Lurie On QBs And Accountability
BOCA RATON, FL — The intent all along, Jeffrey Lurie said, was to have Howie Roseman calling the shots this offseason. And though they were open to hiring a personnel head earlier in the offseason, the “plan was always sometime in May to make that final decision.”
Reasons for lack of transparency on these subjects earlier in the offseason can be debated, but nevertheless, the truth that had been apparent for some time was finally verbalized by the owner: Roseman is in charge.
“Yes, without question,” responded Lurie, when asked if Roseman will be held accountable for the moves made this offseason. “And he’ll be accountable for how well the player personnel department does in the future because that’s an important hire going forward. It’s not just one person, it’s a department, but he’ll be responsible for the quality of that department.”
One thing that has been harder to pin down is how Lurie has held himself accountable for his handling of the organization over the last several months and years. Twice on Tuesday and once earlier in the offseason, he turned questions about self-analysis and lessons learned into generic responses about management principles.
He maintains that he does not regret his decision to hand control over to Chip Kelly — a move that he strongly toted at these owners meetings a year ago, and one that helped lead the Kelly experiment directly into a ditch.
“I’ll put it this way: I think it was a necessary way to go to find out if Chip was the right guy. Let him be responsible for all the decisions he wanted to inject and make and no question I have that it was the right way to dissect whether Chip was going to be the right guy going forward or not,” he said. “We dissected it and decided that with some of the great things he brought, he wasn’t the right person going forward and it was helpful to have him be accountable for those decisions so we could move on in a great way.”
There’s a clear counter-argument to that stance: Lurie had the ability to protect Kelly — a coach he thought the world of once upon a time — from taking on more than he could reasonably handle so early in his NFL career. But Lurie oddly chose sink or swim despite seemingly knowing that the odds for failure were high. (Meanwhile, he had Roseman off on assignment learning about modern sports management so he was well-equipped for a potential return.)
A very expensive lesson, wasn’t it?
“No, the expense of a lesson is just time. It’s not money. We’re all about wanting to win big and no amount of money will ever prevent us,” said Lurie. “We’re all-in as you know. And it’s all about winning championships for Philadelphia. So we lost some time. We didn’t lose in the classic way of expense. It was a time expense.”
Asked if he has become more hands-on as an owner, Lurie responded: “I think what I try to be is very hands-on and not very public about it and sort of the focus is not on me, but in terms of the way I’ve always run things is very directed, very strategic and analytic and expect everybody to follow that and be accountable, and if we’re going to make mistakes let’s make them based on total information picture, not any other reason. Let’s up our odds in every single way.”
Lurie strongly suggested that the Eagles will draft a quarterback this April when addressing the state of the QB position.
“I think Doug [Pederson] is very confident in both [Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel], and I think we’ve got two solid quarterbacks,” he said. “They will be very competitive, Sam clearly number one, and it’s a great situation to be in. And we’re still looking for a third quarterback. Somewhere in the draft, and I think like we used to do, we would always each year or every other year try to draft a quarterback and at some point, and I think that’ll probably continue. As long as there’s quality throughout the draft, and you can identify how you want to develop a quarterback over time, it’s not somebody that has to step in, then hopefully we can find somebody throughout the draft.”