McNabb, the critics and the brass
It was pretty clear after the game Sunday that Donovan McNabb considered himself ill-used, yet again last week. This time it was the flap over McNabb evaluating his season's play as "great," while acknowledging that getting a new contract will be on his mind when he sits down with management in the offseason.
Given some sympathetic coaxing by national media members in attendance at his postgame news conference (including one guy who had been among McNabb's harshest critics in the Terrell Owens debacle of 2005), McNabb made several interesting statements.
He reiterated his "Big Yellow Taxi" refrain of last week, while making it clear that he doesn't want this to all be about him: "You never get enough credit until you're gone, and I'm not looking for any credit right now," McNabb said.
Maybe the most relevant thing going forward was when McNabb was asked about speaking up for himself within the organization - presumably, in the postseason conversation he has been talking about ever since he was benched for the second half of the Baltimore game Nov. 23. As rosy as life looks this morning, for No. 5 and the raised-from-the-dead team, that is still going to be a very interesting conversation, which could entail a McNabb demand for a new contract and a signing bonus that would effectively make him untradeable for at least a few years.
"They know when something else is on my mind," McNabb said. "And it's important - that's just professionalism, if it's something on your mind, you go and share it with the people that need to hear it, and there has been a lot on my mind, and there will be something that is shared when the time comes."
Here are some addtional excerpts from McNabb's postgame news conference Sunday:
On reading his critics and the revival of his game this season:
"No. I've been kind of revived I guess. They've [critics] thrown me out, they ran over me, spit on me…but you know what…I just continue to prevail. I just continue to keep my chin high…stay positive, and just make sure that guys in this locker room understand that if given the opportunity…that we will take full advantage of it. Knowing that last week just wasn't us, and if anything worked in our favor, with all these scenarios, that I would not let them down."
On keeping his head up through all the adversity:
"You know what…I think it's easier now, and I say that because I've been through those types of experiences for years. I think when you go through something for the first or second time; you don't know how to handle it. But me being apart of something like that, and it happens, over, and over, and over again…the way that I continue to show that it never affects me, is by just going out and doing my job."
On getting tired of hearing the negative talk:
"We're human beings, you get tired of it, but you never let them see you sweat. And you never show that it bothers you because you kill them with kindness, and when you kill them with kindness and you go out and you do your job, people understand that it never really affects you."
On being vocal towards the naysayers:
"Well you know what…you don't win battles by trying to defend yourself with people who are on air, or with people who write…people who have the power of the pen, because no matter what I may say…they'll take little bits of what they want and put that in there. Now you'll get people who are watching, or people who read, to believe what it is that you want them to believe, so I don't play the game. I say what I need to say, and I say it from the heart always, and I get it out, and I move on. I can't control what's been said on TV or in the newspaper, but one thing I can control is what I feel."
On making the playoffs this year as opposed to years past:
"You know what…the Lord works in mysterious ways. You know for people to just put us out for dead, road kill…for that door to just open up just one more time for us, you never want to give a team another opportunity, 'cause when that team gets in, it could be that team that you talk about that you don't want to play, and the way that we're feeling in this locker room we can be that team."