Weekend Reading: Reaction To Front-Office Moves

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Some links to pass along regarding the front-office shake-up:

Jeff McLane offers his thoughts on the new power structure.

Chip Kelly won.

There’s no other way to look at the “structural change” that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced on Friday.

 The head coach not only has final say over the 53-man roster – which he flouted several times over the last two years – but he “will now oversee the player personnel department” after former general manager Howie Roseman was “elevated” (read: exorcised from player evaluation) to the role of executive vice president of football operations.

Kelly will be able to hand pick his own “personnel executive” – general manager, or what have you. He will have absolute football power. Kelly said in a prepared statement, “This is not a one-man operation.” And that is true. It will take a collective effort.

But he no longer has anyone standing in his way. He will, in essence, be Bill Belichick-ian.

Les Bowen gives his take on what prompted the moves.

Jeffrey Lurie changed his mind about Howie Roseman continuing as the Eagles’ general manager, 5 days after laughing off the idea.

This happened either because (a) Lurie was, as he indicated in a statement released yesterday evening, swept away by a “fully integrated,” “all-encompassing vision” of his front office, that emerged from meetings this week with team president Don Smolenski, coach Chip Kelly and Roseman, or (b) because team chairman Lurie was terrified Kelly might leave if he didn’t get full control of personnel and the draft.

Get back to us when you figure out which reason seems more plausible.

The Eagles announced a front office restructuring yesterday evening that takes away all the guesswork: The next time they end up drafting a Danny Watkins or a Marcus Smith in the first round, we won’t get to speculate endlessly over whether he was this guy’s or that guy’s pick. Kelly now is in control of personnel.

Reuben Frank writes that this decision must have been a difficult one for Jeffrey Lurie.

Roseman is a good man who’s worked tirelessly to study personnel and learn how to select players, but his strength is and has always been contracts, salary cap, money.

And it took a furious Kelly following Gamble’s dismissal for Lurie to finally realize that the fractured front office was limiting the Eagles’ success.

Despite his intense loyalty to Roseman, he knew deep down that a front office with good people being forced out on a regular basis, one with a general manager alienating people around him, simply was not going to lead to the championships he’s been chasing for two decades.

So this time, instead of keeping Roseman happy and eliminating whoever his latest rival was, Lurie took powerful action.

Necessary action…

Something had to change, and it had to be Howie. That had to be incredibly difficult for Lurie to accept and act on, but he did what he did for the long-term health of the franchise.

The Eagles have a better chance to reach a Super Bowl today than they did yesterday.

Tommy Lawlor gives his take:

This really should be no surprise to anyone paying attention to history.

Back in 2001 GM Tom Modrak and young coach Andy Reid had a battle for control of the team. Modrak was fired and Reid given control. He hired Tom Heckert to be his right-hand man.

A couple of years ago there was another battle for control. This time Reid went up against Joe Banner. Lurie sided with Reid, and got rid of his childhood friend.

Jeff Lurie appreciates the value of a great coach. He kept Reid in the past. You knew he would keep Kelly in this situation.

Is this too much power for Kelly? I don’t think so. He’s run a program in college where he had to recruit and coach players. He’s been active in the offseason with scouting already to this point. Kelly is consumed by football. This won’t keep him from his family. Football is his family.

I think Kelly is open-minded and listens to others. I don’t think he’ll turn into a Mike Ditka type that trades all his picks for some RB that he falls in love with. Kelly came to the NFL and hired coaches he didn’t have close relationships to. He didn’t surround himself with friends and sycophants the way Steve Spurrier did. Kelly was smart enough to know what he didn’t know. I think he’ll listen to advisers when it comes to the nuts and bolts of personnel moves.

Mark Eckel believes this was the right course of action.

Only God and head coach Chip Kelly, and no they are not one in the same, knows what went through the head coach’s mind over the past 48 hours since the Eagles fired his right-hand man and personnel chief Tom Gamble.

Did Kelly threaten to quit, as some reports said? Did he demand a trade, as other speculated? Right now nobody knows for sure.

What we do know is in that span of 48 hours, Kelly regained control of the organization and then some. Howie Roseman, who managed to get rid of his arch-enemy Tom Gamble, got a fancy title, maybe a bigger desk, a contract extension and a one way ticket out of the personnel department.

Friday night’s announcement from the team, breaking their silence, that Kelly is now head coach/general manager and that Roseman is vice president of football operations, was a shrewd move by Lurie. The best move he could have made.