Sometimes I feel sorry for Dave Spadaro. He has an impossible job, especially when the Eagles have done something that really riles up the masses. They send their Web site czar out to take withering abuse, though he had nothing to do with the decision they made.
I stop feeling sorry when Dave does stuff like he did today, labeling his series of interview snippets with Andy Reid “a wide-open, anything-goes forum.” C’mon, Dave. Andy, who hasn’t answered any questions from the media since free agency began (except ones about Stacy Andrews) was not available to you exclusively because he was looking forward to grappling with the tough questions. And it’s probably no coincidence that this interview neatly undercuts the impact of Reid’s NFL-mandated appearance next week at the owner’s meetings, where he will face actual reporters who don’t work for the team, some of them sent there at great expense by Philadelphia news outlets.
The first installment of Dave’s inquiries contains one nugget of actual news. Apparently, Quintin Demps will get first crack at the free safety spot vacated by Brian Dawkins. The assumption had been that after signing Sean Jones, a starting-quality strong safety, the Birds might move Quintin Mikell to free safety and let Demps work in another year as a sub.
“We feel like we've groomed Quintin Demps to step in and fill that position. If that doesn't work out, we've signed a couple of free agents in Sean Jones and Rashad Baker that we think are good football players,” Reid said. “Are any of them Brian Dawkins? Well, no, it's not fair to compare any of them to Brian right now. But they are young guys who have the opportunity to try and strive to be as good Brian has been."
Spadaro asks why, if the young guys aren’t as good as Dawkins right now, Dawkins ended up in Denver.
"That's a good question,” Reid concedes. “We did make an attempt and it didn't work out. Obviously, he got a phenomenal deal from the Broncos. That is all part of this business and that's what Brian did and that's what we did. Like they say, the sun comes up every day and the NFL season comes around every year. Brian is getting ready to do his thing with the Broncos and we're getting ready to do our thing."
If we might borrow Paul Domowitch’s device, this is what Andy meant: “We thought he wanted to stay so bad he’d take what we offered and not go looking for more, but somehow we hissed him off, and things didn’t go like we’d hoped.”
Elsewhere in the segment released today, Reid denies the Dawkins situation points up a rift between himself and team president Joe Banner, and predictably downplays the importance of free agency, in which the Eagles have not been major players. In a question, Spadaro labels their approach “conservative.”
"You can say it's a conservative approach or you can just say it's smart,” Reid modestly concludes. “People are hesitant to say that, but … Because you have the money, you just don't go blow it on something that you don't think is good enough quality to put on the Eagles uniform. That can be perceived different ways. We're going to try to bring in the right people here and do the right things in free agency that we feel are best for this football team. That's the way we have approached and I think that's the way you have to approach it."
To read the entire excerpts released today, go to the Eagles Web site, by clicking here.