Who Cares if the New Eagles Coach “Understands the Passion of Our Fans”?

Jeffrey Lurie. (Jeff Fusco)

Jeffrey Lurie. Photo | Jeff Fusco

The Eagles are looking for a new coach. This is actually quite a big deal, as it hasn’t happened very often recently. If we ignore interim coach Pat Shurmur, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has only hired three coaches: Ray Rhodes, Andy Reid and Chip Kelly. (He inherited Rich Kotite, who Lurie fired after he opened 7-2 and lost his last seven games.)

Lurie is no Ed Snider. The Flyers owner had the team fire Terry Simpson two weeks after Lurie bought the Eagles and is on his 10th head coach since. Lurie is only hiring his fourth non-interim guy. Lurie said he wants someone who “understands the passion of our fans and what it’s like to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s a unique and incredibly passionate fanbase that just wants to win. You’ve got to incorporate that in your life, in your heart and you’ve got to be willing to do that.”

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Open Thread: Black Monday; Coaching Search

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The regular season has drawn to a close, and Black Monday has arrived. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are on the lookout for the Eagles’ next head coach. So are at least four other teams. With more firings come more openings; one of the busiest times of the year is just beginning.

We’ll update this thread with new information as it streams in, so check back here — and join the conversation below — to make sure you’re up-to-date as the winds of change start to swirl.

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5 Management Lessons from Chip Kelly’s Firing

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

In pro football, it’s hard to separate truth from Internet rumor, but if you believe many accounts, Chip Kelly was an arrogant, unapproachable, stubborn guy who valued his system over the individuals working it. Now he’s out of a job and many people in and out of football believe that his personality had just as much to do with his ouster as his decision to re-shape the team with mediocre Sam Bradford and obviously-doesn’t-fit-the-scheme DeMarco Murray.

When Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie used the term “emotional intelligence” in his press conference announcing Kelly’s firing, you had to wonder if that wasn’t a jab at Kelly’s perceived inability to connect with players and staff.

As a leader, connecting with people is your main job. Finding the right Jimmie’s and Joe’s (and motivating them to thrive) is much more crucial than the X’s and O’s. That’s true whether you’re selling software or trying to win games in the NFL. Read more »

DeMarco Murray: ‘It’s A Fresh Start For Everyone’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

DeMarco Murray found out the man who brought him to Philadelphia in March had been fired when the news came across his television screen.

Murray, who failed to produce the way former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly expected when he signed Murray to a five-year, $40 million contract in the offseason, talked at his locker Thursday, two days after Kelly was fired before the end of his third season.

Murray said he had spoken with Kelly since the move, but wouldn’t disclose the sentiments on their conversation.

The 27-year-old running back seemed to have mixed feelings on Kelly’s departure; he said he would never wish losing a job on anyone, and placed blame on the team’s performance, but also said there were things that could’ve been done differently.

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Pat Shurmur Calls Kelly Firing ‘Very Unfortunate’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Jeffrey Lurie called Pat Shurmur down to his office on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after meeting with Chip Kelly to inform the Eagles’ former head coach he was being let go.

News of Kelly’s firing hadn’t yet traveled to Shurmur’s ear; he was confused by why he was being called down to Lurie’s office.

“It’s not very often you get called down to the owner’s office,” Shurmur said Thursday.

Shurmur walked into Lurie’s office and didn’t seem to be cued in on the news.

“He said, ‘Well, you haven’t heard, have you?'” Shurmur said. “I said, “No, I haven’t.” Then he told me he had let Coach Kelly go.”

Lurie asked Shurmur if he would be the interim head coach for the team’s final week and game, against the Giants this Sunday, and Shurmur agreed.

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What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

It’s been quite the few days. We’ve been covering Chip Kelly‘s release around the clock, but it’s always good to get other perspectives. Here’s a sampling of what local and national writers are saying about the Eagles.

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Missanelli: On Chip Kelly, Jeffrey Lurie Made the Right Move — Finally

Jeffrey Lurie at the 2013 press conference announcing the hiring of Chip Kelly. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Jeffrey Lurie at the 2013 press conference announcing the hiring of Chip Kelly. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Jeffrey Lurie did the right thing.​

It may have flabbergasted most of us when word came down early Tuesday night that Lurie had fired Chip Kelly, his prized possession coach, after the 15th game of a disappointing non-playoff season. Lurie is seen by most of the fan base as a pacifist who would rather give his employees a longer rope than cut that rope before its time.

​But the owner looked around, didn’t like what he saw, didn’t like the opponents rolling up 40 on his squad, didn’t like the fact that some players were quitting on the coach (Jason Peters?), didn’t like Chip’s convoluted answers in those horridly boring, filibuster press conferences where Kelly most of the time threw everybody else under the bus except himself and then on Monday gave some weird answer about him not really being the general manager.

​The pressure built up in the valve and something had to blow. Read more »

Johnson: ‘Tension Upstairs’ Led To Kelly’s Firing

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson was asleep when his head coach was fired.

He woke up from a nap to a text message from a teammate, telling him Chip Kelly had been let go on Tuesday evening. His first reaction was to Google it, to make sure his teammate was telling the truth.

Of course, he was. Kelly is out after just under three years as head coach of the Eagles, and Johnson spoke to reporters at length about what he believed went wrong during Kelly’s tenure, including a potential communication gulf between Kelly and his players.

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