After 11 years of meeting with the Philadelphia media at the NovaCare Complex and/or Veterans Stadium for his regularly scheduled Wednesday press conference, Donovan McNabb for the first time spoke to local reporters via conference call.
The Eagles are hosting the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field -- in case you hadn't heard -- and McNabb will be making his first appearance at the stadium in a different uniform.
"Hopefully, I walk out the right tunnel," McNabb said. "I may need some help with that."
There has been a lot made of what kind of reaction the quarterback will receive upon his return to the Linc. Most polls indicate that McNabb will be received warmly -- at least until game time.
McNabb said that he was hoping to hear some cheers.
"But in reality you got to remember that it’s kind of a big rivalry and one that obviously we see each other twice a year," McNabb said. "So there will be some realization there as far as hopefully after the fact that they recognize that I’m back but just knowing that I’m with the Redskins. So I’m sure they won't be happy with that aspect.”
McNabb maintained his stance that he's trying to approach the game as if it were "any game."
"I think people are probably looking at it a little deeper right now than anything," McNabb said. "You got to remember it's just Wednesday. That was me kind of expressing how my emotions may be. It's kind of hard for me to explain at this particular point. But it’s probably something I can answer after the game."
McNabb, of course, will be facing an Eagles team that now has Michael Vick as its starting quarterback. McNabb had something to do with the team signing Vick last August. But when the Eagles traded McNabb in April not many expected Vick to be the Eagles starter when the team hosted the Redskins and McNabb. Kevin Kolb was supposed to be the guy, but now he's not.
“It’s a tough situation when a guy gets hurt and you would expect him to have an opportunity to step back in ," McNabb said. "But in due time Kevin will be fine.”
Last week, McNabb was asked about the quarterback switch during his Washington radio show. He said he wasn't necessarily surprised because "that's Philly." Asked to clarify his comments McNabb said: "I've only been in one place so I don’t know anywhere else. Are you trying to reach for something that’s not there.”
Asked further what he meant, McNabb said, "What I meant is what I said.”
McNabb said that he and Andy Reid remain "good friends," even though it was the coach that traded him to an NFC East Division rival.
" He stuck his neck out and drafted me in ‘99," McNabb said. "We had a lot of success together. Obviously we’ve been through some ups and downs tighter. Things happen. It’s unfortunate. Was I upset at the time? Absolutely. I moved on. I've learned to move on and focus on the job at hand.”
How long was it before he moved on?
“Well, I was here the next morning after the trade to work out with the guys and spent time with him," McNabb said. "So I’ve moved on from it.”