Sunday, May 13, 2007

Brian Westbrook Press Conference

On his feelings regarding the team’s decision not to re-sign free agent wide receiver Donté Stallworth:
“I would have liked to have him back here. The coaching staff and the management make those types of decisions. Donté was a good friend of mine and I thought he made a lot of plays for this team. I definitely would have liked to have him back here. As a team, you make those decisions and move on. I know that [WR] Kevin Curtis is going to come in and make some plays for us. So, I welcome him just as much as I welcomed Donté when he came here.”

On his reaction to the Eagles drafting quarterback Kevin Kolb:

“To be honest with you, I wasn’t really watching the draft. Afterwards, I was kind of surprised that we would go for a quarterback with our first pick. As a team, I guess you have to build for the future at some point, whether you have an all-pro quarterback or not.”

On why he was surprised that the Eagles drafted Kolb:
“I figured we would address some other needs that we had. I didn’t expect us to pick a quarterback at that spot, that early on in the draft. As a player, you never think your time is up, and you never want the team to draft somebody in your position, but sooner or later they’re going to do it, and you’re going to get replaced. Not to say that Kolb is going to replace [QB] Donovan [McNabb], but sooner or later they have to groom somebody to take your place.”

On whether he’s spoken to McNabb about the Eagles drafting Kolb:
“Actually, I haven’t even spoken to Donovan about it. I think he understands the process of how players are replaced, how players- as they get older- if they’re not getting the job done, they’ll have to move on. He’s going to do everything to keep that young guy off the field, the same way as anybody else in the NFL. If you’re an old player, you’re going out and working hard every day so you can keep those young guys off the field all season long.”

On whether the coaching staff told him if they will continue to place an emphasis on running the ball during this season:
“For the most part in the offseason I haven’t even been here, so I haven’t had much communication with coach [Andy] Reid or [offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg]. I would love to continue to run the ball like we did during the last part of the season. I think the coaches were able to see the things that we were able to accomplish if we give the run the opportunity. When Donovan comes back, I expect for us to continue to do that.”

On the situation regarding the money he accidentally received from the Eagles:
“It was a situation where I received extra money and it was a mistake on the Eagles part, but now it’s come to the point where we have to figure out the details to try and get that money back to them. There are a lot of different ramifications from a tax standpoint, accounting, and all the other different things. So, that’s something my agent and the Eagles are working through now.”

On whether he spent that additional money:
“No. I think any player in the NFL that just goes and spends all of his money is crazy. But at the same time, when you collect money as a player, you put it in different avenues and things like that, so it’s always not as easy to get [it] right back.”

On how he found out about the extra money he received:
“I got a phone call from one of the Eagles officials about it.”

On whether he physically saw the checks with the additional money shown:
“Well for me- I guess every player does it a little bit different- I get my checks direct deposited. You check it every now and then to make sure all the amounts are going in there, but it was one of those oversight types of deals.”

On whether the additional money received was confused as an incentive:
“There wasn’t any confusion on our part, just an oversight.”

On whether this season is a do-or-die year for McNabb:
“I don’t think it’s a do-or-die year. Honestly, I think Donovan had one of his best years last year. The start that he had there, he had one of his best seasons. He was on target. He was spreading the ball around. He was throwing the ball downfield. He was doing a great job. I’ve said this about myself and I’ve said it about other players, but injuries are a part of the game, and no matter what you do to prepare yourself, how well you’re playing, if it’s meant for you to be injured, you’re going to get hurt. He has to try and find a way to stay healthy for a whole year, the same way as I do, and the next guy has to find a way to stay healthy for a whole year. If he does that, he’ll have another successful year.”

On whether the offense operates differently when McNabb is playing quarterback:
“I think when you look at Donovan, you look at all his different tools that he has. He can use his legs; he can throw the ball downfield at anytime; he can put the ball anywhere he wants to. He’s a guy that has so many tools, he’s almost a superman on the field. You put a lot of responsibility and pressure on him to make plays all across the field, and I think this year, especially with him coming off an injury, we have to find a way of getting the ball into the other players’ hands a little bit earlier, a little bit quicker, to try and take some pressure off Donovan so he doesn’t feel as much pressure to carry this team as he has in the past.”

On whether he feels he’s the most important guy in the Eagles offense:
“I don’t really look at it as who’s the most important part. I feel that if I go out and do my job every game, we’ll have a good opportunity to win the football game. If we establish the run game, and our defense is playing well, we have a good chance to win the football game. That’s not to say I’m the most important part, but the run game is very important for this team.”

On his thoughts about the addition of running back Tony Hunt:
“I think it adds depth to our already deep backfield. He’s going to give us the opportunity to run the ball a little bit more. Hopefully, we run the ball more, so we get a chance for that young guy to get on the field. The same thing I felt about Donovan and Kolb, is the same way I feel about Tony Hunt. I want to play as well as I can so that coach wants me on the field all the time, and he gets his opportunity years down the road.”

On whether the Eagles are a better team with a balanced offensive attack between running and passing:
“No question. I think that if we run the ball, and we give our offensive line an opportunity to put their hands on another team for four quarters, we’re definitely a better team. We always have more success if we allow ourselves to do that. Sometimes in the past we’ve been down early on, and we can’t start off our run game as fast as we want to, so we have to find a way to try and not get down so early, but if we establish our run game during the season, we’ll have a lot of success as an offense.”

On whether drafting two running backs is an indication that the Eagles want to run the ball more:
“I hope so. I guess coach Reid is a better guy to ask that to, but I would hope that with all the success we had last year, with all the things we were able to do in the second half of the season, we’ll be able to run the ball a little bit more coming into this next season.”

On how big the learning curve is for a young running back:
“For every position in this offense, there’s a big learning curve. You have to learn so much. I just told the younger guys, it’s their job now, so they have to get in the [play] book no matter what- if they’re tired, in between meetings, in between practices, they have to get in the book and study, because it’s not natural for a lot of these things they’re asking them to do. The terminology is so different from different schools. They have to learn a lot. They’re going to be tired, and they have to be able to study even when they’re tired and learn this offense, because we can’t allow them to make mistakes out there.”

On whether he was surprised with the Eagles drafting two running backs:
“It surprised me a little bit, but at this point in my career, not a lot truly surprises me. I’ve seen a lot of things go on on this team and throughout the NFL as long as I’ve been here. It’s one of those things where they draft for the future, and sometimes they draft for need, and this is another one of those draft picks for me.”

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