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Reid Reviews 2009, Optimistic About 2010

In his closing press conference to the 2009 season, head coach Andy Reid acknowledged that the Eagles have a logjam at quarterback heading into next season. Reid said that Donovan McNabb will be his starting quarterback in 2010, and McNabb joins Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick in a loaded position group. In a league that has increasingly become defined by quarterback play, Reid said that the Eagles' gluton of signal-callers is an advantage.

"I am very fortunate because there are a lot of head coaches who aren't getting these questions right here, in a serious way, that are really looking for good quarterbacks and I've got stinking three good quarterbacks that could play in this league," Reid said. "I respect that and feel very fortunate to be in that position. I don't want to give up any of them. I like them all. The more you have the better you are. That's a tough position to play.

"Can Kevin Kolb play in the National Football League? Absolutely. Can he be a starter in the National Football League? Absolutely. The other two guys have proven it and they've been top quarterbacks in this league for a number of years."

Reid stated unequivocally earlier in the press conference that McNabb would be his quarterback next season.

"I think he's a great players," Reid said of McNabb, who has been with Reid since they both joined the team in 1999. "I think his work over the last 11 years has proven that. I truly believe it's a team sport and it's not all about one guy."

McNabb, of course, has led the Eagles to the playoffs in seven of his nine full, healthy seasons in Philadelphia. Vick twice quarterbacked the Atlanta Falcons to the playoffs and his game appeared to improve as his first season in Philadelphia progress. And Kolb impressed in the first two starts of his career in weeks two and three of the regular season, becoming the first player in NFL history to top 300 yards passing in both of his first two career starts.

"I have confidence that (all three quarterbacks) could run the offense and do it at a championship caliber level," Reid said.

In addition to McNabb, another stalwart Eagle of the Andy Reid era has been Brian Westbrook. Reid was asked about the future of the 30-year-old running back after a season that was marred by two concussions.

"He was banged up a little bit," Reid said of Westbrook. "Brian is a great player, has been a great player, and that was a tough thing for him all the way around. There's nobody more competitive or that wants to be out there doing his thing more than Brian.

"I just know he want to play. He just has to make sure that he gets the health part of it taken care of, which he'll do."

Health, or a lack thereof, played a large role in the Eagles' 2009 season. On offense, in addition to Westbrook, the offensive line dealt with its fair share of injuries. Jamaal Jackson was lost for the year in week 16 with a torn ACL, and starters Jason Peters and Todd Herremans each missed time with injuries.

"We'll see what time deals us here with the offensive line," Reid said. "We took a little bit of a hit when [C] Jamaal [Jackson] went down. Obviously, that's a bit of a security blanket for your quarterback when they work so close together ... I think we've had a little bit better continuity there over the last five years or so than what we ended up with this year. With letting [T] Tra [Thomas] and [T Jon] Runyan go and in replacing them, we had a challenge there to develop that and with the injuries it probably didn't develop to where I wanted it to, or [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] wanted to."

The defense was the most crestfallen unit health-wise, as middle linebacker Stewart Bradley's season-ending ACL injury in training camp was the first domino in what would become a largely mix-and-match defense for first year coordinator Sean McDermott.

"My hat is off to him," Reid said in his assessment of McDermott. "That's a tough thing that he did. He's not into excuses. I'm not into excuses, but just looking at it realistically. To replace a legend in Jim Johnson at the time that it took place with a very limited offseason and doing what he wanted to establish in his way, and then with some of the coaching changes and new staff members and then with the players, some of the injuries that they had there. I just thought that he handled that whole thing so well and gracefully."

Still, Reid's tone was mostly positive as he looks toward the future for what he believes is an ascending roster.

"The one thing I think we've done over the last couple years, we've added some good young players, " he said. "That's an optimistic look for the future. They've had an opportunity to play and that can't do anything but help you as a team. I don't think we only added young players, but I think we added some good young players that can help us win a championship. That's important."

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