During his post-game press conference, Donovan McNabb was asked about Jeffrey Lurie's comments in today's Boston Globe, where the Eagles owner said he had "every intention" of bringing McNabb back.
Here was his response:
“Well that’s exciting," McNabb said. "I guess I don’t have to answer that question from you guys anymore if I’ll be here so that’s very nice.”
Earlier this season, McNabb said he'll need to meet with the Eagles' brass after the season to discuss his situation. A reporter asked a follow-up question about those comments.
“I never said I didn’t want to be here," McNabb said. "I’m here. It’s exciting. Nice try.”
Here's the rest of McNabb's press conference. As always, in the interest of posting this ASAP, these are not exact quotes:
How did they set up the big screen play to Brian Westbrook?
McNabb says they tried to run the ball a little bit and soften them up, knowing the Vikings are effective in the run game. The tight ends and receivers did an excellent job of softening up the coverage which led to the effective screen play. It was the first screen play they ran, and it was probably the most important play of the game. Any time you can give the ball to a guy like Westbrook, give him an opportunity in space against any of their defenders, you feel good about the matchup. Time and again, he makes plays for you.
Was the offense struggling before the screen?
McNabb wouldn’t say they were struggling. They sustained some drives but couldn’t come up with touchdowns and had to settle for field goals. In the third quarter, they came out and established a tempo, had a drive going and ate up about 10 minutes or so. They got stopped when they were eating up some yards. They obviously wanted touchdowns, but it put pressure on the Vikings by backing them up and they had to go the long field. In a game like this, you have to be patient. That’s what the playoffs is all about, being patient, taking what the defense gives you, trying not to turn the ball over, continuing to keep yourself in the game. You do that, things like the screen play will happen. The team played well together, played with a lot of confidence, never putting their heads down, just continued to stay positive, knowing if they continued to do their jobs, they could win the game.
Was the crowd a factor?
McNabb says when you’re playing a team like this that is playing at home, feeding off the energy of their fans, it’s important that everyone’s on the same page at the line of scrimmage and knows what they’re seeing. That gave them an opportunity to recognize where the blitz was coming from at times and to get the ball out. Give them [the Vikings] credit for putting pressure on him. Jared Allen did a great job of getting a sack on him and forcing him to fumble. But again, they continued to stay strong, knowing that if they did their jobs, they could seal the game and come out with a win.
How important was it to win the fourth quarter?
McNabb says it's important to try and win every quarter. In a situation like they were in, only up two, it's important to win the fourth quarter and move the chains, eat up some clock and come out with points. They were able to do all of that and come out up nine. With the great plays of the defense, they got the field goal to go up 12. It’s an exciting time for them in the locker room. They will go watch film and be very critical and come back against a tough Giants team that’s coming off a bye week and is well rested, it will be a challenge for them.
How important were the third-down conversions?
McNabb says they were very big. They were able to eat up some clock, convert on third downs. Guys made big plays on first and second down. They couldn’t put up points, but ate up some clock, keep their defense on the field, and put Sav [Rocca] out there to back them up so they had to start backed up on the 5 or 10 yard line, so now they had the long field. When you go though things like that, you want to score, but you also don’t want to turn it over and put yourself in a bad position.
How big was Jason Avant?
McNabb says Jason has continued to work extremely hard each day. He wants to perfect his craft of being in the slot and being a go-to guy. McNabb thinks Avant’s gained that confidence from him and the rest of the guys as well. Given that opportunity, he will convert that first down if they decide to play zone or man vs. him in the slot. You want to get the ball to him because he’s one of their playmakers, and given the opportunity, he’ll make plays for you. What you’ve seen all season, not just from Jason but all the guys, when they get plays called for them, they’re going to come down with the catch and get the first down and possibly more.
What will it be like to play the Giants again?
McNabb says playing them the third time, they’ve done it so many times throughout his career here, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s not going to be like the first two times. They know the situation obviously. If they win, they move into the NFC championship. If the Eagles move in and win, they move on. You gotta put everything on the line now. Everything counts now. It could be just one turnover that really costs the game so he's sure they’re preparing. When they get back to Philly, they’ll start to prepare for a tough Giants team so it’s exciting.
How has the team gotten this far?
McNabb says what he's seen is a team that continues to rally behind one another.He's seen this team with whatever’s been said on the outside throughout their long run, or even during the drought, he's seen this team have confidence in one another, try to have each others’ backs. What you’re seeing is a team playing with a lot of energy, playing with emotion and just having fun. McNabb thinks that’s the most important thing that they had to get back to, was just having fun. Seeing other guys make plays, seeing the defensive line fire off the ball and get sacks. Offensively seeing different guys get first downs, seeing Westbrook and Buck getting through the hole and picking up yards. You’re seeing on the sideline, as the offense or defense is out, everyone up on their feet cheering for the team. That’s what you need, especially when things aren’t going well. You need guys to rally behind one another. That’s what we’ve been able to do.