Answered by JasonB at our very own Bleeding Green Nation. You can find the first installment of my answers to his questions here. Defensive questions pending, thanks to Jason for taking the time to set this segment up, enjoy:
Hogs Haven: Million dollar question: How questionable is Brian Westbrook for the game? If you had to guess based on all the various things you'd read about it more than I would, where we at?
Bleeding Green Nation: I hate to sound like I'm dodging the question in any way… but my honest answer is that I just don't know. He says he's optimistic. He is back to practice this week, although it's in a limited capacity. Everything points to him being more likely to play this week than he was last week… but that doesn't mean he will. I'm responding tot his question on Thursday morning… so who knows? By this afternoon the answer could be a lot more obvious.
HH: Donovan's playing well, great rating, completing a lot of passes, protecting the football in the air relatively well. Is he Pro Bowl good this year or does he even need to be for you guys to go places?
BGN: I think he does need to be that good for us to go places this year. So far, so good with Donovan. Frankly, when has McNabb not been pro bowl good when he's been healthy? Talent has never been a question with him, it's health. He finally was able to come into this year having finished the previous year healthy. This is the first year since 2004 he hasn't come into a year rehabbing an offseason surgery. He's moving very well, his passes have all the same zip they've always had, his accuracy has been quite good, and he seems to have a lot of confidence in his receivers. I see him throwing passes this year that he seemed tentative to throw last year when he was still getting over the knee surgery. So right now he's healthy and playing well… but all Eagles fans know that could change on one play. We cross our fingers and hope he continues on like he has so far.
HH: Besides his boneheaded drop of a touchdown pass, 2nd round pick DeSean Jackson is playing a whole lot better than the receivers taken in front of him in this draft, including our own Devin Thomas. But there's been a drop off in production since the first two weeks, when he was about the best statistical receiver in the NFL, or close to that. What did Pittsburgh and Chicago do that St. Louis (er...) and Dallas did not to shut or slow him down?
BGN: Well, I think it's just a case of things evening out. He started off his first two games with over 100 yards receiving(only the second rookie to do so)… If he kept up that pace he'd be the best WR in football, which we know he's not. He still had solid games against Pitt and Chicago. He did finally catch his first TD pass against the Bears. The Pittsburgh game was just one of those games where there just wasn't much offense being played. I'm not sure if there was anything specific they did against Jackson. If anything, they did a nice job getting pressure on McNabb, which is sure to disrupt any passing game. He did tail off a bit in the Bears game after he had a fumble on a punt return. That seemed to frustrate him and throw him off his game. We actually saw a new element of Jackson's game against the Bears as he had 2 nice end around runs that went for 35 yards.
HH: You guys don't run as much as most teams in the league so there's no shame in not producing eye-popping numbers on the ground. But you guys aren't really doing much with the few attempts you've had, either, with just 3.5 YPC. Is that all on Westbrook being out or is there something going wrong with the rushing unit (or neither)?
BGN: A lot of it has to do with Westbrook… The first game we ran the ball well, the second game with Dallas just turned into a shootout where both teams abandoned the run and just kept chucking it up… Early in game 3 we lost Westbrook and he didn't play in game With Westbrook out, we've run the ball even less than usual. So while the lack of production out of the running game is a real concern for me, it's hard to really evaluate at this point.
Thanks again to JasonB. Cheers.