Friday, August 12, 2005

Donovan's news conference today

From the Eagles:

Donovan McNabb Press Conference

8/12/05



On him keeping a sense of humor:
“Just the same, man. As a child growing up, I dreamed of being an actor and now I am an actor in days of our lives, the soap opera that's going on the last couple of days. I've got a couple of my special guests in there in the locker room with me. But you know what, man? It's funny to me. It's so funny to me how my name just keeps getting thrown out there. Everybody in this locker room has pretty much been defending the situation, just trying to push it away, to kind of just focus on what we are doing here. But, it just doesn't stop does it? You just got to have fun with it and that is exactly what we are doing.”



On whether he was offended by what WR Terrell Owens said on TV last night:
“I wasn't offended. You know what? I kind of took some time, just reflected on some positive things and tried to figure out, what is a hypocrite? And to hear what was said, first of all, I had no knowledge of my brother even calling somebody close to him. For this to come out as a report on August 3rd or 4th, I've been here since the [July] 31st when I came out and told you guys that I saw no reason for us to talk and I still to this day see no reason for us to talk. When we step out on this field it's all about business and that's exactly where we are at. We are professionals that line up and do the right thing and do everything the coaches expect us to do. When it came to my brother calling somebody close to him, first of all, my family doesn't need to be involved in any of this. I don't need to be involved in any of this. But, when you bring the family into it, then I have a problem. Secondly, for it to come out that I wanted to meet with him, all I had to do was just walk over to his room. You tell me in all of that and to come out with the word hypocrite, as the leader of this team and of the quarterback of this team, if there is a problem, the best way of handling it as men is to sit down and talk about it, right? So, how does that become a hypocrite?”



On whether he plans to reach out to T.O. when he comes back on Wednesday:
“Like I said then and like he said, he has no desire to talk to me, I don't need to talk to him. When you step out on this field, we strap up.”

On whether he can go the whole season without talking to T.O.:
“Oh, I can go the whole season without talking. Oh, definitely.”

On whether they can still be productive on the field if they don't talk the whole season:
“Yeah, we were productive in practice. It's funny because the guys that are out here are the same guys that went to Arizona with me. [WR] Greg Lewis, [WR] Billy McMullen, [WR] Justin Jenkins, [TE] L.J. Smith, [RB] Brian Westbrook, guys that I spent time with in Arizona. And again, going back to that whole hypocritical thing, I've never known for a hypocrite to reach out to somebody after comments had been made earlier. I reached out to him. Now, he didn't reach back to me until he felt further that he needed to. Now, I haven't talked to him ever since and then I invited him to Arizona, so what type of hypocrite would invite somebody who, maybe he thinks I don't like him or I'm hating on him, whatever it may be, would invite him to work and get the chemistry down at his place so that when we get here, things would be crisp. I've never read that and I've never heard of that. But, being a leader of this team, I am going to keep my sense of humor because it is enjoyable to me, I'm going to get out here on this football field and have fun and if he's out here, good things can happen.”

On whether his relationship with T.O. was frayed last year:
“Understand me a little bit, I know you guys don't know much about me besides what's on the football field and you try to find something else. I try to be the ultimate team player, talk to everyone, when we are out on this field, we talk about football and then when we are off the field, I don't have to have to hang out with you to like you are feel comfortable with you. And everyone made it seem like that early where it was blowing it out of proportion, where everyone was trying to get interviews with both of us together, we were rooming together, I lobbied for him to be here, but everyone knows that. But, like he said, what a difference a year makes.”

On whether he would still lobby for T.O. to be here:
“Understand he is a great player and he can be a great person. Let's not forget that. But, in this situation, if you are mad at everybody, hey, you have your space, but when you are on this football field, we are out here working together.'

On T.O. saying that he doesn't think they could have success with the way things are:
“I don't believe that at all. If you get out on that football field, you can have as much success as we had or we are going to have success, together. But, if you are not on that football field, we are still going to have success.”

On whether he thinks that the Eagles have to have T.O. or a receiver of his caliber to get to the Super Bowl:
“Don't think so. We have been to three NFC Championships with guys that everyone decided to turn their back on and talk bad about. If I can say anything on that comment, I would like for you all to introduce yourself to Greg Lewis, Billy McMullen, Brian Westbrook, L.J. Smith, Justin Jenkins, [WR] Reggie Brown.”

On how he has been keeping the young receivers focused with everything that has been going on:
“My job as a leader is to bring those guys up. Let them know, hey look, what people are saying or what's been said on the outside, it has nothing to do with what we are doing here. Our goal is to make it to the Super Bowl and win it and in order for that to happen, we can't let distractions come into our home. Distractions stay outside. Close the window, close the door, let's focus in on what's happening here in the house. That is exactly what's our approach everyday, with guys out here making plays. You hear the fans out here cheering. Guys are making big catches, we are moving the ball, we are getting the ball in the end zone and that is what people want to see. That's what we want to do, we want to get the ball in the end zone and win games. And that's how we are practicing hard.”

On whether he thinks T.O. going the Bahamas to chill out is a good idea:
“I personally am not even worried about it. If that's something he needs to get away and kind of get yourself together. Hey, so be it. But, I hear he is supposed to report Wednesday, he gets out there Wednesday in the pads or whatever we are in, we get out and work.”

On whether he thinks T.O.'s agent, Drew Rosenhaus is the instigator:
“Personally, I don't even know if Drew knows what is going on. When everyone was talking, it's kind of like Drew was just sitting there listening. But, that's their business. I don't get involved in other people's business. I know what me and my agent talk about, no one has to know that. No one has to know exactly what goes on inside that little dorm room or inside this little facility or at [Eagles' practice facility] NovaCare. That is something that is in-house and that's the way it should stay.”

On the fact that the problems are coming from someone in-house:
“Exactly, that's what I'm saying.”

On how a problem can be dealt with if it is coming from someone in-house:
“I guess that sometimes I just turn into guys like you, listen. You sit and listen and you kind of step back. But, again, I just move forward, never look back and just move forward.”

On whether offensive coordinator Brad Childress is still allowed to speak to him before spoken to:
“To talk about Brad, I'm glad you brought that up. Brad is the best offensive coordinator in the NFL and should have deserved a head coaching spot and with a situation like this, it is tough for him. This isn't something that should hang over his head. Brad is a well-coached guy. He is a guy that knows everything about this offense and most importantly, he is a great human being.”

On how hard it is for him to take the high road in situations like this:
“It's not hard at all. Every year I have been challenged or suffered through adversity, but the best thing about the way you handle yourself in situations like this is to sit back, smile, and enjoy. Because you learn a lot about people as people continue to talk. Just when you think you know somebody, just put a microphone in front of them. You learn a lot about them.”

On whether he is hurt:
“It doesn't hurt at all. I mean, if it hurts; it hurts great.”

On whether he could expect anything like this when T.O. signed with the team last year:
“When this first happened, we talked about different things, but the thing that we focused in on was what we had to do on the field. You've seen what happened last year. I don't see anything different. I don't see why we can't do what we did last year, but if that is something that he may see from his eyes, that he doesn't think that it's going to work, I guess I will be the one on the other side that says, like Drew did when the question was asked, Drew sat there, nodded his hand and T.O. said 'no.' I'm with Drew.”

On whether he thinks that T.O. wants to leave the organization:
“Again, it's none of my business. If he's here, on the field, we work. If he's not, the guys that are out there, we work.”

On inviting T.O. to Arizona in June:
“I talked to him after the first minicamp. We had seen each other at he ESPYs, I invited him to Arizona to work out with all the guys who came down. He didn't show. We didn't talk much since he's been here. So, when I said that I had no desire for me to say much for him, if you don't talk to me, I don't talk to you, right? That's what I have learned growing up.”

On whether he has any idea why T.O. dragged him into this:
“You know I am still trying to figure that out and my family is. And that's something that you sit back and say, 'well okay, why has my name come out yesterday and to bring my brother into it.' Now I sit back and say, 'lets think about the people that are involved in my family or people around me. For my name to be thrown out and for somebody in my family or a friend of mine to sit back and say, you know what, we need to go ahead and solve this. So I'm take it upon myself, call and find out what's going on, where did this all come from.' Not me, I never told my brother to call. My brother actually told me yesterday that he called. I didn't know anything about it. But, somebody around me had taken it upon them selves to find out what was going on. Let's get to the bottom of this and focus in on what we have to do to get to the Super Bowl. Now has anybody around him done that? Has anybody told him, hey maybe you need to back off and say no comment, probably not. But you asked the question, why is it that somebody who is close to him or a friend of his say, 'you know what, the best way to handle this is to just be quiet.' That's what he did when he was here. He put his headphones on and didn't say anything. Now all the sudden, Moorestown is the #1 place in the nation to live, I can't go home now. I got to move.”

On whether he and his family did everything they could to fix this situation:
“Again, when he was hurt I went over to see him. My mom and dad went over to see him. We sat down and prayed that he would be able to bounce back from his injury. My father is a deacon. My brother, every time he sees him, welcomes him. Then things changed when my name was thrown in and now my name is thrown back in. Where is this all coming from? I have no answers and they have no answers. Some people around me say, 'the best way to handle this is to be yourself.' That's exactly what I am doing right now. You see me smiling; I'm just being myself, because nothing is ever going to bring me down. I've got goals. I've got the mentality of being the best of what I do. In order for you to do that, you have to get on that field and have fun.”

On what he has learned about T.O. in the last few days:
“I'm still learning. It's nothing bad and I don't mean that in a bad way. Make sure you get that right. But, you just learn different things about people as they continue to talk.”

On whether he is surprised by his behavior:
“Again, it's not my place to try and judge someone. We all get judged on any scale possible, but I just sit back and watch like you guys.”

On whether there is a limit and he has to say this is enough:
“First of all, when I first came out at the minicamp, I said, 'keep my name out of your mouth.' That's all I said. 'If you have a problem with me, call me, you have my number.' Now for my name to be thrown out again, for the second time, keep my name out of your mouth. Keep my family's name out of your mouth. My family has nothing to do with your situation. I have nothing to do with your situation. If there is something you have to say to me and you are not saying nothing to me now, if you are not saying anything positive, don't say my name at all.”

On whether he thinks that T.O. is upset because he doesn't have T.O.'s back in this situation:
“There is nothing that I can do. Okay, I lobbied for him [to become an Eagle], but I'm not sitting in there with [president] Joe [Banner], [owner] Jeff [Lurie] and [head coach] Andy [Reid], those guys that talk about numbers. I've got my own contract to worry about. There is nothing I can do. I can say, like I said on Comcast [Sports Net], I said that if he is here, we can do special things together. If he's not, I think we still can win without him. I don't mean that in a bad way, but I am saying in a confident way for the guys around me. If he's not here, let the guys know that are still in the huddle with me, I still think we can win with these guys.”

On whether he thinks that T.O. is upset because he is an extension of Andy:
“Hey look, my name is Donovan. My name is Donovan. My name is not Reid. But one think that you have to understand is what when I came here, I came here with Andy. We've been through the tough times. We have been through the times of winning. It's been great. But again, there is nothing that I can do to change things around. I've been defending him since this thing has started. There are no answers. The only thing that I can do is sit back, relax and enjoy The Days of our Lives.”

What would his reaction be if the Eagles renegotiated his contract:
“If that was to happen, I would be happy for him. I will be one of the first ones to say congratulations. He might not say anything back to me, but I would say congratulations. That is the type of person that I am. When we get out on this field, it's the same thing as right now, it's business. We're professionals. We are not turning this thing into a circus. When you are out on this field, we all go down together. We win together.”

On whether he and T.O., as quarterback and receiver, need to talk:
“That is the way that I see it. Again, when we are on this football field, it's business. You don't have to like me. All that I ask is that you respect what I do. When we get out on the field, make sure we are on the same page, talk about a route and go about our business. If I need to talk with [wide receivers] Coach [David] Culley to get to him, that is what I will do.” On whether that was how it was before T.O. left camp: “No, that is not how it was. But, if it is like that now, I'm ready.”

On whether the receivers look comfortable after being trusted into their new roles:
“They are doing a great job. They look tired right now. They have been taking a lot of reps and doing a lot of things right now. I wish they could get their legs back, but these guys have been doing a great job. These guys took time out of their schedule in the offseason to come to Arizona and spend time with me for a week. I took them through my workout regiment. I took them through my lifting regiment and then we rested, ate together and went out and threw later that night. We got together at dinner at my house, breakfast at my house in the morning; we got together and caught a movie. What that did was bring us closer together. We didn't know the situation or what guys were going to be in there, but now you look at it and you say that these guys seem to have their timing together. Why is that? Because we spent time together.”

On how difficult it has been not having the complete starting roster practice together:
“It's tough. Early on I said that the main thing that that has happened to the teams that have gone to the Super Bowl is injuries. For us to have lost a guy, who is a total team guy in [WR] Todd Pinkston, for T.O. to be going through his deal or hurt, for Westbrook, I don't know what is going on, is tough. You get the opportunity for other guys to gel. It allows other guys to step up and see exactly what we are doing and what we are going to do. Not to say that is a good thing, because you never want that to happen. But it is better for it to happen now, so we can get some work in at training camp.”

On whether he thinks that Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Garcia is laughing right now:
“He might be. But I'll tell you one thing, when [Denver Broncos WR] Jerry Rice was asked about it yesterday, he was not laughing. I'm sure that he is tired of it. I'm sure that Garcia's tired of it and pretty much, I'm tired of it.”

Hurting with Thome and Hamels

Now ... back to the Phillies for a moment.

News from the West Coast that Jim Thome and Cole Hamels are out for the season got me to thinking.

Ryan Howard had done a solid job replacing Thome and has proven that he belongs in the major leagues. If Thome does rehab and comes back next year, what will the Phillies do with the two sluggers? Howard has been unable to play any other position and it is doubtful that he would play over a healthy Thome.

Once again it comes down to general manager Ed Wade and his previous inability to pull off a trade to help the team. Every team in the league will know that the Phillies are stuck and trade value on either is sure to go down. It looks like another situation that can't end well.

As far as Hamels, will this guy ever make it to the bigs? Is he even considered a hot prospect? For three years he has been sought in trades and for three years he has not been traded and the Phillies once again have nothing to show for him.

Now he is injured again and history shows elbow and back issues that could be with him for the rest of his career.

The circus is over for now

Terrell Owens left his house this morning a little after 9. Broadcasts reports are saying that he was seen at the airport and is probably leaving for his home in Atlanta.

The Moorestown circus is over for now.