been healthy enough to do that in the previous weeks. I think, for what we were faced with, as far as the front coverage was concerned down there in the red zone, it gave us the opportunity to look at that play and feel confident about it. It was great blocking from the guys up front, which gave me the opportunity to get in the end zone. I know teams have been preparing to stop that aspect of it. For us to be able to get it done was big for us."
On whether his rushing touchdown was any more special because it had been a while since he last scored: "Not necessarily. I get more gratification from other guys scoring; on a pass or a screen or a run. Even with my touchdown, I was excited to see (RB Brian) Westbrook get in, especially at the end of the game. For us to break it open when we're trying to ice the clock and win the game, for him to get in, I believe I got more excited about that than me getting in the end zone. It was exciting for me to get (WR) DeSean (Jackson) his first touchdown, or get (TE) L.J. (Smith) or whoever a touchdown. I'm not one of those guys who are striving to get their own. I wouldn't mind throwing a touchdown pass or handing the ball off and watching other guys do it."
On whether he feels like this is a winnable game: "I try to stay positive and say that about every game. Is it reality? No, maybe not. I think this is the type of game that we need right now because we can't sit and say 'we can lose this game, but we have to win this game.' It's a must-win situation for us every week. Obviously, we know how tight our division is and how close we are to elevating ourselves to a different position of ranking in the NFC East. It's a must-win situation and we're playing a team that feels that same way as well. It's a must-win situation for them because we've been in the same situation. We have to go out and execute and eliminate turnovers and, when it's all said and done, win the game."
On whether he's concerned about Seattle's defense: "They've had some success versus us in the previous two or three games. I haven't played against them since, pretty much, 2002, but my team has played. They've had some success, so the thing for us is, after watching a couple games that they've played this year, you see that they apply pressure. I believe (DE) Patrick Kerney has four or seven sacks or something like that. And, then they bring (LB) Julian Peterson, who's one of their versatile players, down at defensive end and he has four sacks. We have to be able to block up those guys and give our guys opportunities on the outside to be very successful and, in that, sustain drives. Last week, we had opportunities to sustain drives, but if it was a bad throw on my part or a mistake or a penalty which threw us off on three-and-out, then that's something that we have to eliminate, playing against a team like Seattle."
On making sure that the team doesn't overlook this game, with the New York Giants game the following week: "It always starts with how you're thinking about it. It starts with the mind first. If you believe that it won't happen, then you'll go out and do it. But if, in your mind, you're questioning yourself as to how you're going to play and what's going to happen, then you put yourself in a bad situation. The thing about this team, with the way we started early on, is we can't afford to say 'we'll just sit back and we'll get it in the second half.' We have to do it now. I think guys have taken on that role of knowing that and having it in their mind first to go out and get the job done."
On Seattle's success at home and what makes it such a tough place to play:"When I went there and played against them, I played in the stadium where the Washington Huskies play (Husky Stadium). I've never played in this new stadium (Qwest Field). But, I remember watching the NFC Championship game when they played Carolina, when they talked about their 12th man. It's a pretty loud stadium and the fans get involved a lot. I guess that's sort of an advantage for them, but, obviously we treat it, when we're home with our fans fired up, like it's an advantage for us. That could be a factor, but I think the way we have to approach it is to try to take the fans out of it by going out and scoring points."
On how he thinks the offensive line is doing in pass protection: "I think those guys are doing really well. Obviously, it all starts with (C) Jamaal Jackson and myself. I think Jamaal has done a great job of making sure that everyone sees and recognizes if a blitz is coming and making sure the guys understand who they're blocking. When you do that, it takes a lot of pressure off the other guys, so that they don't have to focus so much on looking around. They can block the guy in front of them or pick up the blitz. Those guys have really made my job a lot easier, as well as Westbrook, in the pass game and the run game, to open up opportunities for us to be successful."
On whether it's especially important to have good pass protection in an offense that has so many possible receiving targets: "Definitely, it's very important. You look at the success that some of these quarterbacks have had over the recent years. You look at (New England QB) Tom Brady and what he did last year, being able to pass for 5,000 yards or whatever. He had great pass protection. (Indianapolis QB) Peyton Manning passing for 4,500, or over 4,000 yards, is because he has great pass protection. It makes a quarterback's job a lot easier when you go through your reads and you're able to go 1-2-3 and possibly back to one when you know that you have that protection. These guys have really gelled well and have been doing a good job so far."
On his improved accuracy in the second half against Atlanta and whether anything specific happened to cause that: "I don't make excuses, but the two slants that I threw, one to DeSean and one to (WR) Kevin (Curtis), knowing that they were in press coverage, I kind of got on the ball a little bit too much; trying to put it on his body, knowing that it was tight coverage. And, the pass to L.J., I rushed it. He came open so fast, and I just wanted to get him the ball so quickly. Maybe because of what happened later on with the big hit, I didn't want to set him up to get pretty much blown up. In that phase, you just have to relax and that's something that I did in the second quarter, was just relaxing and getting my legs under me. I attribute that to getting back into the relaxed mode of running the offense, getting the guys the ball, the comfort level with all the guys and being able to execute. In certain situations of the game, it happens. Unfortunately, it happened early on, but we were able to overcome it and get back on track."
On what type of process it is to get out of a slump like he did: "Mentally, of just getting back on track of just being comfortable with everything and get everybody involved."
On potentially having WRs Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson all back for the game at Seattle: "This will definitely be the first time that all three of them will be on the field together. I'm excited about that. I'm excited for Reggie because of the hard work that he put in this offseason and the training camp production that he displayed. Even when he came back, he led our team in receiving. Of course, we didn't win those games, but he still played great. To have all three of those guys and to have all the rest of our guys, it's an added bonus because we can do a lot more different things, spread it around and get everybody involved to be productive for us."
On whether defenses have begun keying on DeSean Jackson:"I think they're going to keep an eye on DeSean, but also keep an eye on Kevin, as well. Knowing the production that he displayed last year, with 77 catches and over 1,000 yards and what DeSean has been able to do, teams are going to try to eliminate DeSean from getting down field. They're going to try to eliminate our intermediate passing game, but, when you do that, you forget about our screen game and you forget about our run game. Our run game has been very effective in the last couple weeks and, when you have guys like L.J. and guys like Westbrook and Buck (RB Correll Buckhalter), guys who can catch five yard passes and turn it up for 20-25 yard gains, now teams really have to indentify what they want to do next. Really, it makes our job a lot easier. If they do decide to double, then that leaves single-coverage on someone and I'm pretty sure they don't want to do that."

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