Andy Reid ended the we’re-happy-holding-on-to-our-three-quarterbacks charade this morning and acknowledged that the Eagles are listening to offers for Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick.
``I’m listening (to offers) out there,’’ Reid said at the NFC coaches media breakfast. ``I’m not saying I’m doing anything. But we’re keeping our ears open.’’
While he said he can still see going into next season with McNabb, Kolb and Vick still all on the team, it was clear that’s not his intention and that there’s little chance of that happening.
``We’re evaluating, taking in the situation right now,’’ Reid said. ``I don’t worry about (what other people are saying). It’s an evaluation process right now.
``We’re kind of gathering everything up and we’ll take it back to Philadelphia and see where we’re at.’’
More from Reid:
On your quarterback situation and your insistence that you’d be happy keeping all three around next season:
We think we have a great situation. That’s where we’re at. That doesn’t mean we’re not entertaining calls of anything. But right now, we feel very good about our quarterback situation. Very fortunate really.
Have some of the offers piqued your interest?:
We’ll go back and look through those and think through them a little bit, away from this situation here. There’s (no offer) right now that I’d jump up and down about. But there has been some interest.
On Mike Bell:
He gives you a big, powerful running back. He enjoys playing the game. I had a chance to talk to Sean Payton about him. Sean liked him. Respected his ability. He’s 26 years old, so his best years are ahead of him. We’ll just see. We’ll see how things go.
On Bell's pass-catching ability and blocking ability:
I thought he improved (as a pass-catcher). I think that became more important to him when he went to New Orleans. I pulled out every route. I pulled out every (blocking) protection he had at both places (Denver and New Orleans). You could see progress as it went on. Became a decent pass-protector.
On how he’s not a running back like Westbrook, though, that you can move all around the formation and split wide:
That’s not the way I look at him. I look at him more as an in-the-backfield player. I don’t think you need to flex him out and do a lot of things with him, though I think he can catch it well enough on the different routes we do. But for the most part, you keep him in the backfield.
As far as the age part on Bell:
I like the age part. I like the things that he brings. Brings a little different flavor to the backfield that we haven’t had in a couple of years. I consider him similar to what Correll (Buckhalter) did for us, as far as his skill-sets go.
How does Bell’s acquisition affect running back as a draft priority?:
We’re not going to force anything. If there’s somebody there we like, we’ll look at him. It was a position we needed to bring in another player in. We think we brought a good one in. So you’re not going to sit there and force somebody into that spot.
Where is this team right now?:
Back in Philadelphia.
No, seriously. Last year at this time, you said you had a team that was capable of competing for a championship. Are you capable of that right now?
We’re getting better. Again, we’re not done. Things could still happen. We’ll see how it goes into that first minicamp after the draft and into OTAs.
On Sheldon Brown’s situation:
The nice thing with Sheldon is he’s still under contract and been able to make a living. We’ll just take it from there. We’ll see what happens over time.
Have you gotten inquiries about Brown?:
We’ve gotten a few, yeah.
On your decision to release Shawn Andrews now. Wasn’t due a roster bonus. Did you send anybody out there to check on him before you released him?:
We stayed in communication with him. He said he did want to play. This will give him an opportunity to hook on with somebody and get a fresh start somewhere. We’ll see how that works.
Do you think he ever will play again?:
He says he will.
Your offensive line. Your center’s recovering from ACL surgery. Your right guard didn’t give you squat last year. Your right tackle was up and down. Your left tackle, Jason Peters, was up and down. What are your thoughts on your line right now?:
The people you mentioned, one’s a first-year starter (Winston Justice). The other ones were new to our program. So I think they know what to expect now. They’ll be more consistent than they were last year. And as up and down as maybe we think Jason was, he was still the best left tackle in the NFC. His peers felt that way. And he can get better. That’s a great thing for him and for us.
On Howie Roseman replacing Tom Heckert as your GM:
It wasn’t a drastic thing. Because Howie was working with Tom last year. They had a great working relationship. Things were smooth. The biggest thing here is it gave both of them an opportunity. It gave Tom an opportunity to go somewhere and have final say on things, which he had been looking for over the last few years. He’s working for one of my better friends. Howie, this allows him to take that next step up. He’s doing a heck of a job. He’s brought good energy to the program and has surrounded himself with good people. I’m expecting good things from him.
With Darren Howard gone, who will replace him as your inside nickel pass rusher?:
You have (Trevor) Laws there. He’s got to step up from what he did last year. We brought him in with that in mind, being an inside pass-rusher. And we’ll just keep our eyes open as we go. Mike Patterson was a good inside rusher at one point. I think he can continue to do that.
How about Tapp?:
He did it a little bit. But he’s mainly an outside guy.
Two years ago, you had one of the best defenses in the league. Last year, not so much. How much of it was injuries? How much was players underperforming? How much of it was having a first-year defensive coordinator?:
It was a unique situation. Coming into last season at this time, Jim (Johnson) wasn’t feeling very well. You weren’t sure whether he’s was going to make it through to the season or not. That’s no excuse. We were banged up a little bit. That probably was the main factor. Sean (McDermott), even though he got a late start on things, I thought he handled that whole situation about as smooth as you could handle it. I thought Sean did a nice job of rallying the troops and keeping that thing together.
Stewart Bradley’s progress from his ACL injury:
He was ready to roll at the end of the season. At least in his mind he was. He’s good.
Are your quarterbacks on the market?:
I wouldn’t say they’re on the market. I’d say I’m listening (to offers). I’m not saying I’m doing anything. I’m keeping my ears open. Which we do on every player. This is no different.
Has anything changed since end of season when you said you expected McNabb to be your starting quarterback in ’10?
I can say it again. Donovan is our No. 1 quarterback and Kevin is our No. 2 quarterback and Michael is our No. 3 quarterback. That’s how I feel.
Ccan you say right here, right now, that Donovan won’t be traded?
Donovan is our starter, our starting quarterback.
Today he is our starting quarterback, yes.
So you’re saying you can see all three being back?:
I do. I can see that happening. That’s a pretty good situation for a coach.
Has there been varied interest or equal interest in all three of them or what?
There actually is (interest in all 3).
On adding two veteran coaches in Bobby April and Dick Jauron:
I’ve always looked at Bobby as one of the top special teams coaches in the league. We had that with John Harbaugh, and I feel we have that again with Bobby. His track record sure is impressive. He brings great energy into the office. I’m sure it will be the same way when we get out on the field. Dick and I were together in Green Bay. We developed a friendship there and I have great respect for him. He brings a lot of knowledge to the table and and an understanding of the defensive back position. He’s coached it. He’s played it. So I welcome that into the mix there.
Any reluctance about bringing in a guy with as much experience as Dick has – a head coach in three different places – and making him a position coach under a young defensive coordinator like McDermott?:
I’m not trying to help Sean. Well, I guess I am. But not for lack of him being a good football coach. I’m not asking Dick to coordinate the defense. That’s Sean’s defense. But I will always try to bring in the best coaches I can bring in. If you know Dick Jauron, he knows the dynamics of the staff. He’s not going to step on people’s toes or go behind people’s backs. That’s not what he’s about. He’s there to make us better and that’s what he’ll do.
Sean clearly was exasperated after the Cowboys’ playoff loss with Asante Samuel and his refusal to play press coverage and his penchant for freelancing and his unwillingness to tackle people even when teams were attacking him with wide-receiver screens. Does that have to change? Are you worried teams are going to keep going after him with screens if he doesn’t change the way he plays?
I think Asante knows he needs to have a better year than what he had, even though it was a pro bowl year. As good a football player as he is, he can be even better. And I think that’s the way he’s handling the offseason. He started hitting the weights and doing the things he needs to do to add a little more strength.
How much can you count on Marlin Jackson considering the fact that he’s coming off his second ACL injury in as many years? Are you confident he can be your starting free safety this season?
As long as he’s healthy, yeah. Right now he’s not. He’s working to get himself back to where he can play. He’s wired the right way to get that accomplished. We’ll keep our eyes open (for other safeties and corners) throughout the rest of free agency and the draft.
Jamaal Jackson’s status, post-ACL surgery?
For the season, I think he’ll be OK. For the offseason, I’m not expecting much. Or training camp. I think we’ll get him (back) in the beginning of the year, the beginning of the season. Don’t think he’ll be in any preseason games.
Would you miss him if he’s not out there for the start of the season?:
It looked that way in the last Dallas game.
With 14 teams in the league now playing a 3-4, with 2 of your 3 NFC East opponents playing a 3-4, concerned about going with a center who’s coming off an ACL?:
You’re going to find out what kind of surgery he had. Very seldom do you see those guys (be as good as new right away). But we’ll see. We’ll see how he does.
Your thoughts on Jeremy Maclin and his rookie season:
He was the first one back this offseason. It was neat to watch him compete last year. He’s a very intelligent kid. Came from a completely different offense (than eagles run). DeSean, there were a lot of similarities between what we run and what he ran at Cal. But Maclin, very little. He came in and worked very hard and getting routes done. But again, you’re dealing with a kid who is highly intelligent and has a great desire to do well.
DeSean wants a contract extension. How do you feel about that?:
I never talk about those things publicly. Not gonna get into that.
Any concerns that he could become disruptive if he doesn’t get an extension?
I don’t worry about that at all. I think he wants to play and that’s what he’ll do.
Marlin Jackson, if he’s healthy, kind of gives you a safety with cornerback abilities. Is that becoming more the norm in this league as teams throw the ball more and more? Do you need safeties that can cover?:
Marlin was kind of a ‘tweener coming out of college. He was a corner that they put at nickel inside because he’s so physical. He’s not as fast as a lot of the corners you see out there, but he’s as fast as the safeties. They used him a lot inside (in Indy). That hybrid guy, that ‘tweener guy, those are your safeties (now). You don’t have those big monsters. Those 220-pounders. Not a lot of those around anymore.
Do you pay more attention to the coverage abilities of safeties now when you’re evaluating the college crop than you did 10 years ago?:
I’d say that, yeah.
Your opinion on Jason Peters’ play last season:
I think Jason was the best left tackle in the NFC. His colleagues thought he was. He has room to improve. He knows that. He’s an extremely hard worker on the field. He’ll get better as it goes on. That’s a win-win situation. When you go from one team to another, it’s hard. You’ve got to get acclimated. He did that and I thought he played well for us.
Eagles fans seem to have Donovan fatigue and want him gone and the Kevin Kolb era to begin. Your reaction to that?
I don’t worry about any of that. I know how good he is. That’s the important thing. I’ve got a great situation at that position right now. That’s a good position to have three guys who all can start and win at a championship-calibre level. It doesn’t get any better than that. Kolb’s one play away from playing and Michael’s two plays away. So they’d better be ready to roll. They’ll all go out and play and do what they need to do. They’re all getting paid good money.
How do you know when it’s time to move on?
Normally, when my plate’s empty, I move on.
The offers you’re receiving for your quarterbacks:
People are asking about all of them.
What situation could you see as far as trading Donovan?:
We’re evaluating and taking in the situation.
One team that could be in the mix for a quarterback is San Francisco, especially after this week's front office shakeup. San Francisco has Alex Smith and recently signed David Carr.
“There is always interest, and I think as a head coach it is my responsibility to always look at ways of making my football team better," Niners coach Mike Singletary said. "It would not be very smart to say we are set, this is the guy that is going to take us to the Super Bowl. Alex (Smith) hasn’t done it yet, but I am very hopeful that he can.”
As for other possible suitors, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that Matt Leinart will be the starter going into training camp but there will be a competition between Leinart and former Browns QB Derek Anderson, who signed with the Cardinals as a free agent last week.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said this morning that Matt Hasselbeck is the team's starter and the Seahawks intend to develop Charlie Whitehurst for the future. Whitehurst, an unproven former third-round pick, got a two-year, $10 million contract after he was acquired this month from San Diego.
Minnesota coach Brad Childress reiterated that the Vikings are willing to wait for Brett Favre to make a decision about his future.
To read our earlier post on Mike Bell, click here