McNabb: Young Receivers Can Step Up

Donovan McNabb believes in the young receivers that the Eagles have assembled. The veteran quarterback believes this is the year that youngsters like Reggie Brown will step up into bigger roles with plenty of production.

Last season, Reggie Brown saw playing time thanks to the injury to Todd Pinkston and the whole Terrell Owens fiasco. He was able to show enough that the Eagles will look to him for continued production this season and quarterback Donovan McNabb believes Brown is ready for the job.

"You are seeing a more experienced Reggie Brown. The good thing about what happened last year is he had the chance to get in game situations and play knowing that he was going to be kind of the first option at times and be in tougher situations where the ball will come your way and make the big play," said McNabb. Brown's college experience put him into big situations and McNabb believes that will help him with the Eagles. "Reggie is the kind of guy who has played in big games. He has made big plays throughout his college career and we know he can do that definitely here."

In fact, McNabb believes that the entire corps of young receivers is a talented bunch of players just waiting for their chance to show what they can do. "I think all the receivers have that experience right now and that is a good thing for us in our passing game," explained McNabb. As for how the Eagles passing game could look in 2006, McNabb is definitely confident. "Just sit back, relax and enjoy," laughed the Eagles quarterback.

Of course, there's veteran Todd Pinkston, who McNabb doesn't discount. "I think Todd is looking forward to this year with what happened last year and the way things ended up for him but he has really worked hard to work himself back. He has been out there working on our individual drills showing a little bit of explosion and running some routes so it's a positive thing for all of us to see Todd out there and all of our guys who got healthy last year being out on the field."

Now, if McNabb can just stay healthy enough to take advantage of those young receivers, all should be well. So far, so good, with McNabb's recovery from surgery to repair a sports hernia, but even he admits that you never know what can happen. "I am pretty much already convinced to say I am healthy but until it comes about that it gets tested, we won't know for sure. When that happens then you just put everything behind you and move forward," admitted McNabb. Of course, the time off and the training regiment that helped McNabb to rehab could be a blessing in disguise. "With the whole training regiment that I've had all off season, I feel like I've been getting stronger and with the flexibility trainer I've been working with as well, I'm getting looser. It's kind of hard to tell right now but throughout these mini camps and these days of practicing, I've felt great."

The Eagles will have part two of their passing camp next week and then McNabb will make his annual trek to Arizona for his pre-camp workouts. As usual, he's invited other players to the workouts in the desert. While the workouts are tough, McNabb believes they're important to get ready for what lies ahead. "I think it is a place where I feel comfortable in training and the guys that work with me and make plays do a wonderful job of preparing me for training camp and the season," said McNabb of his Arizona training sessions.

There were some reports that put the blame for McNabb's sports hernia on his pre-season workouts, McNabb admitted that he was a little sore coming into camp last season, but didn't fault his Arizona workout plans. "I came into camp with a minor injury. We worked through it and instead of it getting better I think it got a little worse," admitted McNabb. Still, the Arizona workouts will go on, but with a different focus for McNabb. "I've actually added more things into it. More tone instead of bulking up. I always think that's important in playing this game and continue to have your endurance and muscles to last for maybe five quarters and that is something I take pride in when I am in the weight room, to continue to work on muscle stamina. If that leads to a little mass, that's good but the main focus in lifting as well as running is for muscle stamina and muscle endurance," explained McNabb.

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