Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On how he manages to not take it personally when people say the team can't do anything right, right now: "I've been a part of this team for a long time. One thing that you can't do is you can't get upset by the way people may feel about you one week and then change the next. I think the focus of this team is not really to go out and change the opinions or the way some people may feel about you. The way that we try to approach each week is to go out and try to get better and, hopefully, when this is all said and done at the end, we can lift up that trophy and have confetti flying everywhere. This is ten years for me, so I've been through the ups and the downs, the he-said/she-said. I think, for a lot of us who have been here for a while, we try to express that to the guys to just focus on what we're doing here and not worrying about what they may say on the outside. What we need to do is just get back to those three games when we were playing well and continue to extend that a little more. I'm sure things will change."

On whether there are people on the team who don't understand what they need to do:"I think everyone understands the method and, really, the way we approach things around here. I don't think it's people second-guessing themselves, or second-guessing the team. I think people understand the talent that we have here; we just have to put it out on the field and do it consistently. Those three games, offensively, defensively and special teams, we felt like we would score, or they would get turnovers or special teams would get yards for us no matter what the situation was. Even in the Giants game, you look into the eyes of the guys on the sidelines and you could tell that they were ready to go and were just waiting on that opportunity. We had a lot of opportunities to do that, scoring on offense and getting turnovers, but we just have to close the deal."

On whether it's difficult to explain the Eagles' .500 record over the past couple years, despite the team's impressive rankings in most categories: "I wouldn't say it's difficult to explain. I think, as a player being a part of that, it's frustrating because, obviously, when we weren't a top-10 offense or defense, or when our defense was top-10, but our offense was maybe top-15 or 18, we were having a lot of success. One thing that we can pinpoint is that we haven't closed games. It's got to be a total-team deal. Offensively if we can't get things going, defensively you've got to step up. If defensively we're struggling a little bit, offensively we have to take over; special teams as well. That's just the way this game goes. It could be a shootout or it could be something that goes 3-0. You have to be on top of your game at all times, on all phases, in order to win games in this league."

On the team putting up big numbers vs. New York and Dallas, but not being able to convert on critical short-yardage situations:"Again, it goes back to being able to seal the deal. Scoring is not an issue for us, eating up big yards is not either. When you get into those types of situations where it counts for maybe a four-minute drill or continuing a drive, we have to be able to pick up those short yardages. If it's a pass play or if it's a run play, whatever it may be, it's important that we be able to keep drives alive by doing it. Maybe in the Dallas game, we would have won that game. Maybe in the Giants game, we would have won the game. But, it's something that we focused on weeks ago and it just didn't happen last week."

On whether the problem can be fixed: "Absolutely."

On how the team can fix the problem in week 10 if it hasn't already been fixed: "We've fixed our red zone deal; we fixed a lot of different things. We've fixed our coming out at half time and being able to sustain drives and come out with points before the half. Then other things kind of shift, if it's the start of the game or if it's picking up third-and-short, when we really didn't have a problem with that early on. It really is just, for us, going back to the basics, being able to correct those mistakes and putting everything together to make sure it comes out the way we want it to."

On how much field position has helped the offense this year: "The field position has been great. I think special teams has done a great job of giving us good field position. Last year, obviously, it was tough being able to drive long fields. We've had some drives where we've started on the 40 or we've had some start on the 35. That's kind of a tribute to what (special teams coordinator) Rory (Segrest) and (special teams quality control coach) Jeff Nixon have been doing with the special teams. Offensively, we've been able to sustain drives and come out with points. If it's those third-and-shorts or those fourth downs, whatever it may be, it's something that we have to convert in order to keep things moving."

On whether it's frustrating to not convert on 3rd-and-short or 4th-and-short: "I think it will if it becomes a problem before the end of the year. But, we have an opportunity to correct those now so it won't be a problem. I look at it in a way that, when you go through a season like this, you're going to hit the wall sometimes and some things aren't going to go as well as you want them to. But, at least we have enough time where we can correct that and be able to continue on. In this game that we play, it's going to be something; if it's we don't run the ball enough or we don't run the ball in certain situations or we pass the ball too much, we're not scoring, whatever it may be. Not everything's going to be great, but in this situation, you have to be able to convert third- and fourth-downs-and-short."

On whether he agrees that problems with a team should be corrected by week 10: "That's true, but people wouldn't have thought the Dallas Cowboys would be in the situation they're in. People wouldn't have thought the Indianapolis Colts would start the way they did. Every team has something that they have to work on. There are going to be times where there are some things that you have to address. We've addressed our whole red zone as well as being able to score touchdowns and a lot of field goals. We've addressed being able to pick up first downs in the passing game when teams think we'll run it. We've addressed that. There are going to be games and stretches during the season where there's going to be something you'll have to pull out and focus more on in order to correct them."

On whether he sees any similarities between this team and the 2007 Giants: "The Giants were last week, our focus is on Cincinnati. The way that we need to approach this, as a team and really, as players, is to go out and do our job this week. Each individual guy has to challenge themselves to elevate their game now. There's no looking back, we need to win these games and see what happens at the end. If we do what we have to do in that situation and with that mindset and things begin rolling, we will get back to the Giants game. And, then we'll look back at the mistakes that we made and be a little bit more consistent in all phases and, hopefully, it changes as well."

On the Bengals being 1-8: "If you watch them on film, they fly around. Especially their defense, you can't tell that they're a 1-8 team. They play hard, they have two young corners (Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall) who are pretty physical and like to attack the receivers. (LB) Dhani Jones is playing well; I believe he's their leading tackler. They have a front four that applies pressure. And, (head coach) Marvin Lewis has always been known for his defensive schemes. He's been very successful with that. We have to be ready to challenge them on offense and be able to put points on the board and not put a lot of pressure on our defense."

On his friendship with WR Chad Ocho Cinco: "Yes, Mr. Ocho Cinco. He's a great guy. He brings a lot of attention to himself at times, but he's an entertainer. One thing about the guy, obviously, when he had his quarterback in there, he put up big numbers. It's not like he's not capable of making big plays for them. (QB) Carson's (Palmer) a little banged up and they're going through some things on offense, but Chad's a guy who I've communicated with from time to time. He's, obviously, changed from where he was in the offseason of how he felt to where he is now. With whatever situation it may end up in, he just wants to win. That's all that you ask."

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