Andy Reid transcript

November, 24, 2008
11/24/08
2:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The complete transcript from Eagles coach Andy Reid's Monday news conference:

KolbMcNabb

Opening statement

Tough loss yesterday. I would like to address the quarterback situation right off. [QB] Donovan McNabb will be our starting quarterback for the Arizona game on Thursday.

I mentioned this yesterday, that sometimes you have to take a step back to step forward in a positive way, and Donovan will do that. This has nothing to do with [QB Kevin] Kolb's performance or Donovan's performance. I think it was the right thing to do. I would not change my decision on that, on what I did yesterday.

Obviously, we have to do a better job with turnovers. Nine turnovers in two games is absolutely ridiculous. That's my responsibility to get that right and to get, really, the rest of the football team right, and I will do whatever it takes to do that. And beyond that, I think it's important that the players understand that, the coaches understand that, and the people that are around me in this building understand that.

Other than that, it really doesn't matter to me. We have a short turnaround. We have a Thanksgiving Day game. We are practicing today and tomorrow. It's important that, after I have an opportunity to address the team this afternoon, that we move on from yesterday's game and we get on with Arizona and we get on quickly with Arizona.

They present a very explosive football team. Offensively, you won't find two better receivers in the National Football League than what they have. They have a quarterback that is a future Hall of Fame player and a couple of running backs that are very good players. Defensively, they fly around and they make plays. They have a safety that is second-to-none, [SS Adrian] Wilson. Karlos Dansby, their linebacker, is a tremendous player. I could keep going on.

They have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the football. Special teams, they do a great job on special teams. So, it's important that, as much as we all want to dwell on this game, that it's not going to happen. We are going to move on. Learn from it and move on."

On how long his commitment to McNabb will be

"Donovan is going out to play, man. That's what he's doing. And like I said, sometimes it's good to step back and look at things from a little different angle. I expect him to go out and play his heart out."

On whether the short work week played into his decision to change quarterbacks

"No."

On what gives him the confidence to go forward with McNabb as the quarterback

"I think I know Donovan McNabb probably better than anybody in this room. I know six turnovers, that's not Donovan McNabb. That's not him. That's not his game. That's no part of his game. You back up an inch and you evaluate it and should be able to step forward a mile after that."

On why he thinks McNabb has been playing like this

"He'll work through this. He'll work through this. I have confidence that he'll work through it."

On whether McNabb will be the quarterback for the rest of the season

"As I said here right now, he's my quarterback. I'm telling you he's the starting quarterback. If I thought different, then I would start the other guy."

On McNabb saying that he's been pressing the past couple of games and whether he thinks that that's been weighing on McNabb's mind at all

"I'm not going to get into all that. I know that I need to coach better, Donovan needs to play better, and the guys around Donovan need to play better."

On how he plans to balance McNabb working through this slump with the team's potential to make the playoffs

"Right now I can't answer 'if's.' I'm not going there. I'm going with Donovan is going to do it, and that's the approach that I take."

On whether he feels he has to start McNabb to keep the rest of the veterans happy

"No. That's not what I feel at all. That's not how I feel at all."

On whether he is going back to starting McNabb because he doesn't want to send a message to the veteran players that he's giving up on the season

"No. That's not even -- no. I will make every decision that I think is best for this football team. That's the seat I sit in, and that's the way that I will approach it, always."

On whether he has spoken to both McNabb and Kolb today

"I have, but I'm not going to go into what I've spoken to them about."

On what he thinks benching McNabb accomplished

"We'll see. I just think it was, just what I said there, that I think there's a point where you step back and you look at it, and I felt that that was the right thing to do at that particular time."

On whether he made the decision to change quarterbacks because he was trying to win the football game

"I always try to win the game. Before that, I said that I will always do what's best for the team. Listen, I'll always do what's best for the team. You're not dealing with defense lawyers here, so I'm telling you, you put the whole puzzle together and then you've got to start picking things out like you did yesterday. Don't pick things out, listen to the whole thing here."

On why he didn't personally tell McNabb that he wasn't going to play the second half

"That's what we do. That's how things are. And I really don't care what anybody else thinks about that. That's how we do it. And the coach of that player, he tells them, and then I address it afterwards and that's how it goes."

On what gives him the confidence to go forward with McNabb as the quarterback

"I've been around Donovan a long time, so I trust that he'll get his part right and the guys around him will."

On whether he should have made an exception and told McNabb he wasn't going to play the second half because of their 10-year relationship

"No. That has nothing to do with it. I talked to him afterwards, as I did the other quarterback. And that's how I went about doing it. At that particular time, you're in a tight time situation, you're trying to put things together for the second half and that's how you go about doing it. So, it's not a matter of disrespecting Donovan or any other player for that matter. It's what you do and that's why they have coaches that do those things."

On what he didn't see from McNabb that made him decide to go with Kolb

"Listen, this is a subjective feeling on my part. You can question either way, I underst
and it. It's something that I felt like I had to do at that particular time for the football team and for Donovan."

On whether it concerns him that McNabb might not be well-received by the fans Thursday

"You can't worry about all that, man. You take care of what you can control and you get rid of the 'if's' and you play."

On whether McNabb will have as many snaps as usual in practice this week

"Donovan is the quarterback. I don't want to leave here until you understand that. Donovan is the quarterback for this football team."

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