Eagles president Joe Banner did the interview thing on Tuesday afternoon at NovaCare, his first since the end of the season. At one point, I asked him about the significant roster turnover of the last few seasons, and how they have still played at a high level through this transition but did not really contend for Super Bowls, and whether or not the transition was over and it was now really time to contend.
He winced in disagreement when I said they didn't contend for the championship. To me, two straight wildcard losses isn't contending -- and that trip to the NFC Championship Game in 2008, well, you have to acknowledge it was contending as you also acknowledge that it was a total, once-in-a-lifetime fluke.
Anyway, this is Banner's reply:
“We are trying to win a championship every year,” he said. “And we honestly haven’t gone into any of the recent years without thinking that we had a reasonable chance of doing it. I’m not saying that we were the favorite or anything. I’m saying that we had a good enough team that we had a reasonable chance of doing that. And next year won’t be any different.
“It’s a very difficult challenge. And there are some years, with hindsight, that I kind of look back and I’m not sure how we didn’t quite get there, and there are other years where we were probably lucky to get as far as we did because of the talent level or injury factors or whatever it may be.
“If we don’t win it next year, there will be nobody here making excuses or saying we needed another year to get the team ready to go. We think we have a very good team. We think it will get better between now and the beginning of the season. We’re not setting the bar any lower than going all the way and winning a championship.
“We don’t have any problem with people holding us to that. We have a problem when people think it’s all or nothing. We feel like we’re capable of feeling good and being proud of what we achieved and, at the same time, being incredibly frustrated ourselves and understand the frustration that hasn’t included winning a championship. That is what we are here for.”
This is the sentence I am choosing to focus on:
"If we don't win it next year, there will be nobody here making excuses or saying we needed another year to get the team ready to go."