Jeffrey Lurie confessed at Monday’s press conference that the organization began getting away from some of its core philosophies over the last few years in an attempt to chase down the Lombardi Trophy that always seemed just out of their grasp. Part of their methodology that was abandoned to a certain extent was: “Don’t do necessarily what is popular, but do what’s right.”
That was how Lurie approached the head coaching search the last time around. He has no championships to show for it, but you would have to say that the Eagles owner got it right when he selected the unknown Andy Reid.
“You’ve got to find the right leader. When I picked Andy, I know it wasn’t popular and I know he wasn’t known very well, but I had known this guy for a couple years, I spent time with him. Nobody knew that,” said Lurie to a small group of reporters after the press conference. “We met at the combine and I studied him for a while, and after looking at the deskful of candidates that year, for me it was a no-brainer with Andy even though it was sort of an off-the-wall choice.
“This year I think the talent pool is exceptional. Exceptional. And I think if you’re open to finding outstanding leaders wherever they are — and you’re not concerned with how famous they are or whatever — you should be able to find someone special.”
Not concerned with how famous they are. Do what is right, not what is popular.
It sounds like Lurie is open to all possibilities when it comes to his next head coach.
“Some of these coaches in college are outstanding leaders, and they go from a younger roster to a slightly older roster,” said Lurie. “There’s no question and I’m not the only one that thinks college coaches are well trained and have experienced tremendous pressure and can handle it and are smart. On the other hand, most of the successful coaches come from the coordinator ranks and some ex-NFL coaches as well. No stone un-turned. We’ve got our target list and it’s from all sides.”
We have heard several names tied to the Eagles already — Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien, Dirk Koetter, Jon Gruden, Mike Nolan — all of whom have varied backgrounds. Lurie suggested that the search could take some time, as he plans on being patient and thorough in the name of getting it right.
Lurie spoke of how Reid was in front of the curve when it came to offensive trends in the NFL. It is an obvious trait that he values.
“The game changes, and you need a coach who is studying that and understands not just the way it is today, where it’s going to be in four years, five years,” he said. “What the impact of offensive rules are — it’s changed the game dramatically in terms of what you can do…All that goes into play.”
Lurie wants an innovator. He wants a leader. And if we are to be guided by history and his words, he’ll bypass a big name or two if necessary to get it.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Lurie says the Eagles coaching job is the best in the NFL.
The Eagles have their list ready, and three members of the Falcons staff are on it. Meanwhile, Reid is getting a look in Arizona.
Lurie gave a very strong vote of confidence to Howie Roseman.
LeSean McCoy says a lot of his teammates didn’t lay it on the line.
Some of Reid’s former players shared some personal stories about their head coach.
The Jon Gruden rumors continue to swirl.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Rich Hofmann did a nice job of detailing the moment when Lurie fired Reid.
His office? Your office?
“His office,” Jeffrey Lurie said. “When Andy and I talked, especially about these kinds of things, it was usually in his office. I just thought you showed respect by doing it that way.”
It was coming up on 9 o’clock on Monday morning. That is when the Eagles’ owner took the walk down the hall, the walk that he had been dreading. Out the door, down the hall, into a common area and then over to the football side of the NovaCare Complex. Maybe the walk took 15 seconds. Maybe a little bit more.
Fifteen seconds. Fourteen years.
“It was so comfortable,” Lurie said. “Oh my God. We were both prepared for this in our own individual ways. We’re close. We’re friends. We knew, both of us. It was unspoken, but we knew. Part of me dreaded it but part of me just knew it was going to be comfortable. You work with somebody for 14 years and you just know.
Daniel Jeremiah (a former scout for the Eagles) gives his predictions for how the coaching vacancies get filled. He believes Reid is headed to Arizona, and thinks Chip Kelly is coming here.
Look at the quotes from today’s Eagles press conference; Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie sounded like he was describing Chip Kelly, expressing a desire for an innovative coach who’s willing to take risks. The Eagles have been a bold organization; that’s a bold move.
A Happy New Year to all. We’ll keep you updated as the coaching search begins in earnest.