What took Joe Banner so long to say head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb would be back next season, as he did Tuesday on Comcast SportsNet?
Why didn't he just say so after the Eagles were eliminated from the postseason by the Arizona Cardinals?
(Donovan wants a meeting with you, Joe)
Banner didn't know. And trust me, it took him more than a week before he felt comfortable putting out the spin, "We can win a championship with those people and they will be back." Those people, by the way, are McNabb and Reid.
Despite practicing his lines in front of the mirror and on www.Philadelphiaeagles.com Banner didn't say the Eagles "can win a Super Bowl " with Reid and McNabb. Freudian slip? Calculated? Typical Eagles expectations? The Eagles have won championships with "those people." But they're NFC East championships, the NFC championship, etc ...
Moreover, Banner is concerned enough about his upcoming face-to-face meeting with McNabb he's spent the week stroking the QB's ego with "we're lucky to have Donovan" plaudits.
Why is it necessary?
If McNabb asks the Eagles to prove they're lucky to have him, say with a contract extension, Banner's follow-up spin would paint McNabb as too demanding, the bad guy or whatever you prefer to call it.
Banner could say, "We always said we were lucky to have Donovan and that we wanted him back and that we think we can win a championship with him.
"But there are 52 other players on the payroll and we have to do what's in the best interests of the Philadelphia Eagles."
Trust me, there's a lot of bridges to be rebuilt before the Eagles can think about reaching the playoffs next season.
This is anything but one of those "and they lived happily ever after" situations.
They say it's the back that hurts Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and hopefully that's all it is.
Johnson is such a private guy he kept the details to himself after parking his cane for his news conference Thursday.
Colleagues won't shed any light on his health either.
When the Eagles play the Cardinals Sunday for the right to go to the Super Bowl, for the second straight game Johnson likely will be up in the coaches box instead of on the field where he normally resides.
Donovan McNabb might try to block it out or dismiss it but it looks a lot like he will never totally get over his benching in the second half of the Eagles' loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The trust between the quarterback and the Eagles never will be the same judging by McNabb's insistence on an end of season meeting with management to get answers about the benching and his future with the team.
McNabb tried to blow off the benching during his Wednesday presser, calling the Eagles' 5-1 record including a playoff success since getting yanked "coincidental."
Asked about the Giants' defense, which hasn't had to play well the last quarter of the season, McNabb surmised "I don't think it's personnel. You know, just sometimes, I guess during the course of the year you don't play as well as you did early on. None of them got benched."
If McNabb had checked, he would discover that the Giants made a couple of starting lineup changes defensively. Kenny Phillips replaced James Butler at safety and Corey Webster took over at cornerback for Sam Madison.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is every bit as loud as its reputation.
You can't hear yourself think in pre-game as the Vikings people have dialed up ear-drum breaking music ranging from Wagner to rap.
Amid the noise the Eagles officially scratched injured tight end L.J. Smith and defensive end Victor Abiamiri. Unlike last week the Eagles really need the They didn't need the 6-4, 267-pound Abiamiri last week but they really need him today to set the edge against running back Adrian Peterson as well as Tarvaris Jackson, the quarterback most dangerous scrambling.
A report suggesting Eagles general manager Tom Heckert could wind up in Denver with Steve Spagnulo as part of a package deal would make a lot of sense except for one thing.
Heckert: Looking at options?
I don't see the Spagnuolo that's deeply rooted in the Northeast moving two time zones away.
Then again, no owner is more supportive than Broncos boss Pat Bowlen. If Spags felt
comfortable with Heckert as a condition of the job, you can book it he'd get him assuming Bowlen wants the Giants defensive coordinator. Broncos officials reportedly met Saturday with Spagnuolo.
Spagnuolo might have his pick of jobs in the East and one time zone away in the Midwest, if that's what he likes. He will be a head coach, though.
Heckert has a deep respect for Spagnuolo. Had Heckert gotten the Falcons G.M. job last year Spags might have been the coach. Heckert could fit in anywhere. And I think he would flourish with the final say on personnel because he's found precisely the players the Eagles have requested to fit into their system.