Donovan's deliberations

Philadelphia Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb talks 49ers and Eagles, along with discussing his status for Sunday's game between the two teams and his volatile relationship with a certain former 49ers receiver, among other subjects.

Q: Do you feel like you'll be able to play on Sunday?

McNabb:
I look forward to it, yes I do. I want to continue to get treatment and get myself best suited to get out on that field and make plays. It's a slow process, but you just have to take it one day at a time.

Q: How are you today compared to Tuesday?

McNabb:
I'm still a little sore, but again, it's nothing that's going to happen overnight. You have to take some time, be patient, continue to do what our training staff has out there for me to get better with and move forward.

Q: Do you think you could play if the game was tomorrow?

McNabb:
I'm too much of a competitor. If we had to play tomorrow, I would be out there playing.

Q: What's the pulse of the team like after the loss Monday night?

McNabb:
It's the same pulse that we had even before the game. I think one thing people need to understand is that it's just one game. You don't win the Super Bowl in one game and you don't lose the Super Bowl in one game. You have to be able to learn from your mistakes and be very critical of yourself by watching film. You have to understand that there's another opportunity out there to change everything and that's what we look forward to doing.

Q: A couple of years ago, you lost your first few games and still made it to the NFC Championship game. Is that something you think about?

McNabb:
People don't understand that. The (New England) Patriots didn't win 16 straight, and all of the playoff teams didn't go undefeated as well. Teams lost some games. If you lose it early in the season, you lose it in the middle, or lose it towards the end, it doesn't matter. You have to be able to bounce back from that. We've been in this situation before, obviously, and hopefully we can use it to our advantage again.

Q: Have you had a chance to look at 49ers game film from the Rams game?

McNabb:
I've watched a little bit of it. I'll also watch some tonight, as well as tomorrow and the day before the game. What you're seeing from this San Francisco team is a team that's playing with a lot of adrenaline and playing with a lot of intensity. With the new scheme they've been presented by their head coach, I think what it does is it puts those guys in great positions to be successful. They're very athletic on the other side. Julian Peterson is back healthy. Bryant Young is playing with a lot of energy. Their linebackers are flying around, and they have a lot of confidence in their secondary.

Q: How are things between you and Terrell Owens?

McNabb:
We're still working well together. Again, it's like being injured. It's just patience. It takes time, and I think what we do out there on the football field goes back to the same thing we did last year: communicating and making sure we're on the same page so we'll be able to execute. Anything else after that, I think our focus is just on the football side of things right now.

Q: How do you put aside some of those remarks that were, in many ways, mean?

McNabb:
The way I've handled it is pushing everything aside and understanding your job. Your job is being prepared and being ready to get out there on that football field, knowing what you're seeing and being able to react to it. For the 10 other guys on the football field with you, you have to make sure you're all on the same page.

Q: Does your sense of humor help deflect any volatile situations?

McNabb:
Not for me. I'm just a guy who enjoys playing football. I think that with everything that happened and everything before the game, you take a little bit out of it and use it as motivations. You try to take the littlest things to try to pump you up. I'm not a guy that's going to go bang my up on any locker. I'm not a guy who's going to start yelling and throwing things in the locker room. I can sit back and crack jokes, and when it's time to play football I'm focusing on my job. Some people are a little different than that. For those who get a little confused or don't really know how to react to it, I just let them know that sometimes you have to enjoy what you're doing. If you're enjoying what you're doing, it makes your job a lot easier.

Q: When you have a receiver like Owens, do you run the risk of trying to throw the ball to him too much even though he might not be open?

McNabb:
As (Dallas WR) Keyshawn (Johnson) elaborated on earlier, ‘Throw me the damn ball,' hopefully he won't write any books like that. The way I'm handling it is just knowing what you're seeing. People may have said that we tried to throw the ball too much to him last game. A lot of people are saying that (Atlanta CB) DeAngelo Hall shut T.O. down, but I've never read that seven catches for 112 yards is shutting anybody down. I must have missed that chapter. If you feel like your guy is really being aggressive and creating some separation to get the ball, then you go at him.

What about the 11 incompletions to Owens in the Atlanta game:

McNabb:
No every ball is going to be completed, now. If we completed all 19 balls to him, then they might have been looking for a new corner on the waiver wire. You give credit to him too. DeAngelo did a great job, but our other receivers got involved. Greg Lewis had a bunch of catches. Brian Westbrook caught the ball. L.J. Smith. We spread the ball around enough, but if we completed more than half of the incompletions, you might be talking about me being one of the greatest quarterbacks on Monday night.

Q: Do you always have to keep T.O. on your mind on the field?

McNabb:
If he's open, I get him the ball, but I'm not going to think about him in the huddle and think about him out there going through my cadence. You look over the defense and take what the defense gives you.

Q: Do you think that no one person, no matter how volatile, can damage your team's chemistry over the years?

McNabb:
Definitely. When we're out there on that field, we feel like we're unstoppable. Everyone talks about the receiver-quarterback combinations across the league, and we feel like we're up there as well. No one would ever say of (Indianapolis QB) Peyton (Manning) and (Indianapolis WR) Marvin (Harrison) that anything could separate their timing and chemistry. Nobody would ever say anything about how (Jacksonville WR) Jimmy Smith and (Jacksonville QB) Byron Leftwich are doing. Nobody is ever talking about any of these other top combinations. That's just kind of the confidence you have to have.

Q: What did Owens do to reconcile with you?

McNabb:
He brought me breakfast. He brought me some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and he mowed my lawn. He fertilized it, too.

Q: What did you do for him?

McNabb:
I picked the doughnuts up, I bought the fertilizer and I brought him some water while he was cutting my grass. I also put my workout facility outside so he could work out in my driveway.


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