McNabb 'embarrassed,' says Eagles better than they're playing
PHILADELPHIA -- On his blog and in the locker room, Donovan McNabb decided it was time to speak up.
With the Eagles at the bottom of the competitive NFC East, the quarterback called a team meeting earlier this week as his team prepares to face San Francisco.
"If you're sitting here at 2-3 and you think we're OK, then you're wrong," said McNabb, who called the meeting after a pair of painful losses put the Eagles in must-win territory.
A failure to take advantage of opportunities and costly mental errors were among the reasons for it.
"I tried to let them know that it's easy for us to sit and say we could be undefeated right now or we should be 4-1, whatever it may be, but we're not," McNabb said. "So, in order for us to correct that and put these four or five games behind us, we have to do it right now."
Against Washington last week, the Eagles jumped to a 14-0 lead but were dominated on both sides of the ball the rest of the game. In the fourth quarter they had to settle for a field goal after driving to the Washington 2-yard line and eventually lost, 23-17.
Against the Bears the previous week, the Eagles snapped out of a second-half offensive lull long enough to drive inside the Bears' 5-yard line in the closing minutes. But Philadelphia failed to score the go-ahead touchdown on three runs from the 1 in a 24-20 loss.
"There is no reason for us to come out the way we did early in the season and to be where we are at right now," McNabb said. "People take it hard. I'm one of the guys who are very competitive and I hate losing, and especially hate losing in that fashion."
On his blog yardbarker.com, McNabb wrote on Tuesday that he was "embarrassed" by the team's performance.
"I'm embarrassed with the way we played the past two weeks," McNabb wrote. "I believe that we lost to teams we should have beaten. Not because I think they are not good -- they are. But I still believe we are better; we just didn't show it."
"I didn't do enough to win the game for my team. I take that to heart," he continued on the site. "I want the ball in my hand when the game is on the line and, if I have it, I have to make a play. I'll take that responsibility. All three of our losses were within a score, so one play could have made a difference -- a fumble, an interception, calling an audible, not calling an audible. "
McNabb did not single any teammates out for criticism, saying only that he didn't do enough to win, and added it's not too late to turn the season around.
"I'm better than this and I'll prove it," he wrote. "I know my team is too. Now we have to prove it."
McNabb was impressive the first two weeks but has been unspectacular in the past three games. He's completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,296 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 92.9.
There was plenty he could have done better against Washington.
"I'm very hard on myself," McNabb said. "If it's a throw that I missed that I know I can make, that's something that I have to correct. If it's a sudden movement in the pocket to buy a little time, that's something that I also see."
The Eagles also could miss running back Brian Westbrook for the game against the 49ers.
After sitting out the Bears game with an ankle injury, Westbrook broke two ribs early in the game against Washington, although he was able to return after an injection of painkillers. He sat out Wednesday's practice.
"I am just trying to get healthy enough to play and get to the point where the pain is not as strong and try to get out there on the field," Westbrook said.
"You try to go out there, you want to be as healthy as possible and produce for your team. When you're out there and you keep getting injured and keep getting nicked up, it's tough to handle that type of thing."
Coach Andy Reid praised Westbrook's toughness for returning to the game but did not know if that meant he could play this week.
"He was a warrior in that game, being able to play," Reid said. "We've just got to get it calmed down there. We'll see how things go as the week progresses."
Westbrook finished with 84 total yards and a touchdown against Washington, but the Eagles offense was stuck in neutral for much of the rest of the game after he was hurt.
"Everyone has to understand what situation we are in," McNabb said. "It's a one-game-at-a-time approach, but you have to have a sense of urgency to go out and change that. And in order for us to change that, we all, collectively, have to do it at the same time."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.