Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles President Joe Banner

On the last few days regarding the Eagles approach and philosophy: "It's dramatic.  We went in with an aggressive plan.  You never know how much of your plan you're actually going to be able to successfully execute.  We're trying to do things; there was competition for all of the players we've been able to acquire.  We got a little good fortune, we were very aggressive about it, and we're at the point this is considered one of the most desirable places to play in the league.  I think all of those things came together.  You've got a lot of players who want to win a Super Bowl.  They view this as place they have a real chance to do that at this point.  All of those things came together and we had a successful first three or four days in terms of executing what we hope to do."

On CB Nnamdi Asomugha's acquisition: "We had talked really gently from the first moment we were allowed to, but I can't tell you we were pursuing it really aggressively. Probably Thursday evening it started to seem like it was worth engaging a little bit more aggressively.  There were conversations into late Thursday evening, with internal conversations resuming very early Friday morning.  I would say sometime mid-afternoon, 3-ish, we started feeling like he was really serious about coming to Philadelphia.  He really wanted to be here, we really wanted him, and we were going to be able to accommodate what he was looking for from a financial perspective.  I would say sometime mid-afternoon we were feeling very optimistic if not certain at that point."

On whether Asomugha left money on the table to come to Philadelphia: "Certainly we were negotiating and his agent left us with that impression.  Some day maybe we'll know whether that's true or not, but that's how they negotiate.  I don't think there's any doubt he wanted to be here very badly.  I don't think there's any doubt that there were a lot of quality teams, from a lot of different perspectives that were in the fight to get him.  My impression is that there were some higher offers, but I'm not sure of that.  We'll probably all know that within the next few days."

On Asomugha's reasons for wanting to come to the Eagles: "Again, we're talking through the agent.  Ultimately both (General Manager) Howie (Roseman) and (Head Coach) Andy (Reid) did get on the phone with the player.  At that point he's played very aggressive defense, the passion of the city for football, he's been out at Oakland, the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.  A real chance to really showcase what he thinks he is, playing against the best.  The NFC East is going to have some very good teams in it.  This year it will be very, very strong.  He wants that challenge.  I think things that weren't replicated every place else were important to him."

On how the Eagles evolved into a Super Bowl contender and an organization that is pursued: "We've, sometimes to our disadvantage, never put our goal any lower than winning the Super Bowl.  Sometimes that's resulted in expectations that we haven't hit, and even though we've achieved a lot it's left people disappointed.  There's no other way to do that.  You'd run the risk, if you don't do that, of people shooting for a lower bar.  That's what's been our goal all along.  I don't mind that.  There's pressure in that and that's fine.  I want everybody here, I don't care what part of the organization they're in, and (Owner) Jeffrey (Lurie) feels the same way, feeling like that's what it's about.  Whatever it takes to try to get there that's what we're going to do.  I want the players to feel like that's the goal.  If we fall short of that, then we didn't hit the goal.  It's really that simple.  I'm glad that the mindset is that we have a real shot to do that, and that's the goal.  That's what we're shooting for.  The expectations are high internally as well as externally, and I think that's a good place to be."

On cap flexibility relating to WR DeSean Jackson and QB Michael Vick contracts: "I'm not going to deal with the specifics of how we would spend it, but we still have some flexibility.  We still have some room if there were things that we thought would make sense to do, or make the team better this year.  There's a lot of players still unsigned.  I think there will be some opportunities here.  It could be in the next few days, it could be in three weeks from now.  We need to do what we do, whether its depth in case we have injuries, try to solidify that, or players who can actually make an impact.  We're still watching the market closely and keeping an eye on things, and are ready to do, obviously not on the scale of what we've done, but are ready to do other things that could make this team even stronger."

On how the deal with Asomugha was completed so quickly: "I think we were one of his top teams all along.  His agent told us we were his top choice all along if the economics were right.  I think he, earlier in the week, was trying to feel out where the market was going to be.  We wanted to make sure we felt like it made sense, as opposed to something that would have such a big impact on our ability to put together the rest of the roster as strongly as we wanted to.  I think it took three or four days, from his perspective and ours, to get to the point where we felt like the economics that he needed to feel comfortable, that he was compensated relatively well compared to what he could get.  We were comfortable with where those numbers were starting to fall into.  I think we both needed to take a few days and watch the market to be comfortable that we had actually hit that point.  I think that started to happen Thursday night."

On his confidence that QB Vince Young would be an Eagle after the QB Kevin Kolb deal: "We were confident just based on what people in Tennessee were saying about his contract becoming available.  We were more nervous about whether we would be able to be successful in acquiring him.  We were watching some of the backup quarterbacks come off the board, so there was some anxiety about that.  Fortunately, he decided that this was a place he wanted to be.  Again, we were competitive financially.  We were able to close that and feel very good about where that leaves us.  We're trying to be in a position where if we have injuries, obviously the backup is not going to be as good as the starter, but you're still in a position where the expectations don't have to change."

On Young's "dream team" comment: "That's a scary term, but I think we've put together a team that somebody wrote the words "The Eagles are all in" – that's how we look at it.  We're doing anything and everything we can.  We're being aggressive about it and the expectations are high.  I'm glad the players are excited as well about what they see being put together and their own optimism and excitement about seeing themselves surrounded by other high talent, and as importantly, people that really, really want to be here and really, really want to win.  They're not afraid of a goal as high as we must win the Super Bowl to feel satisfied with the season."

On CB Asante Samuel: "Asante is somebody we hold in very high regard, he's a Pro-Bowl caliber corner.  There's a few positions, we've been in this position with the quarterbacks the last couple of years, where you can't have too many really good players.  Then you see how it plays itself out.  I think that's what we'll all see.  We feel like we're in great shape.  We have one of the most important positions, we have the strongest group of players in the whole league at that position, and we'll have to see what way we utilize that in the best interest in getting the best team we can on the field."

On the internal focus on legacy and its effect on the "all-in" mentality of the Eagles: "There's a big focus relieving the stress and pain of having been so close so many times and not winning it all.  We've very focused on getting that knot out of our stomachs."

On whether Vick's presence attracts free agents: "No doubt about it.  I mean Michael is a person and a story that is compelling to the players.  Michael helps have people feel optimistic that if they want to go to a team with a true chance to win the Super Bowl, that he's the kind of quarterback that could potentially get you there.  Those are very positive things."

On who pitched Young joining the Eagles: "I think Andy and Howie did the evaluation and felt that the attributes needed to be successful from a physical and football perspective were there.  I think that we're an organization that is confident in the leadership of the head coach and the quality of the players and people we surround them with.  It's a place where you can, in some instances, take players that have had some challenges in other places and put them in the right environment and give them the chance to succeed.  I think in the end that they felt that Vince fell in the category of somebody that has an awful lot of talent.  This could be a really good situation for him and for us." 

On DeSean Jackson's contract situation: "The truth is, and I'm not trying to be difficult or evasive, for me to comment on this is just really not going to be constructive for him or us.  I think we'll all have to see where that goes.  We understand how he feels, he understands how we feel, and I think anything more than that would be counterproductive to the ultimate resolution of that."

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