Owner Jeff Lurie met with the media today and shared his thoughts on firing Reid and the overall state of the franchise. I thought Lurie did a pretty good job of expressing his feelings for Reid and how special the Reid era was without overdoing it. You can’t over-praise a guy the day you fire him for going 4-12.
I liked what Lurie had to say about the search for a coach and the traits he would look for. The point he emphasized above all others…leadership. And that is a great thing to hear. Schemes can come and go. Offenses and defenses change all the time. Football is a sport that is constantly evolving. You can’t hire a coach just for that stuff. You must get someone who can be the leader of your franchise. That’s what Reid did so well early in his tenure.
Some reporters asked Lurie about what went wrong in recent years. Lurie talked about the team getting away from its core values and reaching for the final piece to the puzzle. I thought this was pretty insightful. The Eagles had a certain way of doing business over the years. At times they got away from that. Some of the risks worked. Some failed…some miserably.
Lurie made it clear that he’s confident in Howie Roseman and won’t be making a change there. Lurie said something that the Howie Haters won’t like. Lurie talked about primarily judging Roseman on the 2012 draft and not holding him responsible for 2010 & 2011. Lurie didn’t fully explain his thinking, but there may be some logic.
The 2011 draft came during the lockout. NFL teams didn’t know if there would be free agency. If you had Super Bowl aspirations and clear holes on your team, you had to think about need when drafting and not just BPA. The Eagles felt they had clear holes at RG and S. They reached for Watkins and Jarrett. Who pushed for those picks…Roseman, Reid, or assistants? I’ve always had the feel Jarrett was a Reid pick. Not sure on Watkins.
Beyond the top picks I think you can put the rest of the draft on Roseman. There were some good picks (Henery, D Lewis, Kelce, Havili) and some that appear to be duds (Matthews, Vandervelde, Rolle). I’m not trying to defend Howie, but rather figure out what happened and why it happened.
As for 2010, I’m not sure what Lurie’s thinking is. Maybe Howie was still growing into the role then and Reid had more influence on the picks. Maybe Lurie is giving him a break due to the injuries to Brandon Graham and Nate Allen. I don’t know.
Lurie made it sound like 2012 was Howie’s draft. So far, that looks like a really good group. Lurie did say that Howie is accountable. His power has grown each year. You can bet that Howie will be held responsible if the team continues to struggle. Right now Lurie seems to feel it is more about coaching than talent. I would tend to agree with that. This isn’t to say the Eagles are loaded with elite players, but they are way better than 4-12.
I was happy to hear Lurie say that the new coach would make the decision on Nick Foles and the QB situation. That seems pretty obvious, but you never know when an owner will get delusional about a player or situation. We’ve discussed Foles quite a bit. The key for me is to have the new coach check the tape and make a decision.
Overall I thought Lurie struck a good balance between discussing the crappy season, the need for change, and the fact that he feels the Eagles do have talent and that this team can be turned around sooner rather than later. Lurie wasn’t all lollipops and unicorns. He admitted there were problems. I think it was important for fans to hear him talk about some of the issues. They need to know that Lurie understands that some things must be fixed.
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As Lurie described what he wants in a coach (leadership, self-confidence, someone who studies the game/trends, aggressive style, risk taker), I couldn’t help but think of Chip Kelly. Sam said on Twitter (make sure to follow him) that he thought of Bill O’Brien. After reflecting on that, Lurie’s reference to leadership certainly could point to BOB. Bill did a masterful job of guiding Penn State through some tough times, on and off the field in 2012.
Reportedly O’Brien’s agent said tonight that Bill wants to stay at PSU. Good news for Nittany Lions fans.
Lurie did say he’s open to a college coach, coordinator, or former head coach. He isn’t locked in to any one background. He’s trying to keep an open mind.
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Reports surfaced tonight that the Eagles will meet with all 3 Falcons coordinators: OC Dirk Koetter, DC Mike Nolan, and STsC Keith Armstrong. More than a few people had questions on Nolan due to his struggles as HC in San Fran. I’ll put up a post on him on Tuesday.
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Gimpy posted his MAQB column. There are some good nuggets in there. The Bears were 8-0 vs non-playoff teams, but 2-6 vs playoff teams. Very interesting.
Gimpy also compared the final numbers of the rookie QBs. Lots of good info to check out.
Speaking of the Bears…Lovie Smith won’t return in 2013. Do I have any interest? Yes. I am a big Lovie Smith fan. His teams play hard. He also knows how to come up with turnovers. 6 times in the last 12 years Smith’s defense was in the Top 5 in takeaways. They led the league 3 different times. That’s impressive.
The case against Lovie is that he was never able to solve the offense in Chicago. He had 4 offensive coordinators in 9 years. The offense never finished above 15th in yards gained. That’s not good. Lovie didn’t have the kind of pieces to work with that the Eagles do and that’s the reason you wonder if he could work out in Philly.
I would absolutely have interest in him as a DC, but it sounds like he’s set on staying a HC.
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I am happy to say Josh McDaniels has pulled his name out of the running for HC jobs. He’s staying in New England.
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Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2013 is a heck of a lot better than 2012.