Lurie Emphasizes Leadership As Search Begins

Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

Soon after firing Chip Kelly, Jeffrey Lurie began the search for a new head coach last night. Despite Kelly’s background that included no previous NFL experience, the Eagles owner said he’d be open to hiring another college coach.

“No category is diminished here,” Lurie said. “We’re going to look at NFL coaches, NFL coordinators, college coaches, retired coaches — any category you can come up with if we think it’s the best candidate.”

Lurie emphasized leadership when discussing what he’s looking for in the Eagles’ next head coach, while laying out several other qualities.

“Number one: a smart, strategic thinker. That’s a given. You’ve got to be looking out for the short-term, mid-term and long-term interests of the franchise,” Lurie said. “Looking for somebody who interacts very well and communicates clearly with everybody he works with and comes in touch with. 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. And another thing is attention to detail. I think all good coaches have tremendous attention to detail in this league.

“And lastly — amongst many other things, but I’ll just mention a few — you’ve got to open your heart to players and everybody you want to achieve peak performance. I would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided and at the same time values emotional intelligence.”

Lurie, when asked if he cares whether a candidate is an offensive or defensive coach, once again returned to the topic of leadership.

“We’re looking for the best leader,” he said. “I’ve looked carefully at coaches around the league and where they come from and I don’t think there’s any clear evidence of offense over defense, defense over offense. It comes down to the leadership ability with today’s athlete in today’s world. It’s different than it was a long time ago, but I don’t treat offense or defense differently.”