McNabb stands by his pitch for Eagles to get help

Posted: February 01, 2008

PHOENIX - Donovan McNabb made his rounds on Radio Row yesterday and, naturally, was asked about his blog posting earlier last month that urged the Eagles to acquire more weapons.

"I'm pretty sure they will go that way," McNabb said. "That's what you do in the off-season. You try to improve your team and, whether it's through the draft or free agency, that's something we really have to push for."

McNabb has discovered in recent weeks that he is not alone in that push. Running back Brian Westbrook supported his cause Wednesday, and offensive tackle Jon Runyan has voted in favor of more playmakers.

"It wasn't a response where I was trying to make people feel good," McNabb said. "It was a response as to how I think we have to approach this off-season. I think a lot of people feel the same way. As far as it giving me confidence hearing other people say it, that really means nothing to me. They're just saying how they feel. That's all you want to hear. I expressed how I feel, and I just kind of moved on from it.

"Going 8-8, you really can't be that excited about, but we are excited because we did some great things down the stretch. We have to be able to feed off that going into next year."

McNabb has never been specific about the players or positions he would like to see upgraded, and he would not be specific during and after an appearance on the NFL Network.

"It's not Christmas," he said. "I'm not going in with a Christmas list. You don't know what may happen or who may come free."

He did say he would like to see the Eagles retain tight end L.J. Smith, who can become a free agent at the end of next month.

"He's a big part of our offense," McNabb said. "It's unfortunate he was hurt this year in his contract year. That's a tough injury . . . and it just kind of got fatigued. I would love L.J. back, yes."

McNabb said he would not be averse to recruiting free agents for the Eagles as he did when the team signed wide receiver Terrell Owens in 2004, but he said, "I'm not the one signing the checks or doing the contract."

As for his surgically repaired right knee, McNabb said it had become stronger and more flexible since the end of the season.

"I think the rest has paid dividends," he said. "I will pick up my workouts at the end of February or early March to really get the off-season going. In early April, I'll be at the point I'm really feeling good."

McNabb, who will be entering his 10th NFL season in September, said he expected to split time between his home in Chandler, Ariz., and his home in Philadelphia during the off-season.

"I'll spend some time there working with the guys, and I'll bring some guys here as well," he said.

On the surface. NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw said yesterday that Lincoln Financial Field had one of the worst playing surfaces in the NFL. The Eagles play on a DD Grassmaster surface that required resodding late in the season.

A survey of NFL players by their union last year listed the Linc's playing surface 23d among the league's 32 teams. Upshaw said Field Turf was the surface of choice among NFL players.

Extra points. New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress missed practice for a second day in a row with swelling and soreness in his left knee. He missed Wednesday's practice because of soreness in his right ankle, a problem he endured all season. . . . Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked whether he would elect to kick off if his team won the toss Sunday, based on the facts that that had never happened and that the team that has won the toss in the Super Bowl has a losing record. "So we're going to give the Patriots the ball one more time? That's what we're setting out to do? They don't do well enough with their drives, so we're going to give them another one." Yes, it was a stupid question.


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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