Philadelphia Eagles News

Banner: We're Still A Strong Contender

On the day the Eagles announced that team president Joe Banner's contract had been extended, Banner said that he's proud "to continue to be a part of the future."

And with the way that the Eagles roster is taking shape, it looks like it will be a bright one.

In 2009, wide receivers DeSean Jackson (23 years old) and Jeremy Maclin (21), running back LeSean McCoy (21) and tight end Brent Celek (25) helped power the league's fifth-best scoring offense.

The Eagles parted ways last off-season with some of the players who helped define Andy Reid's era as head coach in offensive tackles Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas and free safety Brian Dawkins and still managed to win 11 games and make the playoffs. The Eagles said goodbye this off-season already to another franchise icon in Brian Westbrook. Other players who have started at one point or another like Kevin Curtis and Darren Howard were released.

This could be looked at as a time of rebuilding for the Eagles. It could also be defined as retooling. Banner said that there truly isn't one word to describe the recent change in this football team.

"Even in the last two years, we made it to the championship game, made it to the playoffs and at the same time we have developed a much younger roster than we had two years ago," Banner said. "It's not often that you can stay at that level and get younger at the same and at the same time we're still a strong contender.

""We have to get on the field and do the right things to see exactly where that takes us. Putting a label on it is really not my focus as much as working with everybody here to add any element we can to get any little bit better."

In December, Reid signed a three-year contract extension. Banner believes that the working relationship with Reid is as strong as ever and maintaining continuity and stability is the way to have success in the NFL.

"I've always said continuity, once you have the right people, is a very valuable asset in running a football organization. The day Andy was hired, we first and foremost developed a close relationship and a tremendous amount of respect for each other as people," Banner said. "We've worked very well together with a common agenda. We've been very lucky to have a group of us that really like each other, respect each other and work very well together and have some successes and some disappointments, but have always had a really, really strong, constructive, very focused relationship."

Banner understands that this franchise is still without the elusive Super Bowl title.

"That's not to say we are not proud of what we achieved," Banner said alluding to the franchise's ability to provide a home for the team for the first time in its history as well as off-the-field endeavors such as Eagles Youth Partnership. "We are fully cognizant of the work that remains to be done, but I think what we've done is set a foundation from which we are all committed to doing anything and everything we can to get to that next level and bring home that trophy once and for all."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 9:45 p.m., April 1

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