Eagles president Joe Banner said yesterday that he expects Donovan McNabb to quarterback the Eagles next season, and Andy Reid to coach them.
There has been considerable speculation that the Eagles would try to trade McNabb if they fail to make the playoffs this season, as now seems likely. The team spent its first draft pick last April, in the second round, on quarterback Kevin Kolb.
But during an interview on WIP (610-AM), Banner said: "I can't envision a situation in which [Donovan McNabb] is not our quarterback next year . . . We are talking about a quarterback who went to four straight [NFC] Championship Games. There are only four quarterbacks in the history of the league that have done that. You are talking about a quarterback who has had a higher winning percentage in his first 7 years in the league than Peyton Manning. You are talking about a quarterback that has one of the highest quarterback ratings over the first seven seasons, one of the best TD-to-interceptions ratios of any quarterback in the history of this game in his first seven seasons in the league . . . My expectations, and I can't really even picture a different scenario, is that he'll be the quarterback."
Of course, viewed cynically, Banner's trumpeting of McNabb's accomplishments could almost be read as a sales pitch to prospective buyers for the 31-year-old quarterback, who has struggled this season in the wake of ACL surgery. Most athletes say their second year after the surgery is much better than the first.
Reid has been dealing with the legal troubles of two of his sons that led to him taking a 5-week leave of absence last February and March, only to have the sons, Garrett and Britt, encounter more trouble. Speculation about the coach's future has flared up periodically. Banner said he didn't think Reid ever considered resigning.
"It was never discussed, as far as I know it was nothing he ever contemplated," Banner said. "If he did, it's nothing he ever shared, and we've had many conversations over a long period of time, some of them very deep. As far as I know, that was never considered.
"Yes, he will be the coach next year. From our perspective and everything he said to us, he will be the coach next year."
Banner also told host Howard Eskin that he did not believe Reid's family problems had affected the 5-7 team. *