With the Ravens preparing to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday, two members of the enemy team answered a few questions about their squad.
BR.com gives you head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Head Coach Andy Reid
Do you take much pride in the fact that John Harbaugh has had such a good start in Baltimore?
Andy Reid:"Well, I'm proud of him. I'm proud of what he's done, I'm proud of the players that have rallied around him. That's very impressive to me."
What are your thoughts on working with Harbaugh when he was in Philadelphia?
AR:"He's a great football coach. He could coach any position on the football field and have success with it. He did special teams and the secondary [in Philadelphia], but can coach anything."
How much pride do you have in helping him get the job in Baltimore?
AR:"He worked very hard to get the job himself, as far as making himself a good football coach. His dad was a big factor in that, and here he just worked his tail off. So he's the one that deserves the praise on that. He did a great job with us. Again, I'm very proud of him. He and I aren't going to be playing each other. It's our players that are going to be out on the field going after it, and I know both sides will be ready."
Are you impressed with the play of rookie quarterback Joe Flacco?
AR:"He's done a great job. He's done a phenomenal job. He deserves every bit of credit that he gets. It's tough playing quarterback in this league, let alone being a rookie and playing quarterback in this league and having success the way he has."
Are you surprised by how much attention the tie game and Donovan McNabb got in the national media?
AR:"Listen, I don't worry about all that stuff. I guess for your sake, unfortunately, but I don't get into all that. Donovan has handled it so well. I know the reality of things, and that particular thing there is irrelevant in the outcome of the game. It's had a lot of attention that I think was unnecessary. It doesn't have any factor on things."
QB Donovan McNabb
How has your quarterback style changed since the beginning of your career when you were more of a running quarterback and now you're more of a pocket passer?
Donovan McNabb:"I think when you get a little bit more experience in this league and begin to have been a part of different types of schemes that they throw your way – you've seen the blitz packages from different teams, you know what you may be faced with due to your personnel – you begin to register a little faster in the pocket and know where you want to go with the ball. And that's just normal. If you look at some of the rookies that have come through this league, including myself, where it seems like you're looking to just one side of the field, and as you begin to get more and more experience in this game, you begin to see the whole field and know what you can do in this league and just try to use your ability to obviously aid in what you're trying to do on the offensive side. I'm still using my legs if I have to, but just giving these guys an opportunity to make plays for me."
Are you using your legs more now to buy time in the pocket to make sure your receivers get open?
DM:"Yes and no. In this league, quarterbacks use their legs, no matter if people say they're mobile or not. Peyton [Manning] and [Tom] Brady, they use their legs maybe to adjust in the pocket. That's something that I do at times. Some guys may tuck it away and run. Some guys may buy time with scrambling to maybe hit a guy 20-30 yards down field. Whatever you can do in order to help the team. You're going to be asked to do that at least two or three times in the course of a game, because you're not going to be able to just sit back in the pocket and go through all of your receivers and be able to, just really, pretty much relax and chill back in the pocket. You won't be able to do that in this league."
How do you feel about facing John Harbaugh, do you have a favorite story from the time he spent with you in Philadelphia, and how much of an asset will Harbaugh be for the Ravens in facing the Eagles?
DM:"I'm excited for coach Harbaugh. John is a guy who worked extremely hard while he was here and a guy that I talked to constantly while he was here working with the special teams and then moving over to the secondary. The guy is knowledgeable about the game, comes from a family background of obviously athletes and coaches, and I'm just excited with the success that he's had over there in Baltimore. For him to go into a new style of play, bring in a coach that he coached with at Indiana [Cam Cameron] and then draft a young quarterback that he can help to develop, it's a great sign for him, and he's showing a lot of positive things for all the Baltimore fans."
Did you know Harbaugh well enough in Philadelphia to know that he would be a head coach someday?
DM:"There are a lot of coaches over here who have that capability of becoming head coaches. I've seen guys move on, like Brad Childress, to become a head coach. I've seen some of our assistant coaches [move on]. Even Dave Toub, who was the assistant to coach Harbaugh, who moved on to become a head special teams coach [in Chicago]. Steve Spagnuolo moved on to become a defensive coordinator from a linebacker coach and working with the secondary. The list goes on of guys that have moved on who have left here and become either coordinators or have put themselves in great positions to become head coaches."
What are your thoughts on using your arm and legs to beat the Ravens' defense?
DM:"I've shown that I can do both, and I think the thing for me that's important is I use it at the right time. When you play a team like [the Ravens], who have kind of have that ball-hawking ability, you want to be able to take care of the ball and put the ball in the right position for your guys to be successful. Knowing that they're a team that applies pressure, they're a team that has had a lot of success, despite last week, with stopping the run and just have put their offense in great positions to be successful. We want to make sure on the offensive side we will be able to sustain drives and come out with points."