Eagles president Joe Banner, whose comments on Andy Reid led to some provocative headlines today, said Wednesday he's "unabashedly a big Andy Reid fan."
"I think he deserves a lot of credit. There's nobody more frustrated that he hasn’t won a championship than Andy," Banner said in an appearance on WIP. He touted his coaches credentials, but evaded a question about whether Reid will still be the Eagles coach if the team hasn't won a Super Bowl when Reid's contract expires.
Banner said he and everyone in the organization will be working to make the question moot.
He covered much of the same ground as in an interview with reporters Tuesday, but did touch on new topics such as the Eagles spending, Donovan McNabb's treatment in Washington and Kevin Kolb's desire to start. Here are a few highlights:
-- On McNabb's treatment in Washington:
Banner said he didn't want to criticize anyone, but "There were moments there that you just kind of cringed a little bit and felt bad for him the way things were handled."
-- On using the "exclusive" franchise tag on Michael Vick, which bars him from even talking to other teams (under the conventional franchise tag he could sign elsewhere and the Eagles could match the offer or get two first round picks back): "Doesn’t matter what anyone offers," the Eagles want Vick in Philadelphia next year.
-- On the perception that the Eagles are "cheap"
"Of all the criticism that is out there this is the one that bothers me the most," he said, because, he said, making profits isn't his or owner Jeffrey Lurie's motivation. Banner pointed to the year the team signed Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse to expensive contracts to compete for the Super Bowl. Once this season's accounting is finished, he said the Eagles will rank 8th or 9th in NFL spending, and he said he believes the team now has the highest-paid coaching staff in the league.
-- On Kevin Kolb's stated desire to start, even if that means moving elsewhere:
"I have nothing but incredible admiration for how Kevin has handled a really difficult situation," Banner said. "He just voiced his feelings in a way that I felt was perfectly appropriate and reasonable."
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