Lurie: Eagles Coaching Job the Best In the NFL

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie had his sales pitch ready.

With six other teams – the Cardinals, Chargers, Bills, Bears, Chiefs and Browns – currently looking for head coaches, Lurie was asked what makes the Eagles’ job desirable.

“I’m very confident that this is the most attractive place for a head coach to work in the National Football League,” Lurie said without hesitation.

He then rattled off a series of reasons why. The fan base, the “obsession” to be great, the market, the prime-time games, the facilities, the coach-owner relationship, the winning culture and so on.

“I think that it’s ripe for a real smart, forward-thinking coach who wants to get his hands on a great situation,” Lurie concluded. “To me, this is the best situation for a coach to look at.”

Most of Lurie’s reasons hold merit. There are only 32 NFL head-coaching jobs. For 14 years, Lurie provided Andy Reid with resources and then got out of the way. Granted, Reid made the playoffs in nine of those seasons, which made Lurie’s decision to retain him an easy one. But still, Lurie didn’t let Ray Rhodes go until the Eagles went 3-13 and the wheels came off completely.

“I think to be really successful in this league, you’ve got to be able to have the freedom to make short-term plans, mid-term plans and long-term plans,” Lurie said. “If you feel like you’re under the gun where you’re going to be given two years and that’s it, or this year has to be absolutely the panacea to every problem you have, you’re not going to get the best coaching. So when a coach comes to the Philadelphia Eagles – and the next coach will feel this way – he knows he’s going to have the owner’s support to both plan in the short run, plan in the mid-term and have long-term strategy as well. That, to me, is crucial. Because every decision you make needs to balance the three, and when you start to reach for short-term panaceas or short-term solutions that are not consistent with your culture and your football program, that’s when you end up 4-12.”

It was a theme Lurie echoed throughout the press conference. The Eagles made out-of-character moves because they were tired of being close. The moves backfired, and now they are stuck with a roster that has several question marks, including at quarterback, where Nick Foles is the favorite to be the 2013 starter as we enter the offseason.

Coaches (for the most part) are not stupid. They know the importance of having a quarterback in place. A couple of the teams with openings – the Bears (Jay Cutler) and Chargers (Philip Rivers) – have better QB situations than the Eagles.

“The majority of teams looking for a head coach are normally looking for a quarterback,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “I think for us, we have a young quarterback who has a lot of promise, so that’s a positive thing. You don’t normally see the great quarterbacks without head coaches.”

Unless the Eagles target a truly under-the-radar candidate, we’ll be able to tell in the coming weeks whether Lurie is right.

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  • JofreyRice

    Hmm…I don’t know if Lurie is living in the past a little here. Maybe this is my own filter, but I find the organization a little creepy. The team website fits right into any propaganda state’s mission statement–control the message. Not a lot of room for discussion or dissent, and a lot of suppression/disdain for fans critical of the org. All the content is generated by organizational bootlickers and yes-men; hard to imagine that kind of mentality isn’t pervasive throughout.

    • Scomo

      I know what your saying about the website, but what do you expect? Their main goal is to build the fan base, not to be unbiased. If anything they are compensating for very reactionary and critical media.

    • RealityCheck

      Maybe you go should “go outside” one day and look at other teams and their own media…

    • Adam

      I doubt there is any team in the NFL that would give a person free reign to put whatever they felt on their website. Guys like Spud are on Eagles payroll, obviously they’re going to toeing the company line.

      No matter what company, in what industry, anything on their own website is going to be spun in a positive manner as best as possible. Especially in a industry where public perception is literally everything. Of course you’re going to do everything in your power to put a positive spin on it.

      • JofreyRice

        There’s a certain zeal in the way it’s done with the Eagles. Remember that distasteful dismissal of a handicapped employee that dared to write “Dam Eagles R Retarted” on his facebook account, after they had let Dawkins go? That, to me, is the “creepiness” factor they exude. Of course every corporate entity tries to control messaging, but the secrecy and contempt for dissent is what bothers me about the Eagles. Like I said, maybe it’s a personal thing.

        FYI I think the Jaguars & Giants both do pretty good jobs with their websites. Not totally unbiased, but from what I’ve seen, closer to reality, and not executed with the same air of condescension towards aggrieved fans.

        • D-von

          I think that might be your perception as you focus more on the Eagles as a fan of the team. Im sure fans of other teams have criticized other organizations for similar reasons

        • laeagle

          I think you’ve given yourself away: “air of condescension towards aggrieved fans”. Meaning, you’re unhappy they didn’t always share your point of view and call for Reid or whoever’s head on their website. That’s a matter of perception, plain and simple. Same with “creepiness”. I never got that vibe. Be honest: this is the result of general anger at the team, built up over years of frustration. Once you reach a certain point, you start seeing bad things everywhere.

          I think that the site is a great source of information when they do things like show press conferences, have Merrill and others on the show, do the draft-day live feed, show snippets from training camp, etc. Sure, there’s a lot of positive stuff. But even Spadaro gets down on the team from time to time. He just doesn’t crap all over it is all, and he’s not going to as long as he’s paid by the team. It would be unprofessional. It’s not a fan site, it’s the team site.

          And also note that the site has won awards over the years. Regardless of the message, as a sports team website, it’s pretty well done and has been for years. Other sites are just now catching up to it in terms of the quality of coverage (again, talking about a lot of the video stuff you can’t get anywhere else as opposed to the Spadaro glad-handing).

          All I’m saying is, I think you’re just mad at the team and seeing everything through those lenses.

          • JofreyRice

            Certainly possible, this was a frustrating season.

          • laeagle

            Worst in a while. 14 or so years, if I remember correctly… :)

    • Tony Wiltshire

      Totally agree with this statement.

  • guest

    Nick Foles isn’t the favorite to start in 2013 no matter how much you guys want to pretend he is the favorite. Lurie even said the next coach will make that call.

    • UMadBro

      Sounds like you are mad it’s not your boy Vick. hahaha

  • Cordero51

    That statement right there just showed that micheal vick will be gone and foles will be the starter. Not trying to offend but it kinda seems a bit stupid to place all ur eggs in one basket. That”l just lead to bad situations. While I know alot of ppl will disagree I feel that we should actually keep vick for another season and just do a restructure. And if he falters or preformed badly we just simply cut him mid season. I say this because while vick is injury prone and turnover prone we still know what he can do for us there’s some type of stability with home. With foles there’s alot of uncertainty with him he’s only won a single game agianst Tampa bay who has one of the worst defense in the nfl, ours is probly worse after yesterday game. Alot of ppl don’t understand Is foles future in his performance largely depends on whose the next head coach so while vick does his thing we have fole develope more. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t as fans be so quick to write out our qbs/players so quick. When we had Donovan mcnabb as the starter everybody hated him idkn why but ppl did, and whenever he would have a bad game all I would hear in Philly is how terrible he was and that we should trade him, all this nonsense, and when we finally did ppl were glad. He’s considers one of te best qbs the eagles had an now ppl like after he left. So I’m just saying wehad micheal vick for what a total of 2? 3? Years and foles for less than 1 and already people hate them both just as much as people hated mcnabb when he started, all this hate for our players is stupid and pointless.

    • Cordero51

      What we should be doing is hating on the redskins cause they makin it to the playoffs a load of bull. The only logical explanation is that they made a deal with the devil cause they blow and have been for several years we need to go over there and throw some holy water at there team haha jk

      • D-von

        Or the NFC East could not figure out how to stop the option spread

  • Phils Goodman

    You could call it the “gold standard” of available coaching gigs.

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    I’m sure the coaches are lining up to coach the talent that HR assembles …. Sort of sounds like an oxymoron when you say it that way.

  • 1972

    chicago’s a better job jeff.But of course he has to say that

    • D-von

      They are now, but the defensive side of the ball is aging.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    Who is the best possible impact player the Eagles can draft with the 3rd pick in the draft? I say Manti Teo..who do u say

    • 1972

      star lotulelei

      • BrickSquadMonopoly

        star lotulelei’s motor has been questioned…not sure I want my franchise player with a questionable motor

  • Keith Petres

    Incidentally, the Saints red zone possession that Lurie presumably was talking about in his press conference can be found here:

    Drive starts just before the 4th quarter, but almost gets stalled when Broderick Bunkley (???) gets called for offensive holding (almost curious who the call was really on).

    • Keith Petres

      I should say, the Eagles’ possession in a playoff game in New Orleans (as JL described it).

  • Scott J

    More “gold standard” talk from the owner of a losing organization. Lurie needs to get his head out of his a$$.

  • steve

    Think we can fleece the chargers into giving us rivers?