Thursday, February 11, 2016

Banner talks McNabb's future, 'best roster' comment

Eagles president Joe Banner joined 950 ESPN's Mike Missanelli this evening and touched on a variety of topics: Michael Vick, the perception that he's arrogant, Donovan McNabb's future and more.

Banner talks McNabb's future, 'best roster' comment


Eagles president Joe Banner joined 950 ESPN's Mike Missanelli this evening and touched on a variety of topics: Michael Vick, the perception that he's arrogant, Donovan McNabb's future and more.

Where to begin?

Let's start with McNabb.

Missanelli painted a scenario in which the Eagles did not win the Super Bowl this season. He asked Banner if McNabb would still be back.

"I can't envision a scenario in which Donovan McNabb is still playing and we won't be doing everything we can to keep him a member of the Philadelphia Eagles," Banner said.

Missanelli pushed him to be a little more specific, and Banner gave McNabb a pretty strong vote of confidence.

"Now if you tell me he tore his ACL and the doctor thinks he may never walk again, I mean I'm not going to tell you that that's an absolutely positive, but I can't envision a scenario, knowing what we think of him and his capabilities, in which he's not leading this team, not even just for the next year or two, but for as long as he's wanting to play."

And as things go nowadays, we'll follow McNabb with Vick. Banner offered his thoughts on why the Eagles brought in the troubled quarterback, but no new ground was really broken there.

What was more interesting was his response when Missanelli brought up the theory that the Eagles made the move to steal attention back from the Phillies, who are preparing to defend their world championship in a few weeks. Let's just say Banner didn't buy that theory. In fact, he sounded flat-out offended.

"Frankly, it's both insulting and absurd," he said. "And it has to just completely ignore any facts about the interest that there is in the Philadelphia Eagles. And I really don't know how people could be that misinformed other than obviously the media is not actively covering our popularity."

Banner added that their research indicates the Eagles' popularity is pretty much at an all-time high. He cited sales, hits on their Web site, training camp attendance, TV ratings and more.

He also referenced the tremendous popularity of NFL blog, Moving the Chains.

OK, I made that last part up.

"You have to be massively misinformed, having nothing to do with the interest and excitement about the Phillies, you just have to be so massively misinformed about the reality of the interest in this team and the factual existence of information to support that to think that we probably ever are going to be in a position with Philadelphia where we have to do something to prop up the interest of the team," Banner said.

While I thought his defense was a bit much, it's tough to disagree with Banner here.

Meanwhile, you get the feeling that he is going to be asked about the whole "best roster in the NFL" comment during every interview he does the rest of the season. Maybe even the rest of his life.

At least Banner seems to understand that's how it's going to be.

"What I said was I believe that at this moment we have the most talented roster in the NFL," he said "And then the second sentence was that statement becomes irrelevant after the first day of training camp. And I was asked 'Well why does it become irrelevant?' I said because what really matters is how well the people perform, how well does the team mesh, how many injuries you have. So if you take the first part of the sentence, it's a very arrogant, really meaningless statement, and frankly one if we don't have a good season, that will probably be thrown into my face many times."

And finally, Missanelli asked Banner if he is aware people consider him arrogant. Banner said he doesn't believe it's a large group of people, but it is something he thinks about from time to time.

"It's a small minority, and it bothers me because it's not a description that I would welcome, nor do I think is fair, but I am aware that there are people out there that believe that," he said.
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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