Weekend Reading: Lurie at the 20-Year Mark
Twenty years have passed since Jeffrey Lurie took over as owner of the Eagles. Zach Berman of the Inquirer talked to the owner about, among other things, not capturing a Super Bowl championship to date.
[H]e is obsessed with chasing the title that eludes the franchise. Eight NFL owners have been in the league longer than Lurie, and four of them also have not won a Super Bowl.
“I anticipated it being difficult, but I thought if you can get to four, five, six championship games, or get to the playoffs the majority of the years, as we have, then you’d have the luck that would transcend whatever strengths or weaknesses you have,” Lurie said. “Other teams have had that. We haven’t. If you keep the same values and the same passion to do the best you can, that’ll right itself over time.”
Those values serve as the blueprint of Lurie’s ownership. He once kept a checklist next to his bed of ingredients he thought winning franchises required: “great” facilities at which to practice and play; a “dynamic” head coach; a “very good” general manager and personnel staff, with resources for scouting and procuring ascending players; and a franchise quarterback.
Mel Kiper lists receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff as rookies who could have an early impact.
Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff will both see action for the Eagles, and I expect Matthews to have the bigger early impact, although the targets can be spread around in Chip Kelly’s system.
On defense, he goes with Stanford safety Ed Reynolds.
Ed Reynolds could have gone a few rounds higher had he stayed at Stanford for another year. But his talent and instincts against the pass could get him on the field in Philadelphia early in his career.
Pro Football Focus ranked the top-100 players in 2013 based off their metrics. Evan Mathis (A PFF favorite) came in seventh.
This last season he was the top-ranked guard in the league by some distance, with a run-blocking grade of +40.2, more than twice as much as the next best guard. He has the perfect combination of size, speed, athleticism and technique and that mix of skills is even more prized within Chip Kelly’s offense that requires its linemen to work well on the move and not simply move a pile in front of them.
And LeSean McCoy finished eighth.
It wasn’t just in base statistics that McCoy saw a big jump in play. The extra space that Kelly’s system afforded him allowed him to do so much more with the ball in his hands and the grading at PFF reflects that. He led the league with a +31.0 overall grade, which is more than three times his previous best mark over a season.
The eight additional missed tackles forced by McCoy meant that his season tally of 57 was his career best mark as well. Everybody knew that McCoy was one of the league’s most exciting running backs, but within that Chip Kelly offense he proved he can be one of the best as well, forming a formidable rushing attack for the Eagles.
Geoff Mosher talked to one AFC personnel man who believes undrafted free agent receiver Kadron Boone (6-0, 204) will snatch a spot on the roster.
Had he gone to any other college, Boone might have emerged into more of known commodity, maybe even into an NFL draft pick. But in his last year at Louisiana State, Boone played on the same squad as future first-round wideout Odell Beckham Jr., future second-round receiver Jarvis Landry and two running backs who were each last week drafted in the top five rounds.
There just weren’t enough footballs for everyone. So Boone caught just seven passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns last year, a steep dropoff in production that led the 6-foot, 204-pound receiver to fall completely out of the draft and sign a rookie free-agent deal with the Eagles.
Boone’s tumble is apparently the Eagles’ gain. Said one AFC personnel man who scouted the former LSU wideout: “He’s gonna make that team.”