Jeffrey Lurie backed general manager Howie Roseman in a big way Monday, just hours after officially parting ways with Andy Reid. The Eagles owner made it known that he faults Roseman little for many of the bad personnel decisions made over the last several years.
“I keep voluminous notes on talent evaluation — not just who we draft, but who is valued in each draft by each person that is in the organization that’s working here,” said Lurie. “And I came to the conclusion that the person who was providing by far the best talent evaluation in the building was Howie Roseman. I decided to streamline the whole decision-making process for the 2012 draft and offseason, and that’s the first draft and offseason I hold Howie completely accountable for.
“The mistake that were made in the 2011 draft have little or nothing to do with Howie’s evaluations. And I think it was important for me to own up to the mistakes that were made and understand where they were coming from and it was awfully clear, and so an effort was made to streamline the entire operation.”
Lurie said the decision to keep Roseman on as the organization begins its transition “was a very easy decision when the facts were in.”
Roseman explained that during this past April’s draft, he had an opportunity to lead the process as opposed to just being a part of it. While it is still early, the early returns are pretty positive when it comes to the 2012 draft haul. Still, the 37-year-old GM helped build a roster that went 4-12 this season and 8-8 the year before that. He says he isn’t looking to be absolved.
“Our season that we just went through, it’s unacceptable,” he said. “Whatever has happened here is not good enough for the fans, we’re not happy about the chemistry of the team. I’m not trying to shirk any of that responsibility. It’s going to stop. We’ve had a chance to meet with a lot of the players today. We’re going to get to the bottom of the things that don’t work and [make sure] that they do.”
Lurie said that head coaching candidates will be interviewed by himself, Roseman and president Don Smolenski.
Roseman was asked if there is any conflict of interest given that a lot of power is up for grabs — maybe he wouldn’t be inclined to just give it away to a coach looking for more sway.
“The most important part of my job is to make sure that we have a great head coach and a great quarterback. Everything pales in comparison to making sure you have that,” said Roseman. “We want to get the best head coach. I’ve worked in a situation for a long time where we were supporting a head coach — that’s how this organization has been built, that’s how it will continue to be built — and we look forward to sitting down with these people and making sure that we explain that fully.”
Lurie detailed how he expects the power structure to work.
“The new head coach — whoever that is — will report directly to me. That’s the only structure that I insist upon,” said Lurie. “As we go through the process we have the flexibility to finalize personnel decisions and everything else that goes with the coach/GM relationship. But my goal is to have the coach and the general manager work hand-in-hand, work collaboratively and work in a very terrific way together. But there’s no question in my mind the head coach will report directly to me as every head coach has. It’s important in terms of attracting the right coach, it’s important in terms of the autonomy that coach will have, and it also fosters an owner-coach relationship that I think benefits a football team in many, many ways.”
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