We brought you the first part of Andy Reid's interview with Dave Spadaro early yesterday morning, so we will keep the trend going with the highlights of Part 2, including Reid's staunch support of his group of wide receivers.
DS: How do you look at this group of wide receivers moving forward?
AR: "I like our wide receivers. It was great to get DesSean (Jackson) in the action there (in 2008). I think this is a big year for him because teams are going to do just like we're doing. They're studying our offense and they're going to study DeSean Jackson. They're going to slow it down, watch it, look at his tendencies, his physical abilities, what type of routes we're running him on, so we've got to take it to another level with DeSean. DeSean has to continue to work hard in this off-season, get stronger and more precise in his route running, all of those things. And then we have a big challenge as coaches of coming up with new things to make sure that he has an opportunity to catch the football.
"Kevin Curtis, I think the exciting thing about Kevin Curtis, is, even though he's a little bit older, in NFL years, fairly young. He had gone on a church mission when he was in college, so there is a two-year differential there in his NFL years compared to his age. Kevin is coming off sports hernia surgery that, as we know here, slow you down a little bit. I don't think Kevin was feeling what he normally feels as a football player until probably the last three games of the season and you were able to see that as we went into the playoffs.
"We've got young guys around them – Hank Baskett and Reggie Brown, who is a starting-caliber player and who has started a lot of games for us. We consider him a starter in this mix. Jason Avant, you saw him bloom into this third receiver who was virtually unstoppable as an inside receiver. He just had a phenomenal year, and he was coming off a sports hernia surgery from the year before and was also banged up just a little bit as we went down the stretch. We expect good things from him and for him to take another step up."
DS: You speak glowingly of these players of these players around Donovan. Is the group good enough to win the Super Bowl, as is?
AR: "I think it is as you compare it to other teams, the teams that went to the Super Bowl. Now, you've got Larry Fitzgerald, who is the elite of the elite, and to compare him to our guys – I think Larry is probably the finest receiver in the game right now. But I'll put that group up against other receiving groups in this league, especially with Donovan throwing the football and with the type of offense we have throwing the football."
DS: Tra Thomas recently said that maybe you needed to have more of a personal relationship with players, or communicate better with players, that the approach was too business-like. What is your reaction to that?
AR: "I am who I am. I do what I do. We've had a little bit of success here. Can I get better at what I do? I'm always going to strive to get better, just like I mention with the players. But I can't change personalities, because players read through that and they're going to think you are putting on a show. Am I up for suggestions? I'm always up for suggestions. To get better, I'm always up for suggestions. I really respect Tra, too. Tra has been with us here for a long time and helped us win a lot of football games, so I respect the things he says and look at them. But to change, it's hard to change as a person. That's a tough thing to do, and still have players respect you as a whole and the things we've done here."
To read the transcript from Part 2, visit the team's Web site, by clicking here.