Oh Great! Now, We're In Trouble

You know, just the other day, I was thinking. 'As long as nobody shows up on the cover of SI, the Eagles are in pretty good shape.' Well, hitting the newsstands now is Jeff Garcia in action right on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Jeff Garcia has been completely rejuvenated. He's had the biggest season of his career and there is no reason - other than the jinx - that he shouldn't be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Maybe Eagles fans should have petitioned SI not to put Garcia on the cover. Too late now.

"I don't worry about that stuff," said Andy Reid on Tuesday. "A magazine cover doesn't influence what happens on the field."

Eagles' fans have learned about Garcia's willingness to battle. Sunday, Garcia was simply unable to explain how he felt when he was lifted in favor of A.J. Feeley. "Bittersweet in a sense. No, it's great. I don't know. I don't know how to answer that. I want to be able to compete," laughed Garcia, basking in the glory of leading the Eagles to the NFC East title. You have to figure that his feelings are much the same about being on the cover of SI.

Garcia is in awe of what he has been able to accomplish this season and is quick to point out how much he's enjoying his time with the Eagles. "It's very special to be amongst a group of guys like we have here that just continue to battle, continue to prepare, continue to focus week in and week out, to do the necessary things on and off the field, allowing yourself to really concentrate on your position, your responsibilities and not worry about outside distractions. It's just a very positive thing for me to be in a place like this and have that sort of situation with my teammates," said Garcia. "We get along awesome and every guy takes their responsibilities very seriously and prepares very seriously."

The quarterback situation is going to be interesting this off-season. Feeley has one more on his Eagles' contract, while Garcia and newly re-signed Koy Detmer will be free agents at the end of the season. Of course, Donovan McNabb is signed long-term, but his health is always an issue. Perhaps Feeley's performance against Atlanta on Sunday will help tip the scales his way, but there is no doubt that the Eagles will at least ask how much it will cost them to bring Garcia back.

For his part, Feeley is hoping that he'll be on the cover of SI in the not-too-distant future. Feeley wasn't surprised by what he was able to accomplish against Atlanta. "Am I surprised? I'm not surprised. This is the one offense, like I've said before; this is the offense that I feel comfortable in and it kind of shows I guess. So, regardless I take a lot of mental reps during the week and a lot of playing quarterback is preparation. With that comes studying your plays and studying film. So, with that being the case, I don't need a lot of physical reps I guess."