Reid cancels rehabbing McNabb's news conference

Updated: January 19, 2007, 12:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles coach Andy Reid said he canceled a news conference by Donovan McNabb because he wants the injured quarterback to concentrate on his rehab.

McNabb hasn't spoken at length to reporters since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Nov. 19. He had planned a news conference for Friday.

"He's been working like crazy right now and I don't want anything distracting him," Reid said on WIP-AM. "I want him focused in on taking care of his knee, and that's what he's doing. He came out [Thursday] and ran in the pool for the first time and he didn't have a limp when he ran in there. Those are all positive things."

During the season, the Eagles said McNabb had decided not to speak to the media after undergoing surgery because he did not want to be a distraction to the team. Although the 30-year-old quarterback did a couple of brief television interviews, his situation was not discussed in any sort of depth.

"I saw nothing that would be beneficial for him to stand up there," Reid told WIP-AM. "I'm the head coach and I get to make those decisions."

Reid said McNabb took a big step in his rehab by running in a pool Thursday at the team's complex.

The Eagles' roller-coaster of a season ended with a gut-wrenching 27-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints in an NFC second-round playoff game, leaving Reid, his staff and players to ponder so many near-misses and what-ifs.

Philadelphia's season began with so much promise after a 4-1 start. McNabb was back to playing at an MVP level after Terrell Owens and a sports hernia disrupted his 2005 season, and the rest of the team hopped on his broad shoulders.

Then came a three-game losing streak, including a last-second loss on a 62-yard field goal by Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant. It only seemed to get worse when McNabb tore a knee ligament in Week 11. Hardly anyone expected much from the Eagles after a 24-point defeat at Indianapolis a week later left them at 5-6.

But 36-year-old quarterback Jeff Garcia rallied his teammates to five straight wins, the NFC East title for the fifth time in six years, and an 11-7 finish.

Garcia is not expected to return, and Reid said that, provided McNabb is healthy, there will be no quarterback controversy at the start of next season.

"It's Donovan," Reid told WIP-AM. "I think Jeff [Garcia] has told you that and I've told you that before. I don't think there's any question. It's a matter of Donovan just takes care of business now."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.