NEW ORLEANS -- When then-Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was thinking of acquiring quarterback Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay in 2001, he asked an old friend, Eagles coach Andy Reid, for advice. Reid had spent a year with Hasselbeck, as the Packers' quarterbacks coach, when Holmgren was the Green Bay head coasch.
"I said, 'Matt Hasselbeck will come in and help you win a championship,' " Reid recalled today at the coaches' breakfast at the NFL meetings. "That's how I feel about Kevin Kolb."
Reid said he told Holmgren: "Whatever you have to pay for him, pay for him, go get him, and he'll help you win a championship." Reid added: "That's how I feel about this guy. That's why I've got him. I didn't bring him in to be a backup, I brought him in to be a starter, and crazy things happened, with this Michael Vick thing, that nobody thought would happen ... That kid is a championship-caliber quarterback."
Of course, the Seahawks didn't win a championship under Holmgren, but Hasselbeck did lead them to the Super Bowl and a close loss to the Steelers. He also has been to three Pro Bowls.
Kolb was the main topic of conversation during Reid's hourlong session with reporters. He reiterated that there is a lot of interest from other teams, though Reid wouldn't discuss specifics. Reid said he would "keep my ears open" if the NFL lockout lingers through the draft and the Eagles are unable to trade Kolb then, and said he wouldn't rule out trading for 2012 draft considerations, though he said "something else" would have to be involved, presumably something that would help the team in 2011.
"We've had a number of people be very aggressive" in Kolb talks, Reid said.
Other topics adressed included the following:
*Reid was asked again about team president Joe Banner's words last month, in which Banner indicated Reid needs to win a Super Bowl to get another contract after the one that expires following the 2013 season. Reid told the Daily News last month that he trusts Banner, and doesn't see the ultimatum as an issue. Today, he said: "I understand how the game works ... I trust Joe. People have always tried to work that angle there, and there's nobody in that building that talks more than Joe and I. There's nobody that has a better relationship than Joe and I. We've heard every story, had people plot me against him and him against me, that's not the way it is ... I feel every year that (winning the Super Bowl) is what I'm shooting for ... I don't have to worry about all that other stuff (speculation), I worry about getting that part done."
*Reid said he was surprised offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg didn't get any head coaching interest this offseasson. He said quarterbacks coach James Urban, who ultimately went to Cincinnati to coach receivers, would have either succeeded Mornhinweg with the Eagles or become Mornhinweg's OC wherever Mornhinweg went.
*Reid indicated he does not expect 2010 first-round defensive end Brandon Graham to be ready to play after ACL surgery by the start of the 2011 season. He said second-round safety Nate Allen and veteran center Jamaal Jackson should be fine.
*Reid said right tackle Winston Justice did a good job playing injured last season (Justice recently underwent a knee cleanout), but Reid said he was pleasantly surprised by sub King Dunlap, and indicated Dunlap will compete for Justice's spot and possibly the right guard spot as well. Reid also mentioned Mike McGlynn as right guard, assuming Jackson stays healthy at center.
*Reid wouldn't speculate on whether wideout DeSean Jackson would get a new contract, if teams were allowed to do contracts now.
*Reid said that while he listens to all offers, trading Michael Vick and keeping Kolb "is not where I'm at right now."