Marty Agrees with Critics

    Eagles figures agreeing with their critics is something one does not often encounter in the NovaCare auditorium.

   Oh, sure, we get "I've got to do a better job with that," from Andy Reid, a default assent so automatic and meaningless that it doesn't really count. Donovan McNabb never agrees with much of anything, on principle. You could organize a drinking game around how many times in a news conference the quarterback is going to begin a response with "not at all."

  Q: "Donovan, will the forecast for chilly weather Sunday in Baltimore cause you to bundle up?"

   A: "Not at all. For the second overtime, I might even play shirtless."

    But with the Eagles' offense coming off one of its most unbalanced, frustrating performances in years last Sunday in Cincinnati, reporters encountered an unusually contrite and agreeable Marty Mornhinweg at the offensive coordinator's weekly news conference.

   Mornhinweg agreed with nearly every criticism and suggestion that was offered, after lauding Baltimore's strong defense. "They wreak havoc," he noted.

  "We've got to get better situationally," Mornhinweg said. "We do need to start faster, especially looking at the last several weeks here ... Lately, we've played some pretty good defenses.

   "We can go through a lot of reasons (for problems) and those turn into excuses. We've got to play a little bit better, especially early in the game ... We've got to run the ball better early in the game, because that sort of sets the tone."

   On third down conversions, which have been alarmingly bad lately, Monrhinweg said: "We're pretty good in third and 2-to-6, but we've been poor on third-and-1."

    Was five carries in the first half enough to justify the extent to which the Eagles abandoned the run in Cincinnati (18 runs, 60 called passes)?

   "No," Mornhinweg said. "You make a good point. You're right. It's not enough."

   Mornhinweg was asked if it would make sense to play Correll Buckhalter more, with Brian Westbrook banged up.

  "You're right," he said. "It does make sense."

    Anytime, Marty. We'd be willing to call down to the sideline, say, miday through the first quarter, in case you find yourself forgetting the adivce. Happy to help.