With the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts looming on the upcoming schedule, there’s not much time for Donvan McNabb and the Washington Redskins to revel in their victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in what was McNabb’s first game against his former team. McNabb will be the first to tell you that. Still, an occasion as momentous as Sunday’s game between Washington and Philadelphia deserves extra attention after the fMcNabb was gracious enough during his weekly show on ESPN Radio in DC to elaborate on the experience of preparing for and facing the team he was drafted by and played so many years foract, and . Below are several questions and answers from this week’s lengthy show.
On if it really was ‘just another game’ now that it’s out of the way:
The interview began with McNabb being asked if it was really just ‘another game’ like he predictably had said prior to the game:
“Well, you know what, it was. There were a lot of different factors that played into that and that’s the way that I tried to approach it. One main factor was the fact that we needed to win this game. The previous weeks of being up by 17 and then losing, and then going down to St. Louis and not being able to seal the deal after going up 16-14 or something to that effect; and offensively having an opportunity to put more on the board, and as a team not being able to seal the deal. This was an opportunity for us to go 2-0 in the division against obviously a rival, and one that obviously I wanted. But that was the main part of what I was focused on, not so much of trying to have revenge, or going back home and things of that nature. I think that was just kind of happy-hoopla that was built up throughout the week.”
McNabb was prodded if he was extra motivated internally, even if he had done a professional job of not letting it be a public distraction for him or his team:
Well, you use anything to kind of add to that fire. For this team, obviously like I said, we had that juice going already of being motivated to win because of the two previous games that we played. But this put us back at .500 and a perfect opportunity to try to feed off what we did last week and clean some things up and get up against a tough Green Bay team."
McNabb was naturally asked what it meant to him to be showered with cheers by Eagles fans in the stadium:
Overwhelming. Overwhelming. You see so many players go back to their given places where they had drafted and had spent so many years, that you…not to put myself in that category, I’m just mentioning names like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice; in basketball, Michael Jordan, even Charles Barkley when he went back to Philadelphia. You know, just guys like that. And to be a part of that is one that you’ll never forget.
On if he spoke to any guys like MJ or Barkley in the days or weeks leading up to his return to Philly:
“Charles and I went to dinner on Saturday. Charles, Rasheed and I. Rasheed Wallace. We went to dinner Saturday. I’ve known Mike for awhile – Michael Jordan – but I haven’t talked to him in awhile. But you know, you talk to guys that play with their given teams, have had so much success, and have brought wins and excitement to the city. When you go back, obviously Philadelphia is a lot different than other places, but they had a great run, they enjoyed it, a business decision was made, they’re going a different direction and I’m here in Washington.”
McNabb was then asked about when he showed love to Eagles’ fans during the game by tapping on his chest twice, much like what he used to do while in Philly:
“Well you know what, one that they’ve obviously seen for yours. I’ve always tapped my chest twice for my grandmother and grandfather who passed early in my collegiate career. And then I just held up the five, and that’s one that they’ve seen coming out of the tunnel for so long. And that was my sign of appreciation and saying thank you. Because you know, they started it earlier before, and then really everyone in the stands when we came out for warm-ups, and then came out for introductions. If you really look at the way we came out during introductions, we came out together. And the guys just continued to focus on that, and they mentioned hey, we’re not going to let you go out and do this by yourself, so we’re going to go out there together, we’re in this together, and we have your back. Then we all went out. That just shows what kind of team that we have in this locker room. Some guys like to get all the glory and praise, but you’re talking about a team that will do whatever it takes in order for their brother to come out on top.”