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Eagles' McNabb cautiously optimistic at start of his 11th training camp

  • By Associated Press
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BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- One day into his 11th NFL training camp, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is sounding like a coach.

After the Eagles reached their fifth NFC Championship Game in eight years last season, they added several players to boost an offense that seems to perpetually rely on McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook.

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The Eagles drafted wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Cornelius Ingram in April. Maclin scored 33 touchdowns in a two-year career at Missouri, McCoy rushed for almost 1,500 yards last season at Pittsburgh, and Ingram was Florida's top tight end before missing last season with a knee injury.

All three are talented, explosive -- and young. McNabb knows.

"We've got a lot of 20- and 21-year-old kids on this team," McNabb said as the Eagles hit the practice field Monday at Lehigh University. "I'm 32 years old. I've seen a lot of what they've done in college, but again, it goes back to, 'Can you do the same things in college on the pro level?' And some have, some haven't."

"We have a lot of young faces. We have a lot of new faces. For me to sit here and say, 'Hey, we're a Super Bowl team, and we're going to win the Super Bowl,' I don't believe in all that. I think that's something that at the end of the year, we'll find out who wins and who doesn't."

Eagles coach Andy Reid couldn't have said it better himself.

The team didn't go with a total youth movement, opting for experience to protect McNabb. The Eagles acquired two veteran offensive linemen, trading with the Buffalo Bills for two-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters and signing free agent Stacy Andrews away from the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Philadelphia fell to the Arizona Cardinals in last year's NFC title game, 32-25, but the Eagles expect to again contend in the formidable NFC East.

"I think we have a great team," McNabb said. "We have some great athletes here, but we have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. And if we can do that, hopefully we can ride on and take it and be able to finish this thing off in Miami (at the Super Bowl)."

Maclin remains unsigned and has yet to report to camp. But McNabb worked out with Maclin during the quarterback's annual camp in Arizona and said he isn't concerned.

"I wasn't (in camp on time) for my rookie year. It's part of the business," McNabb said. "For the days that he's missed, I've had an opportunity to work with him, so when he comes in, we can just feed on that."

Maclin joins a deep group of receivers led by veterans Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant and Reggie Brown, along with second-year speedster DeSean Jackson.

Westbrook is still rehabilitating his ankle after offseason surgery, but he is on schedule to return to practice in mid-August.

McNabb also commented on Michael Vick, who was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday afternoon. Asked whether he thought Vick should be suspended, McNabb said: "No, not at all. ... I'm looking forward to him being reinstated and being able to have an opportunity to get back on his feet and play football again."

McNabb also took a playful jab at former teammate Terrell Owens' two-week-old reality series, "The T.O. Show."

After first joking that he would make an appearance on the show, McNabb was asked how he would improve it.

"By not having it," he said, jokingly.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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