Eagles-Lions, The Day After

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Jeffrey Lurie meets with Chip Kelly after every game.

That’s where he was headed when cameras caught him leaving his box early against Tampa Bay. It’s what he’s done 44 times now — 24 after a win, 20 in defeat, once in a postseason setting. Presumably, that tradition continued on Thanksgiving afternoon in the bowels of Ford Field following a second sound-the-alarm loss in the span of four days.

Hard to think of many questions that could be asked or answers given following such a set of performances that could drill down to the core. Micro issues like specific moments in the game seem like a luxury of the past at this stage. It’s all big-picture stuff now. Lurie is likely more interested to see how the head coach is carrying himself, and how the men he’s charged with leading are responding to him, now that it’s all gone to hell.

The owner’s assignment from this stage forward is to figure out why the operation collapsed on itself so suddenly, and whether Kelly has the capacity and the clout to halt the free fall and resume what at what point looked like a climb toward relevancy. Read more »

WATCH: Bradley Cooper Chants Eagles Fight Song at Lincoln Financial Field

With the anticipated matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants last night, Bradley Cooper has been front and center in support of his Birds. Yesterday, we shared a commercial that found him dressed as Eagles mascot Swoop, and today Twitter video has surfaced of him chanting Eagles fight song “Fly Eagles Fly” in his box seat last night at Lincoln Financial Field.

According to NJ.com, he was a guest of team owner Jeffrey Lurie and, apparently, quite the good luck charm. The Eagles stomped the Giants 27 to 7. “Fly, Eagles, fly … ”

Check out Cooper’s performance below. I admit, it’s not the most passionate impersonation (I was waiting for him to throw up a fist or something), but it’s nice to see the Jenkintown megastar showing a little Philly pride.

Lurie On Chip, Bradford And Roseman

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

It wasn’t quite state-of-the-union, but owner Jeffrey Lurie did speak with a small group of reporters just off the NovaCare practice fields following Friday’s session as the Eagles get ready to open the regular season.

Some highlights:

— Lurie called the Super Bowl chatter “just noise to me” and stayed away from any bold proclamations about this 2015 team. But it was evident that he is pleased with his head coach and the team he has constructed.

“Oh, we just go game-to-game,” said Lurie when asked how Chip Kelly will be evaluated in terms of expectations this season. “He’s an excellent coach in this league, there’s no question about it. He doesn’t need to prove anything. He’s a builder of a roster, culture builder. He’s everything I think we all thought when we interviewed him, and more.”

Lurie called some of the criticism of Kelly by former players and employees on their way out the door “beyond ridiculous.” Read more »

New Spygate Piece Touches On Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

With some NFL owners viewing the punishment for Deflategate as a make-up call by the league for its handling of Spygate, Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta of ESPN the Magazine took a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the Spygate scandal.

From 2000-07, the Patriots reportedly videotaped the signals of opposing coaches in 40 games. The Eagles’ Super Bowl matchup with New England, of course, fell within that window.

When Spygate broke, some of the Eagles now believed they had an answer for a question that had vexed them since they lost to the Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX: How did New England seem completely prepared for the rarely used dime defense the Eagles deployed in the second quarter, scoring touchdowns on three of four drives? The Eagles suspected that either practices were filmed or a playbook was stolen. “To this day, some believe that we were robbed by the Patriots not playing by the rules … and knowing our game plan,” a former Eagles football operations staffer says.

Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Lurie And the Changing Power Structure

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Below is an excerpt from my Eagles Almanac chapter exploring whether Jeffrey Lurie has been firm enough when it comes to the organizational power structure. If you haven’t done so already, click here to purchase this year’s edition of the Almanac.


Steve Tisch was enjoying a much more tranquil experience at the Arizona Biltmore. Strolling by the same spot where Lurie would be grilled a day later, the co-owner of the Giants casually made his way towards the hotel for lunch, stopping in the shade for a casual talk about cheesesteaks and power structures with a loitering reporter.

In a 2013 piece titled “Who’s Really in Charge?”  NFL.com’s Albert Breer noted that the Giants’ model has remained largely unchanged since 1979. The general manager heads the football operations (draft, 53-man roster, etc.) while the coach has authority over the game day roster and the coaching staff. “The goal, ultimately,” writes Breer, “is to have an agenda-free building with a number of different people invested in the final product and meaningful delegation of responsibilities.”

“Is it unique to the other 31 clubs? Maybe. Actually, I hope so,” said Tisch. “Because if it’s working and it’s been working for going on four decades, that’s fantastic.

“I think ownership has created a very clear organizational chart and a very clear ownership and management style which does work and seems to continue to work. It’s very defined and internally seems very fair and very successful and produces great results.”
Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Roseman’s Role In Negotiations

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes from reader Christopher, via e-mail:

A lot has been written about Chip overpaying on some of these contracts, such as the potential $3 million Austin can make if he achieves his incentives. How come Howie isn’t getting some of this flak? He is supposed to be the salary cap guy now, right?

The first question posed to Chip Kelly during last week’s roundtable was about why he felt Ed Marynowitz was better suited to fit his vision than Howie Roseman.

“I think we just tried to maximize everybody’s strengths,” Kelly said. “Howie does an unbelievable job from the contract side and cap side, and we’re just moving in a different direction from a personnel standpoint.”

Based on that statement, you’re right Chris. If Roseman’s handling the cap and contracts, then the criticism over how the Eagles are utilizing some of their finances should be directed towards him. But there’s a problem with this theory: It’s extremely difficult to envision a scenario where Kelly gives Roseman even an ounce of power in these negotiations. Read more »

Ten Leftover Thoughts On the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.

If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Bradford ‘Worth the Risk’

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX, Ariz. — For all the talk of power structures and system fits at Jeffrey Lurie‘s press conference Tuesday, the Eagles owner never strayed far from this fundamental point:

“The only model to me that correlates to having big success in the NFL,” he said, “is having a Hall of Fame, franchise quarterback.”

Coming out of Oklahoma, there were many around the league who believed Sam Bradford could be the centerpiece of a winning organization — including members the Eagles brass, apparently. Read more »

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