Eagles Wake-Up Call: Lurie Explains Wentz Trade
In his first public comments about the Eagles trading up in the draft to pick Carson Wentz, Jeffrey Lurie explained to the MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas why his team made the move.
“We see it differently than I guess some other people may,” Lurie said. “We see Sam [Bradford] as absolutely the right guy to quarterback the team. We are so rarely able to draft in the Top 5 in the draft. It’s only been twice in about 15-20 years. So we saw the opportunity, and we liked two quarterbacks. We had to make the move to secure having a potential franchise quarterback for many, many years.
“Having a lot of assets at the most important position in the NFL is a good strategic move for now. And it can only benefit us. Because in the NFL, it’s the one position you can’t just go get. And so when you have an opportunity, you’ve gotta take your shot, and you’ve gotta be bold. Otherwise, if you say to yourself, you know, it is probably a 50-50 shot that maybe the quarterback will be really good, you can’t let that deter you. So that’s how I look at it: You either have a really good QB and you compete for the Super Bowl, or you don’t and you are probably not competing for the Super Bowl. And that’s simple.”
Vrentas also included Lurie on a poll of five owners about whether they’d vote to put a team in Las Vegas “if everything lines up.” Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the Raiders potentially moving to Nevada.
“I’d be open to it,” Lurie said. “My only question is, is it a really good NFL market? I’m not totally worried about a lot of other things. I am more worried, is it a great market for the NFL? I don’t know enough about that. I never thought about it much before. It has to support 70,000 every weekend. It is not an NBA team, like say the Thunder, which does an incredible job of supporting their smaller market. We have got to make sure it really will support a team if a team goes there, but I am open to it.”
Earlier in Vrentas’s column, former Eagles linebackers coach and current Panthers head coach Ron Rivera discussed a Christmas gift Andy Reid once gave him. Rivera received a book about teaching techniques, which includes a metaphor that “fundamentals are the roots and trunk of the tree, and everything else branches out from there.”
With that in mind, Rivera decided to start preparing this season not by picking up where Carolina left off from their Super Bowl appearance, but instead by getting back to the basics in each phase of the game. If Wentz pans out, those are the kinds of questions Lurie could start getting asked soon.
WHAT YOU MISSED
NFC East Roundup: Ben McAdoo is “turning heads,” DeSean Jackson’s costly absence and more.
“Sam Bradford started the initial quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Let’s be clear on that.” Weekend Reading.
Eagles Mailbag: How worried fans should be about Fletcher Cox, the cornerback situation and more.
Tim highlights some nuggets from Howie Roseman’s revealing hour-long podcast interview.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Brandon Graham is happy Jim Schwartz is here, reports the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover.
Like Washburn, Schwartz is fond of the wide nine, two four-letter words most Eagles fans never wanted to hear again. The Eagles finished 2012 tied for the most points allowed and tied for 25th in total sacks. The defense was a dysfunctional mess.
“A lot of guys had different ideas about what they wanted,” Graham said. “We didn’t have a D coordinator that knew it. We just had a D-line coach that knew it. [Washburn] should have been the D coordinator if that’s the type of defense we were going to run.”
Graham believes Schwartz’s vision of the wide nine will be different and beneficial for him.
“Now we have Jim who is the defensive coordinator and he knows what he wants and he can actually teach it to everybody,” Graham said.
Five Eagles make Jimmy Kempski’s defensive preseason All-NFC East team.
Interior Defensive line: Fletcher Cox, Eagles, Damon Harrison, Giants
Fletcher Cox is in a league of his own here. No other defensive lineman in the division is even close. As for the other interior defensive lineman, I guess I’ll go with Damon Harrison, with no conviction whatsoever. Harrison is a good run stopper, but that’s all he does.
Linebacker: Sean Lee, Cowboys, Jordan Hicks, Eagles, Mychal Kendricks, Eagles
Sean Lee is a China doll, but when he can stay healthy he’s awesome. Jordan Hicks was on his way toward being the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year before he tore a pectoral muscle, although he still has to prove he can have a strong follow-up to his impressive first season. Mychal Kendricks, meanwhile, is more talk than action but is unquestionably very gifted athletically. The NFC East’s linebackers are not particularly strong.
Thank you to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.