PHOENIX - Bill Cowher is off watching his daughters play basketball and is getting ready to steal money as a studio analyst for CBS. Bill Parcells is lying low somewhere in North Jersey doing whatever it is Bill Parcells does during his temporary retirement gigs.
Maybe one of these days, Andy Reid also will be off somewhere doing something besides coaching an NFL team. But not now, not any time soon.
While quitting briefly crossed his mind last month after his two oldest sons were arrested on drug and weapons charges, Reid, who is entering his ninth season as the Eagles' head coach, said he is nowhere close to thinking about riding off into the sunset.
"I still enjoy what I'm doing," he said yesterday morning during an informative, hourlong interview with reporters at the NFC coaches media breakfast.
"I guess when I stop enjoying it, I'd get out. When it becomes more of a burden than a challenge, I guess I'd hang it up. But I really haven't gone there. I can't say I've considered going into broadcasting [insert appropriate chuckle]. Or sitting on the beach. I haven't thought about that.
"Look around. I've got a great situation. It's as good as it gets in the National Football League. I've got an owner who supports me. I've got a president who supports me. Both of them are sharp. I've got a good staff and good players. If I do it right, then we should continue to win some games and have a chance to compete for the Super Bowl."
He loves Philadelphia, even though Philadelphia doesn't always love him back. He's won more games than any Eagles coach in history. His teams have won five division titles and been to four NFC Championship Games in the last 6 years. Yet this town continues to be reluctant to give Big Red a big hug.
The strange part is, that's OK with him. He understands the whole 23 Years of Tears thing. He feels your pain. He understands the whole yeah-but-they-haven't-won-a-Super-Bowl attitude. Says if he were in the stands instead of on the sideline, he'd be the same way.
"These fans are [always] going to come out fighting," Reid said. "They're going to be loud and aggressive. When we brought Ryan Fowler [a free-agent linebacker from Dallas] in for a visit, I asked him what I always ask guys we bring in: 'Are you sure you can handle Philadelphia?' And he said, 'Hey, what a great place. You drive a bus in [for a game], and it's like no place else. They're throwing eggs at us and everything else. I love that.'
"I get direct feedback from people I talk to. Not that I get into that stuff, but they're cordial. They have a lot of kind words. I think we all want to go to a Super Bowl and win it. We have that in common. Philadelphia's hungry for one of those, as we are as coaches and players. Hopefully, we're going to get that done."
With this week's acquisition of linebacker Takeo Spikes from Buffalo and the recent signing of wide receiver Kevin Curtis, Reid thinks the Eagles will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in '07.
"I think we have the personnel to do it [make the Super Bowl]," he said. "We have good coaches. That's a good combination. We haven't added the draft into it yet. We haven't finished with free agency yet. But if we take care of business and everybody works hard and pulls together and does their thing, we have as good a shot as anybody."
Reid isn't sure yet where he will put Spikes, a two-time Pro-Bowler who has played all three linebacker spots in his career.
"I don't have a problem putting him at any of the three," he said. "We'll see. That's a position [linebacker] that we need to play better at. I'm not making promises to anybody right now. That's open competition there. Wide open."
After missing only one game in his first seven NFL seasons, Spikes, 30, ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the third game of the '05 season. He missed Games 2 through 5 last season with a hamstring injury, but played well late in the season.
"I did a little bit of a study on Achilles' tendon surgeries," Reid said. "Normally, that first year coming back, you're 75 to 80 percent, somewhere around there. The second year, normally they get back to where they were. So you're banking on that a bit [with Spikes].
"I thought as the season went on, he got better. I thought he got stronger and had more trust in the leg. He did have the hamstring, which isn't uncommon coming off an Achilles. You're kind of projecting a little bit. But that's the kind of the business we're in."
It's uncertain how Spikes' arrival will impact middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter's future in Philadelphia. While Spikes more than likely will wind up at one of the outside spots, that could move someone like second-year man Omar Gaither back to the middle to compete for the starting job with Trotter.
"He's working like crazy right now, so that's a plus," Reid said of Trotter. "He came out publicly and admitted he wasn't in the best shape [last season] and needed to lose a little weight. And he's gone about doing that, and he's getting himself right. He's stayed up here and he's working very hard.
If Trotter remains the starting middle linebacker, Reid said it will be important to reduce his snaps. The Eagles signed Shawn Barber last year to be their nickel linebacker for the purpose of making Trotter a first- and second-down linebacker. But Barber was too often hurt. Weakside linebacker Matt McCoy's shoulder injury also complicated matters. Trotter ended up playing 75 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps last season.
"That's not where we wanted it," Reid said. "We wanted it somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of the play time. It didn't work out that way. Hopefully, we can add a couple folks in here and see if we can get [his snaps] down."
Other highlights of Reid's interview yesterday:
* Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will continue to call plays next season. Reid turned over play-calling duties to Mornhinweg last November after quarterback Donovan McNabb tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and was replaced by Jeff Garcia.
"I'll probably let Marty call 'em this year," he said. "I thought he did a nice job last year. I have a lot of trust in Marty. I felt real good about it. It freed me up to see a little bit more of what was going on."
* Reid said he hopes to continue with the same kind of run-pass balance the Eagles showed at the end of the season after Garcia replaced McNabb. "It will probably be very similar; yeah, it'll probably be very similar to how we finished the season," he said.
* Even though McNabb is ahead of schedule on his rehab, Reid said it will be "close" as far as the quarterback being ready when training camp begins. The coach said the uncertainty over McNabb's readiness played into the Eagles' decision to pick up veteran Kelly Holcomb in this week's deal with Buffalo.
"That was part of the thought process," Reid said. "But at the same time, you have flexibility. We aren't tied into anything. But I think Kelly is a good football player. He's won games in this league, and he's a great guy. He'll fit in very well with what we do and our locker room."
Reid made it clear Holcomb will be the No. 3 quarterback, behind McNabb and backup A.J. Feeley.
"Right now it's A.J.'s [job]," he said. "I wouldn't expect him to lose that."
* Reid is in no hurry to look for a young replacement for McNabb. He thinks the 30-year-old quarterback has at least another 5 to 6 Pro Bowl-caliber years left in him.
"The way he trains and does things, and the way he approaches the game, I think so," he said. "I think you keep your eyes open, but I don't think you force somebody in there. I don't think you do that. I think Donovan has a number of good years left. I'm not too worried about that."
* The decision not to re-sign Garcia had nothing to do with worrying about how his presence would affect McNabb and everything to do with money.
"We knew Jeff was going to get some money [in free agency]," Reid said. "It's hard to pay your second guy as much as what he was going to get [in free agency]. It wasn't a matter of us not wanting him back or not attempting to get him back. It's just that he wanted to hit free agency and do his thing.
"At the same time, I have A.J. Feeley there, who I have a lot of confidence in. I wasn't going to be able to sign both of them [long-term]. I would've had A.J. for one more year and I would've had Garcia for however old he could play to.
"I don't know. He's 37. Can he play another year, 2 years? Who knows? So I figured I'd get one of them tied up for a long period of time, and A.J. was that guy."
* Reid thinks any questions about Brian Westbrook's ability to stay healthy and be a carry-the-load running back were answered last season, when he had he had career-high 317 touches and 1,916 rushing and receiving yards.
"It was a big step for him," the Eagles coach said. "You get through the season relatively healthy, you put together a good year and you go in with a little more confidence that you can do that the next year. You don't have people questioning you quite as much. I think it always was in the back of his mind coming into the year. Now he's kind of put that to rest and he knows he can do it, and everybody else knows he can do it." *