Eagles’ Sheldon Brown: ‘I will play hard and be a pro’

Sheldon Brown handled the blitz yesterday.

The Eagles' veteran cornerback, after checking in for the start of today's post-draft camp, could see the rush coming at him as he walked across the parking lot at the NovaCare Complex. He knew he was going to be bombarded by questions about his contract dispute and trade request that became public 11 days ago.

There was only one subject he didn't want to discuss.

Asked if he had talked to team president Joe Banner, he offered a no comment.

He repeated that answer twice more when asked what he would say to Banner if the two men had a conversation and whether or not his fractured relationship with Banner could be repaired.

Brown insisted he'd have no problem showing up for work and doing his job even if a trade or new contract is not in his future. Banner has said the Eagles have no plans to trade Brown or sweeten his contract.

"This ain't going to wear on my mind," Brown said. "My job is to play football and that's what I'm going to do. I already said this isn't going to be a media circus. I'll speak one time and one time only and this is the time. After this, I have to go to work. I'm going to be a pro. I will play hard and be a pro."

Brown said he didn't discuss his situation with coach Andy Reid and he doesn't plan to. He made it clear that he has no animosity toward his coach and he believes the team's business decisions are all made by Banner.

"I'm hoping it's a Joe decision," Brown said. "I have a good relationship with coach Reid and I have a lot of respect for coach Reid. I would hope it would never come out that it was the coach's decision. If (Reid) wants to talk to me, I'll talk to him, but to be honest I don't really need to talk to him. He's the head coach. There are certain things he can't get involved in. I know that."

Brown also seemed undisturbed by the Eagles' decision to trade two fifth-round picks to New England for Ellis Hobbs Sunday, a move that gives the team three cornerbacks with plenty of starting experience. The other is Asante Samuel, who signed as a free agent before last season.

"They bring in people every year, so don't get it twisted," Brown said. "I've been fighting for my job every season. If Ellis Hobbs makes this team better, he needs to be on this football team. I have no problem with that. If I'm here, as long as we're winning, I'm great."

Reid insisted Sunday that the acquisition of Hobbs had nothing to do with Brown's contract dispute. Brown said he thinks the Eagles would have added a cornerback regardless of his contract situation, but their decision to add an experienced player at the position might have been driven by his trade request.

"I think they would have got somebody," he said. "I don't know if they would have got Ellis. Obviously they're kind of in a rebuilding mode right now anyway and I'm the last man standing. I'm on my way out any way you look at it."

Brown is the last remaining defensive starter from the Eagles' 2004 team that went to the Super Bowl.

Hobbs, who is in the final season of the rookie contract he signed with the Patriots, said he hopes Philadelphia can be his new home for a while after being discarded by the Patriots.

"I go in looking at it as one man's trash is another man's treasure," Hobbs said. "Somebody felt like it was time for me to move on . . . and somebody else said the time is here, the time is now for me. I see this as a window of opportunity."


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.