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Donovan McNabb, 10.28.09

Q:  Your sense of what you see from the Giants’ defense when you studied them?

A:  Well, they are still playing at a high level.  Having Osi back and Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck obviously takes a lot of pressure off the rest of the guys for the pressure that they present the quarterbacks.  I think that obviously people would have thought that there may have been a set back with Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) leaving.  But Bill Sheridan has stepped in and kept things loaded and added his wrinkle on things.  I think with having Corey Webster and his experience and Ross out, but then still they have thrown in different corners at that position that are really playing well at this point. These guys are really flying around and it is going to be a challenge for us on the offensive side.  We know that and it is always one of those games where any time you have Giants-Eagles it is going to be a grind.

Q:  Talk about what Brian Westbrook has meant to this series – to your offense, too – but his games against the Giants.  If you have to go without him, what kind of blow is that going to be for you guys?

A:  Anytime that you lose a guy who is very productive for you and has been for years, it is tough.  But I think what we have to do as an offense is continue to spread that around and get guys more involved who are going to be more of an asset for us.  And I think any time you are asking other guys to fill in for one of the best to have ever played in an Eagles uniform and shoes, it is tough.  But yet still McCoy is going to do a great job for us running the ball, catching the ball or whatever it may be.  ……..  Leonard, those guys will do a great job for us.  We just look forward to getting out on the football field and playing. 

Q:  Specifically with McCoy, can he be the same kind of Brian Westbrook type back?

A:  Again, as a player and as an individual, you don’t want to be compared to anyone, because everyone is different.  He can do some of the things that Brian can do.  But he wants to be recognized as a guy that is maybe a little bit different.  Give him the opportunity and maybe he will be able to show what he can do.

Q:  Last year when you picked up the telephone on the Giants’ bench – I am going to ask you seriously – was there anything on the other end?  Was there a dial tone or was there a coach?

A:  Verizon wasn’t working.  There was nothing over there.

Q:  Do you understand that the Giants are going to use that as a little psychological motivation and do you have any regrets for having done it?

A:  No, I don’t have any regrets for doing it.  But in this game do you really need any psychological motivation?  I don’t think so.  I think this is a game in which we – you dream about playing and you love competition, no matter who you play.  And I think we have played each other for years and I don’t think you need any type of motivation to play this game.  If you need any little thing that happens during a game last year or years before, then really you are not truly focused on week in and week out of trying to be the best at what you do.

Q:  It happened so fast and none of us even saw it until after the game.  But did you get any reaction immediately from their sideline?

A:  I don’t remember – it was a while ago.

Q:  The Giants have some new faces back in that secondary.  What have you seen from some of these new kids they have back there?

A:  You see a lot of speed and good play-making ability.  I think also what you are seeing is guys who play the ball well and doing a great job of covering down.  I think you have your experienced guys at the safety position.  Obviously with Phillips out it takes them somewhat away from what they like to do involving their safeties.  But the corners are experienced guys who have played in big time games and have done a great job.  So it is a challenge for us; any team that faces them – because they do a great job of coming up for the run as well as sitting back in the zone for a pass.

Q:  The last time – I think it was the last time that Osi faced you – he had a big game against you.  I’m not sure that they have sacked you since.  Does his presence change a lot of what you see out of the Giants’ defense?

A:  Well, I don’t think it changed, I think it enhanced it.  What they did last year with Tuck having a great year, Kiwanuka playing well, I think it just adds on to it.  We all know what type of player Osi is – he is an all-pro guy; one that people focus in on.  So I don’t think it is a change.  The defense that they had - you always start off by saying Michael Strahan and Osi.  Now you say Osi and Tuck.  So there are two guys that you truly focus in on no matter if they are on the right side or left side.  You just always know where they are. 

Q:  Giants-Eagles have always been the biggest matchup at both ends of the Turnpike.  What is it going to be like sharing the spotlight this weekend?

A:  We love it; we love it.  Everyone can tune into our game first and go to the bathroom and refresh your popcorn and drinks and then go out and watch the excellent baseball game.

Q:  Speaking of tuning in, what was your reaction to Rush Limbaugh being turned down for NFL ownership?

A:  No comment.

Q:  Really, you don’t have a reaction?

A:  No.

Q:  On Monday night it looked like Jeremy Maclin opened deep on the left side there.  Then the camera shows him talking to you.  You talk about it and then you find DeSean Jackson on a similar play.  What does it say that a rookie is able to come to you, tell you something and you value his opinion?

A. That the guy was open and he wants the ball. We knew that going into the game because of their aggressive safety play. At times they get a little noisy.  It just so happens early on in the game that is what happened. But they were doing that the whole game. Some of the times either I was moving around in the backfield and wasn’t able to get back to it or I was picking up yards scrambling or I was sacked.  I think what that shows is that this guy has a high football IQ being able to recognize that and knowing that not just in any play  …….you are going to think that he is open, but at any opportunity to just pay attention to it. What we try to do is just to run our plays. If the opportunity was there, then we take advantage of it.  If not, you just kind run your offense.

Q. How has he been in general as a rookie that needs to be relied upon, especially with Kevin Curtis down?

A. He is a guy that I have trust in. I have trust in DeSean Jackson and in Reggie Brown and in Jason Avant, as well. He is just kind of fitting himself into that. And I think for a guy that works hard and obviously tries to be the best at what he does, you tend to forget that he is a rookie. We make sure that he stays even keel, just kind of play football and have fun doing it.

Q:  There was a lot of hype obviously early in the season when you guys signed Michael Vick and a lot of expectations for what you might do with him on offense.  There hasn’t been as much as people thought.  Did you expect that he would be used a little bit more?

A:  We have used him. And I think when the signing happened everybody expected that he was going to come in and rush for a 1,000, we were going to have some miraculous plays with him in there.  There hasn’t been that much of a success that everyone was expecting in the so called wildcat offense.  People see Miami doing it and all of a sudden think that everyone is going to have the same success.  Well, it takes time.  And it is not like you have a no-name guy back there when you bring him in.  Everyone knows what he is capable of doing.  And they focus in on that.  And I think there will be a lot of successful plays that we have in that package.  Yet still in the regular offense we have to make sure that we are creating plays as well.

Q. You mention that it takes time and obviously he was away from football so long that he had a lot of catching up to do.  What has his (Michael Vick’s) work ethic been like behind the scenes?

A. Excellent, it has been excellent. The guy comes in early in the morning, gets his work out in and prepares himself for the day.  He is alert in the meetings, asking questions. Out on the practice field he is approaching it to get himself better, working on his foot work and his reads. His work ethic has been excellent.

Q. Is the sentiment in the locker room that you guys have somewhat of an advantage against the Giants after beating them twice in a row?

A. We don’t even focus in on that. It goes back to the whole motivation aspect of it. Do you really need some type of motivation to play against a team that here in Philadelphia people don’t really respect, so to speak, and there in New York, they don’t like us. This is a game that we truly – we need this game. This is a game for us to put us in an opportunity for us to move into first place and to regain kind of that confidence we need going into each week.

Q. Do you have a World Series prediction?

A. Phillies win.