Lurie On Chip, Bradford And Roseman
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.
— 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.”
“Chip’s a leader in our organization and he’s held to a very, very high standard. I watch him both on [and off] the field relate to players. His door is always open,” said Lurie. “He cares about the people, the players and I’m just very proud and have complete respect for him as a person and as a coach.
“I know Chip’s situation really well. And listen, LeSean [McCoy] and Tra [Thomas] are both really good alumni of our organization. People say things sometimes when they’re in a sense ‘rejected.’ They get dejected because they’re rejected and then they say things. I know the way Chip is and am very proud of the way he is.”
— The Eagles have had discussions with Sam Bradford‘s camp about extending his deal. While Lurie did not talk directly about those negotiations, he was asked about the importance of having someone in the fold that the team can invest in and assume the role of “franchise quarterback.”
“It’s what you hope for. It’s the scarcest resource in the league is having a franchise quarterback. I think I said in March that the greatest structure an organization can have is not who’s doing what, but having a Hall of Fame franchise quarterback. That’s the greatest structure, that will rationalize anything else that goes on,” said Lurie. “That’s what you always hope for, that’s why the upside gamble with Sam, we thought that potential was there. It certainly is there. I hope it evolves and he can stay healthy and get better and better.”
Lurie said he’s found Bradford to be “everything you’d want as a quarterback and as a face of the franchise, potentially. Everything you’d want. It’s a sport riddled with injuries to quarterbacks, from Tom Brady to Peyton Manning to Drew Brees to Sam. You just hope you have some luck.”
— Lurie said the communication between Kelly, Howie Roseman and Ed Marynowitz “has been great” since the new power structure was put in place, calling the eight months of them working together “fantastic.”
He said Roseman is in charge of the salary cap, negotiations and strategic initiatives, and believes he will be with the organization long-term.
“Well, we’ve got a lot of exciting things planned. A lot of exciting things and he’s at the forefront of a lot of it, so absolutely.”
— Lurie was asked about the recent ESPN report that provided further details surrounding Spygate. Did it renew his concerns that he may have been cheated out of a Super Bowl?
“There’s a lot of ways to approach that. I think number one, I’d just say factually I personally don’t have enough information to make that determination. I look back on that game, the Super Bowl, as some missed opportunities, we turned the ball over, and I tend to focus on that. But there’s always been talk of that since the time the game finished and continued on to now. But I’ve moved way on since then and my focus is Atlanta.”
— Lurie threw his full support behind Roger Goodell amid the recent Deflategate ruling, saying that while the process of policing the 32 teams can be tweaked, it’s important to have the league working to make sure everyone is on a level playing field.