strongly denied statements by the
Monday Night Football
crew that his relationship with coach
was fractured even though the Eagles were playing their best football of the season.
McNabb indicated last week that he planned to talk to Reid and the front office about his situation during the off-season.
"My relationship hasn't changed with Andy," the quarterback said before practice yesterday.
"I guess that would be the assumption that people would make because of the situation and the coverage it has received," he said of the reported friction.
"In this situation, we're professionals," McNabb said. "We know what our job [requires] us to do," and that's to "try to get us in a position to make the playoffs."
"Anything else after that is after we're done," he said. "As far as right now, we're focusing on what we need to do to beat Washington."
McNabb remained steadfast on the issue of his benching in Baltimore, which has been followed by three straight victories during which he has put forth his best efforts of the season.
McNabb still didn't think it was necessary, but some of his teammates have said it was a signal for all the players to step up their games.
"For me to be used as the guy to motivate other guys, I really don't think that was needed," McNabb said. "But I guess we've all seen what happened and have learned from it and moved on. It's a different situation when it's really not you that's being the guy to motivate everyone else."
He was asked if the Eagles' final two regular-season games, against Washington and Dallas, would determine whether he would remain in Philadelphia.
"I'm truly not worried about my future at this point," McNabb said. "I'm just focusing on playing well against the Redskins."
A short practice
After being given a long injury list by trainer
yesterday, Reid ran a short practice as the team got ready for Sunday's road game vs. the Redskins.
The team normally practices from 1:30 p.m. to at least 3 p.m. on Wednesday, but with just one day to recover from the Monday night win over Cleveland, Reid shortened yesterday's workout to 45 minutes.
Six players did not participate, including wide receiver Hank Baskett, who will miss the first game of his three-year career Sunday. Baskett sprained a knee ligament against the Browns.
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis (calf), safety Brian Dawkins (back), guard Todd Herremans (shoulder), and tackle Jon Runyan (knee) also sat out practice, but all are expected to play Sunday. Guard Shawn Andrews (back) will miss his 13th straight game.
The good news for the Eagles was that running back Brian Westbrook felt good enough to practice after touching the ball just 19 times against the Browns.
Pro Bowl alternates
Westbrook and defensive end
both members of the NFC Pro Bowl squad last season, were named as second alternates for this year's group.
Dawkins, a member of this year's team, said he felt Cole and Westbrook deserved to be on the squad. He said safety Quintin Mikell and cornerback Sheldon Brown deserved spots as well.
- Bob Brookover