Donovan McNabb entered this season with the lowest interception ratio in the history of the NFL, so it's tough for him to relate to what Jay Cutler called the toughest patch he's had to go through in his entire career.
"Uhh, no, not to the extent,'' McNabb said when asked if he'd ever had a Cutler-like streak of picks. "But I mean I've had games where you just don't play as well as you expected or what you prepared to. Every quarterback goes through it. The thing about it is that you just have to have confidence that you're going to pull yourself up, that things are going to turn for the better, but I think with the group of guys that he has around him, everybody is trying to elevate their game to take a little bit of pressure off him and give him an opportunity to get things going.''
McNabb has been his accurate self again this season. He's thrown four interceptions in 219 attempts as compared to Cutler's league-high 17 in 338 attempts. In the last three seasons, McNabb has 22 picks in 1,262 attempts.
"There's a lot of different things that go into it,'' McNabb said. "As far as Jay's play, he's an aggressive guy, he always has the confidence that he can get the ball into tight situations and giving guys opportunities to make plays. Sometimes that's costly for you, sometimes that's great for you. A lot of it could be decision making, some could be just poor judgment, and the list goes on, but I think overall you want your quarterback to be aggressive and play aggressive, to have the confidence that they can make every throw.''
McNabb said that quarterbacks have to be more cautious when they get to the red zone, knowing that a field goal will be a chip shot. But there is a fine line with remaining aggressive and needing to make a play to get in the end zone.
With the Bears pulling off the blockbuster trade for Cutler, now the McNabb-to-the-Bears stories can die, right?
"That'll never stop,'' McNabb said. "But Jay will be all right, he'll be fine, it's still a long season ahead of us and I look for good things happening in Philadelphia and I'm sure he's looking for the same thing in Chicago.''
McNabb was actually benched last season but no one expects Caleb Hanie to get the call to replace Cutler anytime soon, and Cutler said Wednesday he wouldn't have benched himself in San Francisco last week during his five-pick disaster.
"There's a lot of things that go into it,'' McNabb said. "Nobody wants to be benched. I'm sure you guys don't want to be pulled from writing your great articles, be on suspension for a week or two then you'll probably be outside kicking old papers and sitting on the bench drinking coffee and feeling like nobody loves you.''
The man who benched McNabb, coach Andy Reid, wasn't going to address the matter when asked what goes into the decision to sit your starting quarterback.
"Listen, I'm not going to go there,'' Reid said. "I know kind of the direction you are going here and I am not going to get into all of that. Go to the next question."