Update: The Eagles will play at Minnesota at 4:30 p.m. next Sunday.
Here's a recap of what Donovan McNabb said during his press conference. As usual, these are not exact quotes.
How does it feel to still be alive?
McNabb says he guesses he's been revived. People have thrown him out, ran over him, spit on him, but you know what, he just continues to prevail, kept his chin high, stayed positive. He made sure guys in this locker room understood that if given the opportunity, they would take full advantage of it, knowing that last week just wasn’t them, and if anything worked in their favor with all these scenarios that McNabb would not let them down.
Given past experiences, how difficult has this season been?
McNabb said it's easier now. He says that because he's been through those experiences for years. When you go through something for the first or second time, you don’t know how to handle it. But McNabb being part of something like that over and over and over again, the way he shows it doesn’t affect him is by going out and doing his job and having fun.
Does he get tired of it?
McNabb says they're human beings. You get tired of it but you never let them see you sweat. And you never show that it bothers you. You kill ‘em with kindness. When you kill ‘em with kindness and do your job, people understand it never really affects you.
What was the range of emotions, starting with pre-game reports that the Bucs lost?
McNabb said last week that no matter what, they all had something to play for. And this week they played for pride and they played for each other. And they couldn’t control anything that happened in Tampa or Minnesota or Houston. What they could control was what happened here today. You saw a team that was resilient, played with a lot of emotion. Once they got word that there was an opportunity, this team played with a lot of passion. Still knowing that they had their pride on the line, to come out and defend what happened last week, and with this opportunity, to make sure that they took full advantage of it.
How has the regular season challenged him?
McNabb says he doesn’t need any more motivation than what he gets every week. His job entitles to be up and down throughout the year. They [QBs] get too much credit. They get too much blame. But at the quarterback position that’s something you have to deal with. He's been doing this for 10 years and knowing that these guys in the locker room know that he's going to give all he has every time he steps on to the field and he can look into their eyes and know they’re going to do the same for him. That’s all you need. What happened throughout the year they can’t control now because they're all zero-zero, stepping into the playoffs in a new realm where anyone can win. The Giants got it done last year. There’s no reason they [the Eagles] can’t do it now.
He always talks about getting into a rhythm. What does he mean?
McNabb says it's just like being a basketball player. When you’re a scorer and you might be a little off at times, you continue to keep shooting. You don’t shy away from shots, from assists. You try to do your job at a high level and you want the ball in your hands at crunch time. Knowing that the game was still tight, he wanted the ball in his hands and give these guys an opportunity to make plays for him. And these guys really stepped up and challenged themselves to do better than last week and they were able to get the job done together.
What does he say to people who think he should be more vocal, say more when he's criticized?
McNabb says you don’t win battles by trying to defend yourself with people who are on air, with people who write, people who have the power of the pen. Because no matter what he may say, they’ll take little bits of what they want and put that in there. Then you’ll get people who are watching or people who read, to believe what you want them to believe. So he doesn’t play the game. He says what he needs to say, always from the heart, gets it out and moves on. He can’t control what’s been said on the TV or the newspaper but he can control what’s on the field.
Is he vocal enough to people within the organization?
McNabb says yes, absolutely. They know when something is on his mind. And that’s professionalism. If it’s something on your mind, you share it with the people who need to hear it. And there has been a lot on his mind and there will be something that’s shared when the time comes. Everything you talk about is based on timing. They’ve shared a lot of different things. They've opened up a lot with one another and that’s just being a professional.
Is today's playoff berth any sweeter than the past?
McNabb says the Lord works in mysterious ways. For people to put them out for dead, roadkill, for that door to open up one more time for them, you never want to give a team another opportunity because when that team gets in, it could be that team you don’t want to play. And the way they feel in the locker room, they could be that team.
How appreciative is McNabb for this opportunity?
McNabb says since you’ve [the reporters] talked about him not being in the playoffs the last four years, he's in. It’s sweet. But he's got a job to do. And his job is to make sure they're ready to go against Minnesota, a tough team, one of their former coaches. It’s not just one of those times they’re happy to be in. They want to stay in.
Is he surprised things played out the way they did?
McNabb tries not to focus on that side of things because if it happened, it happened. They were going to be ready to play this game no matter what, whether they were the team to get in or spoilers. If they weren’t gonna get in, they weren’t gonna let Dallas get in and that’s just 10 years, having a dislike for Dallas. Thae fact that they had an opportunity, took full advantage of it, and now they have a foot in the door. They want to bring the other foot along and bring their family members in as well.
Does McNabb get enough credit?
McNabb says you never get enough credit until you’re gone. He's not looking for any credit right now. He's looking for all 52 guys in the locker room to be ready to roll for next week. If they continue to win, positive outlooks will be looked upon.