Lurie On Foles, Kelly And Roseman

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The message from Jeffrey Lurie was clear Wednesday afternoon: He likes the direction his franchise is headed, but he’s not ready to make any grand proclamations.

Speaking to reporters on the practice fields at the NovaCare Complex, Lurie touched on a variety of topics like Chip Kelly’s second year, Howie Roseman’s role with the organization and Nick Foles’ promise.

“He spent the whole year with our players, with the organization, with the NFL, and he’s a guy that’s always thinking, always asking why, analyzing,” Lurie said when asked how Kelly has evolved. “It’s more information for him to be better himself. And it’s a lot easier when you’re in your second year of any situation where everyone has expectations of the way you’re gonna operate – the players, his staff, everyone… in terms of you’re not installing nearly as much. You’re able to just execute. So on both ends, I think he has much more information, and he’ll use that to the best of his ability because he’s smart. And everyone around him will understand better exactly what he was trying to accomplish.”

That’s been a common theme around the Eagles this offseason. Everyone knows what to expect out of Kelly. Those that don’t buy in may have trouble sticking around.

Lurie was also asked about Kelly’s power within the organization. The head coach reports directly to the owner, as does Roseman. Kelly’s fingerprints have been all over the team’s offseason moves, but Lurie disputed the notion that Kelly has all the power.

“It’s funny because within the building, it’s just such a team approach,” he said. “I think one of the reasons he’s been successful, his staff has been successful is it’s been such an excellent team approach – whether it’s dealing with player personnel, dealing with the trainers, dealing with sports science. It is really a team approach. Everyone is humble about it. Nobody’s trying to take responsibility for anything. It’s strictly to be better than 31 other teams, you better be a really good team. It’s just not about one person in the slightest.”

Asked specifically about Roseman, Lurie added: “I couldn’t be more excited about having a very smart young general manager. He’s someone who analyzes everything and sees the big picture. Works really well – whether it was with Andy Reid or Chip Kelly. He’s trying to find players to fit exactly what the coaches are looking for, but at the same time, you’ve gotta remain your own person and speak up about what you think the value is of your own players and other players. You’ve gotta have that big picture mentality. He’s got that. He’s got a great work ethic. There’s a chance we’ve really had three excellent drafts in a row and if you can do that and have the kind of committed players we have, you’re gonna get better and better.”

During the Reid era, the “window of opportunity” topic was raised annually. The Eagles won the division last year and have a starting quarterback playing on his rookie deal. With those things in mind, Lurie was asked if he thinks the window to make a Super Bowl run is small.

“No, I don’t,” he responded. “If you can have a really good coaching staff and you can have a really good young quarterback and do a really good job in player personnel and string together multiple successful drafts, your window is not small in the NFL because of the quarterback. That’s the thing. That’s what’s different.”

Do you have a franchise quarterback?

“I have no idea. But I think he’s got a lot of the elements you look for and he’s a great person and he’s a hard worker and he’s gonna have an amazing opportunity to get better and better. And I think with the offense we have and the people that we have around him, the hard workers around him and the talent, he’s got a great opportunity to have an excellent year.”

The names around Lurie – Joe Banner, Reid, Donovan McNabb – have changed, but the Eagles’ owner is still seeking his first Lombardi Trophy.

“I’m obsessed with it,” Lurie said. “I think if you love the sport as much as I do and you love this team and the city as much as I do, that’s the ultimate goal. So until that happens, it’s a hunger. And even if it does happen, it’ll be a hunger because you don’t want to be just satisfied because you happened to have one. So yeah, it’s my obsession and try hard to make it happen with everyone around me.”

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  • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

    I look around the league and I can’t help but think that this guy is a great owner. He’s committed to winning, loyal to his coaches, and keeps his hands off of the football aspect of the team. That is a recipe for success in this league.
    I’m truly excited for the first time since the early part of this century to be an Eagles fan. I had a glimmer of excitement at the end of 2010, but this is totally different. We aren’t playing with an aging athlete at QB anymore. Our “window” is wide open for a few years at minimum if we can continue to build on the foundation of the last two or three drafts and Kelly’s first season.
    A strong campaign from Foles this year and continued defensive improvement from the back end of last year will vault the Eagles into contender conversation, and rightly so. I’d love to see Matthews impress and Ertz make the jump (both of which I’m very optimistic about) this season. I’ve always been fond of J Mac as a receiver and the man is still young. Throw in the fact that Shady should have at least 3-4 top tier years in the tank and the offense should be a force.
    I’d love to see them build some OLine depth next off-season and pick up a defensive playmaker beside Boykin.
    Smile Eagles fans. The outlook is bright in my eyes, and only getting brighter.
    Fly Eagles Fly!

    • Dominik

      Throw in the fact that Shady should have at least 3-4 top tier years in the tank and the offense should be a force.

      Sadly, I don’t think that’s even close to being a given. Yes, there are some older guys who are still effective RBs in this league – it’s possible, for sure. But I think their long time durability is one of the main reasons for the devaluation of RBs in this league that we are witnessing for a few years now.

      If you hit on a QB, OL, TE, WR, DL, DB or LB early in the draft, you will have steady play from this players for years. Of course, it’s the NFL, there is no given due to injury and guys being dumb, but if those players have a good character and don’t have real bad injury luck, they will deliver.

      A RB needs good O-Line play – but a QB needs that, too. A good running game is still essential in this league. Just look at the 9ers and the Seahawks, look at us, look at the Patriots last year. When the running game is important, Running Backs are, too.
      I think the real reason for the devaluation is durability. Look at guys like Chris Johnson (he peaked 2009 with 2000 Yards and declined ever since, to 1000 Yards and 3.9 YPC last year) or Jones-Drew (leading rusher in 2011, barely anything since). It can happen real quickly with RBs.

      Shady may doesn’t get too many bad hits, but the flip side is: as soon as he loses a step, he isn’t Barry Sanders II anymore. How will it affect his game if he can’t juke his way around defenders like its kindergarten for him?

      Long term, I think that’s the biggest concern for the success of this offense. The foundation is the running game, and we have a great, but old line and one of the best RBs in his prime, but his prime can be over pretty quickly.

      I don’t want to be too negative here. We have a forward thinking coach who will tackle this problems. The two most important positions, for any franchise, is QB and HC. HC is great, QB looks pretty darn good at the moment. But looking away from possible problems isn’t the solution, either.

      • MagatBrackendale

        In spite of the seeming devaluation of running backs, every single person I ever see or hear being interviewed about how to improve their team repeatedly stresses the running game. Odd, isn’t it?

        • cheapmeat.mariota.crackwh0re

          The running game starts with blocking and fear of a passing game. Shady and AD are 2 of the few RB’s that don’t need both to be successful (sometimes neither). However, many RB’s excel because teams are good/great at one and (at least) adequate at the other. There are a plethora of skilled RB’s that are great in the right system (Shanahan’s for example), but would never be elite without it.

          • DoctorRick


          • anon

            Think reality is that coaches want a strong run game at this point to take pressure off QB play. Brady had an off year but they were dominate b/c of the run game. I think it’s the inevitable shift from Passing to Run to Running to Pass. OCs are more focused than ever on short high percentage passing and controlling the clock.

        • DoctorRick

          It’s not really too odd because it reflects how the game has changed. With the development of Zone blocking and one cut runners the game transitioned from requiring a dominant runner to one that allows a number of good backs to look good, the blocking scheme allows that.
          When you add in the spread offense with the ability to spring runners into space then the game transitions again. A decent runner looks really good.
          Now, add in a truly outstanding runner like Shady and a decent running game transitions again into an outstanding running game.
          The runner can transition a decent running game into a great one but the scheme itself allows the artistry of the runner to emerge.
          A good scheme can make a decent runner look good, and a great runner can make the scheme function beautifully. We are fortunate to have Shady, but I think our 2s and even 3s can look pretty good in this offense. I hope so, so that Shady gets some rest from time to time.
          Go Birdz!

          • Bill in Charlotte

            Great points
            That said how will Bryce brown do?

          • DoctorRick

            Good question. His college career was short and so-so, after being named the best high school player in the country before that. He actually played well last year against Carolina and Dallas. His problem seems to be fumbles. I think he will turn out to be average.

          • dnabrice

            Polk has looked reasonably good when running…..

            On a separate issue, when there is backfield pressure, McCoy is able to avoid it and turn a short loss into a reasonable gain. He was rarely dropped behind the line of scrimmage last year even though there were defenders back there all season long.

        • DoctorRick

          Maggie, you will like this. Shows the base running skills needed in the IZR (Inside Zone Read), a Birdz staple.

      • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

        I think you make some excellent points and I agree it’s not a given. I’m going by the rule “30 year old” rule of thumb. Shady has four plus years until he’s there so I figure he should be the Shady we know (barring injury of course) for at least three more years.

        • cheapmeat.mariota.crackwh0re

          Which is 3 more years for FOles to work towards becoming elite. If he reaches that tier, 30 year old Shady will be more than sufficient.

          • Dominik

            I don’t think that’s the plan for Kelly – ever. He will want this excellent Running Game every season, even after Shady. But you’re right, to a degree, if Foles becomes elite, the ratio of importance will turn more to the QB.

          • dnabrice

            That means our window at this point is 3 years. Doubt we’ll strike gold quite like we did with Shady, but we have a few years of drafts to try. Great RBs in this draft lasted till the 3rd round.

    • Bullwinkle

      I’ve been an Eagles fan since 1966 and Lurie is the best owner they have had in that time span IMHO. Lurie has been the best at selecting GMs and coaches and obviously has had the best record of success. Also, Lurie seems like a relatively normal person who gets along with people and he manages his personal life well. Most of the other guys had issues of one kind or another.

      • dnabrice

        Norman Braman with Rich Kotite was the pinnacle!!!! Still can’t believe we lost Reggie.

  • frank has this quote from Lurie about Nick Foles:

    “It’s hard not to be impressed with Foles from day one in terms of off the field,” Lurie said. [Foles is] Just an incredibly hard worker. Great work ethic, very humble and so respected by everyone around him in that locker room.

    “I remember talking to Michael Vick about him last year and a little bit the year before and Mike was saying ‘geeze, this guy is such a superb team player.’ He was only 24 years old at that point and already incredibly respected in the locker room and just a talented and young guy who just wants to get better.”

  • DoctorRick

    There is some good content, some of which links to or references this site, at these days. I come here to 24/7 first, but an occasional peek at duck ville is fun. Nice little family we have here.

    PS I think I am becoming a ‘Nova Wildcats fan as well, with the links and great stuff from Brian Flinn.

  • Will

    Lombardi or bust…

    • OddBall

      That’s right. We’ve heard enough talk.

  • Do you have a franchise quarterback?

    “I have no idea.

    well, Petey boy, there’s your proof Foles is overrated

    • Joe

      WRONG…… is what Lurie said……….

      “It’s hard not to be impressed with Foles from day one in terms of off the field,” Lurie said. [Foles is] Just an incredibly hard worker. Great work ethic, very humble and so respected by everyone around him in that locker room.

      “I remember talking to Michael Vick about him last year and a little bit the year before and Mike was saying ‘geeze, this guy is such a superb team player.’ He was only 24 years old at that point and already incredibly respected in the locker room and just a talented and young guy who just wants to get better.”

      • relax cowboy. I like Foles. I’m sorry my tongue-in-cheek shoutout to Prisco landed in your lap.

    • Dolores Guyer

      He has no idea ?I think he has a pretty good idea. But simply doesn’t want to say so. As he doesn’t want to come off sounding like a Jerry Jones type of owner…going over his coaching staffs head making decisions. Even if it is just an opinionated one. I think Nick proved last season that he has all the ability, talent and intangibles to be a very good franchise QB for this team.

      • I’m not disagreeing at all. This is simply an allusion to a bygone debate.

    • Salwc2k

      Overrated? How can anyone say that with less than a full year under his belt? And if that one yr is the only indication on what type of player he is then I would say at this point he is pretty damn good until proven otherwise.

  • KobraKai7474

    I remember when Jeffrey Lurie was a young whippersnapper among the mostly older NFL-owner crowd. Now he is as old and gray and paunchy as the rest of us.