PHOENIX - Donovan McNabb said he thinks the Eagles will respond to his call for playmakers, a call echoed this week in Phoenix by running back Brian Westbrook.
"I'm pretty sure they will go in that direction, and I'm pretty sure if they don't, then you guys will have some comments about it," McNabb said after a visit with the NFL Network in the Super Bowl media center yesterday. "That's what you do in every offseason, you try to improve your team - through the draft, through free agency. That's something we have to really push for this year . . . We have to be able to feed off [a strong finish] going into next year."
The Eagles' quarterback said he didn't have any specific names for Andy Reid's consideration.
"It's not Christmas. I'm not supplying my Christmas list," McNabb said. "You just don't know who might come free. It'll be interesting to see what happens."
Asked about "recruiting" NFL free-agent acquaintances for the Eagles, McNabb said: "I've always been a recruiter. You just kind of talk to friends in the NFL, I know a lot of them. Not that they all would come to Philadelphia, but the play has to be made [by] the organization. I'm not the one signing the checks or doing the contracts."
McNabb seemed wary of making a big deal of Westbrook supporting his call, perhaps not wanting the organization to feel he is trying to lead an insurrection. Reid has said players ought to be careful about suggesting their teammates should be replaced, although the coach said last week he and McNabb had discussed the matter and were on the same page. Cornerback Sheldon Brown disagreed with McNabb, although Brown also has played down that disagreement.
"I think a lot of my teammates feel the same way . . . as far as [needing] other people to say it, that means really nothing to me. They're just saying how they feel. I expressed how I felt. Just kind of move on from it," McNabb said.
Asked about Brown questioning whether the Eagles needed to add playmakers or just play better, McNabb said: "Everybody has their own opinions. It wasn't anything where I'm upset that he said it. If he feels that way, he expresses those feelings, and everybody else expresses theirs."
There has been speculation that the Eagles will prevent tight end L.J. Smith from becoming a free agent by franchising him for $4.522 million in 2008. McNabb said he would like to see Smith back, recovered from the injuries that cost him most of the season.
"He's a big part of our offense," McNabb said.
Giants wideout Plaxico Burress did not practice yesterday, which isn't that unusual, since he's been fighting an ankle injury all season. But the listing of a knee injury on the injury report raised some eyebrows, especially in the wake of Burress predicting a 23-17 Giants victory. *