Wearing the red practice jersey, Donovan McNabb was off-limits to pass-rushers during his Eagles years.
Not anymore. McNabb had better be prepared to take his lumps.
“We’re going to go after him,” defensive end Trent Cole said. “We had great times while he was here, but he’s playing for the other team and he wants to win.”
Cole, who had two sacks last week against Jacksonville, is just following his marching orders.
“We’re a defense that likes to run and hit, and that’s what we’re going to do,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said.
“Our goal every week is to get after the quarterback, and it’s not any different this week,” safety Quintin Mikell said. “We’ve all seen what Donovan can do and if he gets going, we know it’s going to be a long day for us.”
Mikell’s goal isn’t to sack his former teammate, but he hopes knowing McNabb’s tendencies might help him in coverage.
“If he’s running down the field, I’m sticking to my man,” Mikell said. “I’ve seen too many people get beat like that.”
The biggest story line, of course, is how well McNabb knows the Eagles’ defense and vice versa. McDermott said the verbiage and personnel is different from when McNabb was with the team. And the Eagles don’t see an advantage one way or the other.
“Fortunately, we don’t really scout our offense or defense,” linebacker Stewart Bradley said.