In a day filled with injury and intrigue at the NovaCare Complex, among the things that was justifiably overlooked was Donovan McNabb's midweek meeting with the media.
Here are some highlights of McNabb's press conference, according to transcripts provided by the team:
On why he thinks the offense has been inconsistent:
“In this game in the NFL you have your highs and you have your lows. There are only two teams right now that are undefeated. If you ask anybody on the other teams who felt like they should be having a better season or a couple of games where they’ve felt like they should have won, you see the miscues or mistakes, not being on the same page in certain situations or certain moments in the game. But as far as just kind of each individual game, going game by game, it’s something different and I think it’s something you go through. You go through that during the season and you just look forward to correcting those, and the good thing about it is that we have eight more games ahead of us to be able to correct those.”
On how much of that is a result of being dependent on rookies and young players:
“I wouldn’t just kind of look at that situation. We have some young guys who are receivers and young guys who are tight ends and running backs, but if you step out on the field you have to be able to execute and that’s what practice is for. Then you get out and you fix a mistake here, if it’s something that you didn’t do in practice, that’s something that you do in the game or just something that kind of throws things off. I think there are just some things in games you have to be able to correct and have the answer for.”
On how he’s been sacked more times in six games this season than he has been in a long time, and whether he feels like he’s had enough time and protection to be consistent on the field:
“I didn’t know it was to that effect. Again, it goes back to just kind of miscues and miscommunications. I think our offensive line has been doing a great job and they are going to continue to do a good job. I think, for all of us, we’re going to elevate our game and play well in these next eight weeks. I didn’t know it was to that effect but one that we will definitely correct and make sure we move forward.”
On whether he’s happy with the balance in the offense:
“I am happy with the balance.”
On whether it’s tough to rebuild and compete at a high level simultaneously:
“There are some tough things about everything that you go through. Just in the last 10 years we’re ranked in at least the top three or four as far as organizational winning, with a great winning record. Our winning percentage has been good. At some point you’re going to go to younger guys to step into key roles. It’s going to happen. You just have to be able to continue on. You look at Indianapolis, they have [WR] Reggie Wayne and then they are throwing some younger guys in the other positions; they have [TE] Dallas Clark. You go to New England, they have their key guys but they are still rotating some other guys in there. It happens at times but you just have to be able to get out on the field and execute when the times comes.”
On how he would evaluate the first half of the season:
“I would say it’s going well. [We’re] 5-3. There are things that I would like to have back, throws I would like to have back, checks I would like to have back, but I’m sure everyone will say that. Just trying to protect the ball, get the guys an opportunity to make plays for you, get the ball downfield when the opportunity is there, and just do the right things with the ball.”
On what he thinks of the team’s record in close games:
“Nothing, it’s an unfortunate situation. I didn’t know it was to that effect but there is nothing I can do about the past at this particular point. You can only change the future.”
On why he thinks the team has a poor record in terms of fourth quarter comebacks:
“I think a lot of that is kind of overblown. There is a lot that goes into fourth quarter comebacks. It could be catches, it could be doing the right things running the ball, it could be special teams picking up yards or special teams stopping them from getting good field position, it could be the defense stopping them. It’s not just driving down and scoring, because if they get the ball they can do the same. [There] is a lot [that goes] into that.”
On whether he is surprised or disappointed that the team has not found a level of consistency:
“It happens, it happens in this league. Would you love to avoid it? Yes, but when it does happen you have to be able to realize why it happened and go out and correct it. I think we’ve had a lot of success, as far as when we come into a game and don’t play well, then the next week we play well. That’s something that has to happen and you consistently use that same mentality week in and week out. If it happens again then you have that same mentality that you had in the previous weeks.”
On whether the team’s mentality is more desperate when playing in a game after a loss:
“I wouldn’t say it’s desperation. I think it’s more anticipation of getting back out on the field and correcting what happened in the previous week. We’re not a desperate football team. We are a team that looks to get out and have fun playing football. In this situation, we knew we should have won that game against Dallas. Now we look forward to going out and hopefully playing well against San Diego.”
Here is a stat that might surprise you: The team with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles ranks last in the NFL in rushing yards per game (69.6) and yards per carry (3.1).
And here is another: Tomlinson's career low in rushing -- 7 yards on 17 carries -- came against the Eagles in 2005. Of course, that was before he was the LaDainian Tomlinson of the last few years.
“I'm not going to give up on it,” Chargers coach Norv Turner told reporters in San Diego. “We've got to be able to run the football ... We need more carries. To continue to get better as a total team, no question we need more.”
Turner said the threat that Tomlinson remains has opened up the Chargers passing game.
As for Tomlinson, Turner said, “It's not even fair to get into that evaluation. When I look at our tapes the last four weeks, when we've given him the opportunity to run, when we've had holes, LT has had good runs. He's had excellent runs. We just need to keep working to get him creases, to get him some running room.”
To view the results from the philly.com voting for the Eagles' midseason grades, click here.