Donovan McNabb Press Conference: 10-26-05

On how the ‘Take a Player to School' event went yesterday: "School was great. I learned a lot. I got a chance to talk to some teachers."

On how he is feeling and if rehab is helping:

"The off-field stuff is definitely helping. There's not too much you can do as far as trying to get rid of the hernia. But again, you try to come up with ways to alleviate the pain, get the swelling out, be able to use your hips and your legs. At times it kind of stiffens up on you, but it will eventually get looser. We've been doing a good job as far as trying to come up with other ways of being able to compensate for injury."

On how much the injury affects his accuracy:

"At times you're not able to get up under some throws, so you've got to use your upper body a little bit. It works sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't. But it hasn't affected it as far as pulling me away from the majority of things that I do."

On why the offense is struggling so much:

"Sometimes you have big plays. Sometimes you don't. So, maybe we're not running the ball, if that's what you all want to hear."

On whether the injury affects his decision to run:

"I tried to run in the game. You're just not running as fast as you used to. And you try to make plays just like you normally do. They're having better pursuit I guess. When I'm out there on that football field, I don't even focus in on what's hurting or what's bothering me. I just try to play football. And in that case, as you've seen, they were able to get up on me. I should have probably just thrown the ball away, but I'm just trying to make a play for the team."

On the fact that his longest run of the season has been 5 yards, which is down dramatically from his norm:

"Then you're not a running quarterback anymore I guess. I don't know. You're just trying to look down field and focus on your receivers and being able to execute in that way. If nothing's there then you decide to run. There were a lot of times where I wasn't able to run. I tried to move and I'd get caught by a defensive tackle or defensive end. Still, I'm going to play football and give all that I have when I'm out there."

On what needs to happen to get things going:

"I don't think anything necessarily. We got things going over the course of the game, but we're just getting the ball out, getting the guys 1st downs, getting 2nd and 5, 2nd and 4. We were able to execute on different plays. We just have to do it consistently. We've had games where we've had drives that ended in points. It just so happens that last game and I guess the Dallas game are the two that are fresh in everyone's mind, and everyone's been talking about it. But this offense is definitely going to get rolling and we'll be sitting up here smiling talking about how many more big plays we're going to make."

On Denver's defense:

"They're an exciting defense coming off of a tough, tough loss last week. They blitz a lot. They have a lot of confidence in their corners. I think what we have to do is protect, get the ball outside to the different guys, be able to pick up some big plays in the run as well as in the pass game, which will set up some playaction. When you talk about probably one of the best linebacker trios in the league with [LB D.J.] Williams, [LB Ian] Gold and [LB Al] Wilson, it's just going to be a challenge for you."

On whether the NFC East has a different feel this year:

"I think everyone has continued to try to get better each year. When [Redskins head coach Joe] Gibbs and [Cowboys head coach Bill] Parcells came over, and [Giants head coach Tom] Coughlin, everyone was saying that was what everyone was going to be watching. And I think at that particular time they were trying to establish somewhat of a tempo, and just trying to put their foot down to express to the team the type of coaches they were. Probably teams just didn't adjust well to it that first year. And I think now what you're seeing is these teams are pretty much just finding out that what the coach is talking about maybe is right. They're bringing in some of their guys to help them out and they're having some success with that. It's a challenge in the division, but we just have to have that same approach that we've been having, and hopefully we'll have the same result."

On whether the injury affects his ability to take shots downfield:

"No. A lot of teams have been trying to eliminate the big play for us, if it's deeper passes, if it's me getting out of the pocket trying to throw a deeper pass, whatever it may be. So that's why you see some routes that are 10 or 15 yards, not that there aren't any 30-40 yard [routes]. It's a long season. Things will happen."

On whether he needs to adjust his game from being caught from behind by guys:

"You have to make an adjustment. It's not that I'm not used to it. I've had longer runs with as many rushes as I've had now. Again, things are going to get better. I'll have some games where I rush for 40, 50, 60 yards, but that's not my focus. If I have to do that, then that's what I'll do, but other than that just run the offense."

On what he's been doing to get the swelling down:

"A lot of ice after practice. Stretching is very key. Warming it up before we go out to practice and stretching then. Trying to move around a little bit while I'm out there, so I won't tighten up. And after that we have the ultrasound and the stimulus we use to try to contract the muscles. You just try to come up with something that tries to take some of the swelling out."

On whether it takes him awhile to warm up in games:

"No, not necessarily. I think you anticipate some throws a little earlier, which will lead to some throws being a little off or whatever. But once you get into that rhythm, you just pinpoint pass and put it on him. You have some games where things just don't look so smooth, but once they begin to click and the chemistry is there, we look amazing."

On why the team isn't running the ball:

"I don't know."

On whether it's been harder because the teams they have faced so far this season are teams they haven't seen:

"It's tougher to face teams that you haven't seen before. It's a little more challenging, but we haven't had success with the AFC in the past couple years, and now that we have, it's a good thing for us. Obviously to get any win, if it's NFC or AFC, it's big for us. No matter who we're playing, we just have to continue to prepare the same and just get ready to play."

On whether there has been any point where he thought he should have surgery:

"I thought about it. It's something you obviously have to think about. You don't want to damage it any worse and you don't want to put the team in jeopardy. But with further decision, I thought about just continuing to play and getting it done afterwards."

On whether it would help him out if the team ran the ball more:

"We'll find out against Denver when we run the ball a lot."

On Denver CB Champ Bailey:

"Champ is, if not the best corner in the league, definitely in the top 3 I think. You talk about corners in the league that are being able to go week in and week out and compete against the top receivers and have some success and do it consistently, you talk about Champ Bailey. So many times you hear about a corner who may have 6 or 7 interceptions one year, and the next year you really don't hear about him too much. Champ has been consistent. He's been a guy that they feel confident in competing versus [the opposition's] top receiver or top tight end. They had him matched up against [Chiefs TE] Tony Gonzalez when they played Kansas City and that says a lot about Champ as a player, as well as a person."

On whether the injury makes him more of a target:

"Guys are going to take shots if you're injured or not. It's an opportunity for them to get to the quarterback and for a lot of front 7's across the league. They kind of strive off of getting sacks or hitting the quarterback in trying to motivate the defense. I think one way of eliminating that is being able to pick up the blitz and avoid that. But I don't think that teams are trying to put the target on me to try and knock me out or anything."

On whether he has seen more blitzes:

"No more than what we've seen before."


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