''He is very dangerous because he's so elusive and so strong,'' said Burgess, who played for Philadelphia from 2001-2004 before signing with Oakland in the offseason. ''When you get him, you have to hold on to him and hope someone else will come and help you get him down. He's an outstanding athlete running, throwing, whatever.''
McNabb is the NFL's third-ranked quarterback through two weeks, trailing Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Bledsoe of Dallas. He has thrown six touchdowns, five coming in last Sunday's 42-3 drubbing of San Francisco, and has a quarterback rating of 110.1.
In the Raiders, McNabb will face a defense that is vastly improved over the squad that finished ranked 30th among the NFL's 32 teams in 2004. Though Oakland is only 28th overall, the defense has done fairly well against running backs Corey Dillon, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson.
But stopping a quarterback like McNabb is another story altogether.
The seventh-year quarterback has settled into a familiar rhythm after a tumultuous offseason and training camp in which he and wide receiver Terrell Owens openly feuded. The two have since cleared the air and the results for Philadelphia's offense have been superb.
The Raiders, who played primarily their dime defense in the loss to New England and stayed mostly in the nickel against Kansas City, figure to keep changing it up against McNabb and the Eagles if for no other reason than to try to keep pressure on Philadelphia's quarterback.
''You can't sit back and play in your base defense,'' said Burgess, who has Oakland's only sack this season. ''You've got to get after (McNabb) and get hits on him. That's the way it is with any quarterback, not just him. If you sit back in the base, he'll pick you apart.''
McNabb did not practice Wednesday while nursing a sore groin muscle. Owens also sat out practice with a nagging abdominal/groin injury. Both are expected to play Sunday against the Raiders.
In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, McNabb said he expects the Raiders to pull all out the stops in an effort to get their first win of the season.
''We know they're going to come in fired up,'' McNabb said. ''We understand that people are saying their backs are against the wall. We don't feel that way. It's just the first two weeks and we know just by watching the film that they're a very talented team.''
As for his former teammate Burgess, McNabb had nothing but praise for the Raiders' defensive end.
''We knew what he was capable of doing when he was here,'' McNabb said. ''We were always on the sideline pumping him up and excited about the things that he was able to do. You have to be very aware when Burgess is on the field. He plays with a high motor, very athletic. He had a great game last week against Kansas City. We were just excited to see that he was out there having fun again. It's good to see that he's healthy and it's good to see that he's out there just carousing with his teammates. When we're out there on the offensive side, we'll know where he's at.''
Raiders coach Norv Turner said no decision has been made as to when Ronald Curry will have surgery but did say the wide receiver will be placed on injured reserve ... Doug Gabriel took part in the entire practice and is likely to play against the Eagles, Turner said.
Raiders: WR Ronald Curry (Achilles) out; CB Nnamdi Asomugha (foot) questionable; FB John Paul Foschi (knee) questionable; WR Doug Gabriel (finger) questionable; DT Tommy Kelly (knee) questionable; RB Justin Fargas (knee) probable.
Eagles: K David Akers (hamstring) questionable; QB Donovan McNabb (chest/groin) questionable; G Shawn Andrews (shoulder) probable; P Dirk Johnson (hernia) probable; WR Greg Lewis (foot) probable; WR Terrell Owens (abdomen) probable; RB Josh Parry (shoulder) probable; CB Lito Sheppard (knee) probable.