It's a week that has been circled on calendars throughout the Delaware Valley as Donovan McNabb makes his first appearance at the Linc as a member of the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
"I think the world of Donovan," coach Andy Reid said. "The legacy that he left here will be a legacy that will last forever. He did phenomonal things for this organization. That’s not forgotten. At the same time, he wants to beat the Eagles and we want to beat the Redskins, so there’s that side of it that you got to deal with. We all from Jeffrey on down here, we all have a special place for Donovan in our hearts."
Reid said he has watched tape of McNabb with the Redskins and also watched games live.
"It’s a different scheme that he’s running now," Reid said. "He’s being asked to do different things. You look at the tape and you go about going after him like you do other quarterbacks in game-planning ... He’s strong in the pocket, he’s not the easiest guy to bring down. He can still run. His arm has not gotten any weaker. He can still sling the football and he’s got guys that can go get it."
McNabb is familiar with the Eagles' defense and personnel and Reid would expect him to be a resource for the Redskins coaches.
"I’m sure he’ll talk to his coaches about our defense," Reid said. "He knows all the guys with the exception of the rookies. He will help with that scouting report with the players. Their coaches will go back and mixing what he tells them and what they see on tape and then come up with what they think will work best against us."
Reid declined to compare McNabb to Michael Vick. "I’m not going there," he said. "I think both of them are tremendous and playing well. I never do that and I’m not going to start now."
Asked if he had remained in contact with McNabb since the trade, Reid said, "I can’t do that by the rules of the league here."
Reid said there was no more at stake this time than there would be in other division games. "It’s the Redskins and they’ve got a good quarterback," he said. "They’ve got a great head football coach. It’s one of those NFC East deals. That’s probably it, No. 1."
Asked how McNabb would impact the Eagles' preparation, Reid said, "You can’t devote all your time to one person in this profession. It’s a team sport. It’s not a great grudge match sport. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about going through the process, exhausting that process of all the situations and personnel. That takes all of your time if you do it the right way. You don’t just focus in one person. We’re focusing on the Washington Redskins, No. 1. Donovan is a big part of that. We have to study what they are doing with them and build our game plan and work on practice and go execute it."
Reid said he didn't know what sort of reaction McNabb would get. "I don’t know that. He is a Redskin. Normally, they don’t get the best reception from our stadium there ... It will be a little crazy. It’s always crazy when the NFC East teams come here. I’m sure it will be a little crazier. I don’t hear a lot of that. I have the headset on and I’m focused on the game. I do know this, the louder the better ... I welcome the Redskins into that."
Reid said his players needed to not get too emotionally involved in McNabb's return. "They have to focus in on the Redskins. That’s the key."
On the injury front, guard Nick Cole continues to have swelling in his knee. Cole was pulled from the game yesterday for Reggie Wells. "We're going to back off him a little bit and see if we can’t get his knee swelling down. It will be a day-to-day thing." Reid said he would see how the knee responds this week.
Rookie defensive lineman Brandon Graham has what Reid termed a "bit of an ankle sprain." He missed a few plays yesterday.