Andy shoulders role of media critic

Andy Reid apparently wants to wear still another hat.

The grand poobah of all things Iggles-related is apparently not satisfied being head coach and the main mover and shaker at Nova Care Nation.

He now wants to add sports editor to his duties. Reid now will decide which questions from the pesky media should be asked and whether he can be bothered to respond. That’s not especially new. This kind of friction between coaches and reporters has been going on since Gutenberg whipped up something called the printing press.

What is new is Reid now offering his critique of the questions put to him.

This all comes in the wake of the latest Donovan McNabb injury. Yesterday’s announcement that the QB was being shut down might come as news to some Eagles fans. It will not to readers of this newspaper. Our beat reporter, Bob Grotz, has been writing for more than a week that there is something wrong with the often-injured starting QB’s shoulder. Last week Grotz even had a teammate, wide receiver Kevin Curtis, confirming it.

In the meantime, Reid and most other media outlets downplayed the report.

But it didn’t take long for the issue to flare up again at this week’s mini-camp. McNabb’s throws were first limited. Then he started missing practices. Wednesday the team announced that not only would McNabb not practice, but he will be held out for the rest of the week. The team’s explanation is that McNabb is suffering with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, something he’s dealt with before.

The team tried to put the best face on this, assuring the gathered media that no one believed it was a big deal and that McNabb should be ready to go when training camp opens at Lehigh in late July.

Then Reid turned media critique. He was asked specifically if this latest flare-up affected his perception of McNabb’s durability. Seems like a pretty legitimate question for a QB who has missed a lot of time with injuries the last couple of years.

Not to Reid. He laughed derisively and pronounced it a “bad question.” But that’s not all. He then called off the press conference and stormed off.

Which makes me wonder just how bothered Reid really is about this latest issue with McNabb, and not that he’s just dealing with a longstanding issue.

Once again the Eagles created an issue they didn’t really have to deal with. The team likely has known – as our reporter has – that McNabb has been dealing with this pain in his shoulder for weeks.

Only a cynical member of the press would conclude that the Eagles were trying to hide the issue.

What Reid and the Eagles have now accomplished is placing their marquee player once again under a microscope. Every McNabb move already was going to be closely watched. Now every errant throw – not exactly unusual for McNabb – will be met with a raised eyebrow. Heaven help him should McNabb reach for his shoulder after any throws.

In the meantime, guess who now assumes the No. 1 spot at practice? That would be Kevin Kolb, the young quarterback the Eagles invested a No. 1 draft pick in just a year ago, much to the surprise of McNabb and just about everyone else.

Andy Reid probably thought he was trying to put out a fire. All he managed to do was throw a little gas on it.