Wednesday, September 14, 2005

McNabb news conference

09-14-05: From the Eagles


On whether he would start if it was up to him:
“I will be in the game on Sunday.”

On what he feels debilitated doing:
“A lot of stuff. It’s a process that you go through. You get bumps and bruises and I have to work hard with the training staff to get myself healthy to get out there and do everything I was capable of doing before the injury.”

On whether he could play today:
“Nothing would ever stop me from getting out on that field.”

On what the injury hampers him most from doing:
“(jokingly) I am not able to walk my dogs like I used to. I cannot pick up my baby and toss her around. Now she has to work on walking.”

On what the injury hampers him most from doing on the football field:
“It’s tough to say right now. I think that everyone is being cautious right now with using up the rest time that we have and take full time with that, rehabbing, getting treatment and getting ready for when the time comes.”

On whether there is any doubt that he will be out there on Sunday:
“I don’t know if it is just me, but I love playing football and if I couldn’t walk or whatever may be, something would have to take me off that field.”

On whether he feels there is a point where he can’t help the team:
“I never say that to myself. If I am out there, I feel I can help the team as much as possible.”

On what he would do to convince the coaches to start him if he was not able to practice all week:
“I would at least try to do something that would make them feel positive about putting me out there.”

On whether he has heard anything medically that would prevent him from playing:
“I have not heard anything.”

On whether the injury prevented him from running on Monday night:
“That is tough to say. There were opportunities for me to move around a little bit. There were also opportunities for me to sit back in the pocket and deliver the pass. The majority of the time there were opportunities to throw the ball to receivers. It just so happened that I was not bringing my legs into it and not doing the fundamental aspects of things that I would usually do. I don’t make any excuses to say that it was due to injury. When I am out there on that field, knowing the situation and knowing what I have to do, I have to do my job and I didn’t do it the way I expected to and the way I prepare myself to do. It’s something that you learn from and move on.”

On whether he felt 100% on Monday night:
“No.”

On whether there is a chance the injury could get worse with more contact:
“I have not heard that and hopefully I will not hear anything like that. I just prepare myself to get out there on Sunday.”

On whether he feels he has taken late hits or helmet first hits without penalties throughout his career:
“I am not getting involved in that one.”

On whether he anticipates wearing a flack jacket on Sunday:
“That will be a decision that would have to be made after talking with the training staff and coaches. Whatever it takes to be protected, I am all for it. But not to the effect that I am going to go out there with steel shoulder pads and a metal mouthpiece. You have to understand that in this game we play, it’s tough, you get bumps and bruises and you suffer through adversities, but you have to put those things behind you and focus on what you need to do.”

On whether he has ever played with a flack jacket:
“I have. I played with it my first four years in the league. This year and the previous two years I played without it, but if I can avoid it, I would.”

On what makes this team so resilient and why they rarely lose two games in a row:
“I think the thing that stands out for us is leadership, continuing to stress to the guys that the games are not always going to go your way, learning from mistakes and being critical of yourself watching film, analyzing yourself and knowing what you can do better to help this team win. That’s the kind of personality and character we all share on this team. I think the thing that stands out for us is that there are 15 more guaranteed games left. There is not reason to get upset and throw everything in after one loss. You have to focus on your job this week and get this thing going.”

On whether he expects opposing teams to blitz on every down:
“Teams have been blitzing us on every other down, whatever it may be, whatever they feel they can do to get to the quarterback and have the answer to some of our blocking schemes. Again, it would be my job to get the ball out, so I can keep the defensive coordinator on his heels to make him second guess himself. We expect teams to blitz us and just because of one game, it does not mean that every team is going to start changing their defense and blitz us. If they do that and we can come up with big plays, I guess we will eliminate that.”

On why he stopped wearing the flack jacket:
“(joking) I started getting a bit bigger. I was eating healthier and I gained about 30 pounds of muscle.”

On why he wore it to start out:
“Teams want all their quarterbacks to wear some sort of flack jacket. I didn’t wear it in college, so it was something new for me. I just wanted to feel comfortable being back out there and I felt pretty good without it.”

On whether it slowed him down at all:
“At times.”

On whether he thinks he will have to convince head coach Andy Reid to let him play:
“I think I would have the upper hand on that one. That would be showing him I am capable of playing at practice. They always say, ‘you can’t make the club in the tub.’ If I get out of the tub, I can make the club I guess.”

On what he is doing to treat the injury:
“We are doing some different things with the training staff. There are a lot of different things we can do to move around and be able to get some blood flowing through there. You obviously have to take it slow and be patient with everything.”

On whether he will practice tomorrow:
“I don’t know, we will see how it goes.

On whether he feels better today than yesterday:
“It does.”

On how much confidence he has in the backup quarterbacks:
“I am confident in those guys. I already know what [QB] Koy [Detmer] can do. Koy is a smart guy that knows and executes the offense well in training camp and throughout practices, he does a good job. [QB] Mike [McMahon] is another guy who is very athletic and picking up on our side of the West Coast offense very well. He is a guy that I feel good about being in there as well, so if I am not able to go, I still feel confident that we would be able to get things rolling.”

On the play he got hurt on:
“It was a play that we wanted to establish the deep ball. I stepped up in the pocket. As I was throwing, I was hit from the side and then from the front. It leads to me being on my back and feeling this pain I feel right now. It is something that happens in a game and you have to suck it up and move on like I did.”

On whether other hits compounded the injury:
“I couldn’t tell. I stopped focusing in on that after I got onto the sideline and tried to stretch. I tried to get out there and lead the team to a win.”

On whether he put the flack jacket on at the half:
“No.”

On problems with the blitz pickup:
“In the game we did some positive things, but what we have to do as an offensive unit is continue to have our communication there, understand what we are seeing, and be able to spread the word down the line as well as the backfield, so that we will be able to pick up the blitzes and if they are not blitzing, be able to react to it. That is something small for us because it’s something we go through practice every day. We have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and we have to execute together.”

On whether he is getting away from running:
“Not at all. I will run for 1,000 yards this year.”

The Phillies DO have an image problem

Inquirer national baseball writer Jim Salisbury broke the story this morning that the Phillies have hired retired Channel 6 sports anchor Scott Palmer as a consultant. Someone to help improve the image.

Check it out:

By Jim Salisbury
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Phillies have an image problem. It could be seen again last night, reflecting off all those empty blue seats at Citizens Bank Park.

Many fans just don't like this franchise, its management, and this collection of players.

Has the public's dissatisfaction with the team, and lack of faith in it, ever been more evident than over the last few days?

With less than three weeks remaining in the season, the Phils have a realistic shot at the postseason for the first time in a dozen years.

And yet empty seats were noticeable during Sunday's key 11-1 win over Florida. On Monday night, less than 16,000 people were in the stadium (capacity 43,826) for an important win over Atlanta. The Phillies won again last night, but the turnout, announced at 24,311, was well below the season average. All those empty seats spoke of a team that is having major problems connecting with its fans.

This is not a new problem, and, contrary to what some people might think, the Phillies are not unaware of it.

That's why they have made an acquisition for the stretch drive.

Don't get too excited. This newcomer is 55. He can't turn on a fastball, or paint the corners.

But Scott Palmer - yes, that Scott Palmer - isn't here to help win ball games. From what we hear, he's here to help the Phillies with their image problem.

The likable, well-known former television sportscaster, who retired from Channel 6 in June, has signed a three-month contract to be a consultant with the Phils. He started yesterday.

"I don't know if it's a position," Palmer said with a laugh. "I'll be working here for three months, specializing in communications."

We put it right to Palmer: Had he been enlisted to help the Phillies scrub up their rusty image?

"I wouldn't say that," he said.

"I'm looking at what we're doing and seeing what I can offer. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open, trying to learn what I can, and making suggestions that might help."

Palmer knows this town and its sports scene inside-out. He was asked whether he believed that the Phils had an image problem.

"I don't think so," he said.

Scott Palmer the reporter might have given a different answer. Scott Palmer the Phillies consultant chose his words carefully.

"I want to look and see before I offer opinions," Palmer said. "In a couple of weeks, I'll have a better handle on what's going on. Today's my first day."

Fair enough.

On Palmer's first day, the Phillies went home as 5-4 winners over the Braves. The attendance was lower than the announced tally, which represents tickets sold. The fans went home happy. Team officials, and maybe some players, probably went home scratching their heads over the low attendance for the second straight day.

"Sure, we notice," pitcher Brett Myers said before the game. "But we can't worry about it. This is a tough enough game to play without worrying."

Some club officials blamed Monday night's embarrassingly low turnout on its being a school night. The low attendance probably had more to do with sports fans' staying home to watch the Eagles' season opener.

The Eagles do not have an image problem. They connect with their fans very well.

And they do it the best way - by winning year after year.

There are plenty of great baseball fans in Philadelphia. They are just starved for a winner. They don't want to see a team that self-destructs the way this one did against Houston last week.

"Let me tell you something," Myers said. "Houston was disappointing for us, too. There were some games we should have won. But we came out the next series and took two of three. We showed something."

Myers was asked why he thought the fans weren't coming out in droves for meaningful September baseball.

"Eagles," he said. "It's a football town.

"I hear fans on the radio say they're glad football is starting so they can get their minds off us because obviously we're disappointing them. But what can you do? They love us when we play well and hate us when we don't.

"We're in the middle of this thing. We're doing our best to win every game."

Myers went out of his way to say he wasn't slighting the fans.

"I can't knock them," he said. "It's their choice to come or not. But people on TV say we have no shot. Fans hear that and they believe it. It's disappointing, because theoretically we have a great shot."

Though small, the crowds the last two nights have been tremendous - into every pitch, critical and supportive at the right times.

"The ones who've been here have been great," Myers said. "But instead of 20,000, we need 40,000. That 10th man makes a big difference. I felt it last week in New York. Those fans were going crazy."

The Phillies play the Braves again tonight. It's another huge game. Last night's win might help push the attendance up, and it might help improve the lackluster image this team has in the eyes of its fans.

We commend the Phillies for recognizing their problem, for hiring Palmer, a good man. But in the end, nothing will polish this team's image better than the winning baseball it has played the last three days.


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Pro and con on Donovan


I thought the Jeremiah Trotter incident would be the most talked about item in the realm of Monday morning quarterbacks.

I was wrong. That seems to happen a lot this time of year. Check my predictions.

Donovan McNabb (Right, photo by Jerry Lodriguess/Inquirer Staff Photographer) is the center of your attention. The passion play that is called the Eagles season has just finished Act 1 and there are two sides that have formed around No. 5.

One side is those of you that rip the quarterback for his not running and lack of consistency.

On the other side are those that defend him.

Both sides come hard. Here is a sampling:

CON

From philadelphiaeagles.com:

By Miguel0019: Dude, he played pretty badly on Monday, missing open receivers, balls to ground or too high. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Dmac but c'mon our D gave him a lot of chances to blow this game wide open....

By TomatoPie: Yes McNabb can be great but he can be horrible too. We're tired of wondering who is gonna show up each week. Marino, Elway, Joe Money -- these guys had GAME.

By BillyCuth: The only reason we are gonna beat SF is because McMahon, not McNabb is going to start.

By moge: he deserves to get "bashed"

he sucked ... in that game - face reality bro - no excuses - Eagles lost due to McNabb and Akers

By zucker4: If [bruised chest] was affecting him enough to where it cost us the game, he should have taken himself out. Donnie Mac played like a rookie, which is nothing new for him early in a season. Backward swing passes to no one? Holding the ball so long as to be hit from behind and fumble on a 3 step drop? Now, granted, he did not get any help from the o-line either. I have no doubt they'll turn it around and be fine. It still sucks right now though.

PRO

By McNabb2306: This McNabb bashing is ridiculous. He's one of the elite Qb's in the league so please shut up and let him play.

It's awful seeing all those teenagers complaining about a guy who brought us to 4 straight NFC championship games ...

Be a little bit more mature please.

By rlasker3: I don't care who you are when you are under the kind of pressure he was, injured and with NO running game you make those kind of mistakes. He'll be fine. Without McNabb we don't make the playoffs.

By judunno: He got his chest blown up... i think you may need that to throw a football... he's proved last year that when healthy and given time he can be very accurate. go learn something about football before you make dumb comments.