It took about 37 seconds for the topic to come up: Donovan McNabb, returning to Philadelphia as a Redskin.

Get used to it.

Andy Reid had just finished the opening remarks of his Monday news conference, about 17 hours removed from a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but already notepads were flipping toward the next story: Sunday's return of the quarterback who starred for the Eagles for a more than a decade but now leads one of their most hated rivals.

With national news outlets joining the local media, the second question of the morning focused on McNabb.

Reid said his team will stick to its routines: studying the Redskins as a whole and trying to win an important division game. But he allowed that Lincoln Financial Field will be even more manic than usual this Sunday.

"It will be a little crazy. It's always crazy when the NFC East teams come here. So, I'm sure they'll be even a little crazier," Reid said.

"I do know the louder, the better. I do know that, and that's why I welcome people in. You know, our fans are a little crazy. We're probably on the 'A-List' in the National Football League, and I love that part of it. When they put all that green stuff on and dress crazy and all, I like that. So, I welcome the Redskins into that," Reid said.

But how will Eagles fans greet McNabb specifically in his first trip to the Linc as a visitor? Reid wasn't sure. McNabb, after all, drove years of Eagles winning. But he also had vocal critics, and even those who loved McNabb now have to reckon with seeing him in burgundy.

"He is a Redskin, and they don't get the best acceptance in our stadium there," Reid said.

On the other hand, Reid hailed his former quarterback's contributions to the Eagles.

"I think the world of Donovan. And the legacy that he left here will be just that, a legacy that lasts forever. He did phenomenal things for this organization, and that's not forgotten," Reid said. "But at the same time, he wants to beat the Eagles, and we want to beat the Redskins."

For the Eagles, this will mark the second consecutive week dominated by quarterback questions. Reid's starter switch last week has faded to the background after Michael Vick's command performance muted the ensuing debate - at least for now.

Of course, one game won't be enough to judge whether the Eagles made a smart move in dealing McNabb to a division rival. Assessing the trade could take several years of eyeing the long-run performances of McNabb, the Redskins, the Eagles and their long-term quarterback replacement.

But the game will give Eagles fans their first chance to vocally and in-person weigh in on McNabb's legacy here.

"Obviously, it's going to be a zoo," said safety Quintin Mikell. "It's going to be crazy, but we're used to that kind of stuff, and I don't think it's going to be a big deal. We're just going to go out and play ball."

McNabb said he is approaching the game as one the Redskins need to win, not a personal contest.

"I've always said this is just a normal game," McNabb told reporters in Washington on Sunday. "In this situation for us, obviously, it's a must win."

Reid said McNabb might be able to help the Redskins scout the Eagles' defense but mostly avoided talk about individual matchups.

"It's the Redskins, and they have a good quarterback. And they have a great head football coach and so on. . . . It's one of those NFC East deals, so that's probably it No. 1," Reid said.

He said McNabb still has a powerful arm and can be tough to tackle, but that his former thrower is asked to do different things in the Redskins' scheme.

Reid said he is barred by NFL rules from communicating with McNabb. Other Eagles, including Michael Vick, have kept in touch with him, though, often via text message.

After Sunday's game, Vick refused to be drawn into the media frenzy.

"I'm not getting involved in Donovan McNabb-Mike Vick conversation," Vick said.

If he wants to avoid that issue this week, he'll have to be even more elusive than normal.

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or