BETHLEHEM -- Quarterback Donovan McNabb will start training camp wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right knee, while tight end L.J. Smith will start it on the sidelines.

That was the biggest news coming out of coach Andy Reid's first press conference Friday as the Eagles opened training camp at Lehigh University.

McNabb will wear a brace primarily as a precautionary measure, Reid said, adding that the decision was reached jointly by McNabb, his doctors and the coaching staff.

"These first three days I'll take it slow with him," Reid said. He dismissed the significance of the knee brace, which McNabb did not wear when he took part in the last four days of the team's June minicamp. "I think it's just more of a security blanket for him; it gives him a little more stability on that knee.

"I think once the season kicks off he'll probably get rid of that and move on, but we're going to use every precautionary measure that we can as we start now."

Smith will not partipate in contact drills for the first 3-7 days of camp, though Reid said he thought Smith's recovery from offseason surgery for a sports hernia was running ahead of schedule.

"We'll take it nice and slow with him and see how it goes, see how he progresses," Reid said. "But he is progressing very well and he has been working out."

There will be 39 players taking part in the first weekend of camp, according to Reid. Rookies, undrafted free agents and selected veterans were required to report Friday. The rest of the team is due into camp by Monday.

All of the "selected veterans" that reported Friday were quarterbacks, including McNabb, the coach said.

Reid addressed the legal troubles involving his sons, Britt and Garrett Reid, only by saying that he would not comment on family issues at the press conference, and would maintain that policy throughout the season.

The assembled press, about 30 in all, respected Reid's wishes and did not ask a single question about his sons.

Britt and Garrett Reid both had court dates on Thursday for charges stemming from unrelated events that occurred on the same day, Jan.30, during the offseason.

Garrett Reid pleaded guilty to drug possession and traffic charges, with sentencing still to come, while Britt Reid entered a not guilty plea on weapons and drug possession charges. An Aug. 13 court date was set for Britt Reid's case.