For years the Eagles power structure was obvious. It was no secret that Andy Reid, former Eagles head coach and executive VP of football operations, had a significant influence in the team's decision making as far as football moves were concerned.
With Reid out of the picture, the power structure was bound to change. What's it look like now?
NFL.com has recently started a series called "Who's really in charge?" that highlights the power structures of all the NFL teams. Albert Breer kicked off the series with a look around the NFC East. Here's what he had to say about the Eagles:
As it stands now, three men -- president Don Smolenski, GM Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly -- report directly to owner Jeffrey Lurie, with Roseman and Kelly responsible for the football side.
The Eagles have been very secretive when it comes to the structure beyond that. Roseman has taken on many of Reid's old responsibilities, in running free agency and the draft, but it's clear that Kelly has a strong voice. In fact, two sources say Kelly has final say on the 53-man roster. Also, his staff delivered very detailed presentations to the scouting side on the measureables and traits that Kelly will look for at every position. When former president Joe Banner left in 2012, contracts and the cap fell to Roseman, who has concentrated on this area over the course of his 14 total years with the club.
It's clear that Roseman has been left to shoulder more responsibility with the departure of Reid and Banner. Although Kelly might not have the kind of power Reid had, it's apparent he has a significant influence as well. Although not surprising, I found it interesting Chip has a certain mold of players he looks for.
Smolenski's role is discussed in more detail in this Inquirer article. As the article notes, former Eagles President Joe Banner held a more direct role in football operations than the current president does. Smolenski still has an influence in football decisions, however.
The blurb finished up with an "outsider's perspective" from a NFC executive. Here's what they had to say:
"It's clear that they've hit the reset button overall, and since Howie's relationship with Chip was so key to them getting him, they should be on the same page. They're both aggressive and into the nuances. Howie's smart. He gets it. Sometimes, he gets a bad rap, but he understands the league, and you can see it with Gamble -- hiring him was smart. ... It's also interesting because everyone considers Chip an innovator, but what he ran in college, no one expects him to do that in the NFL. ... It's the quickness, the practices, the funny billboards, all that stuff, how he took that program (Oregon) and made it so popular. He's extremely innovative. You wanna see how it'll look. Some of it will translate. Some of it won't. Everyone's curious."
Having a strong front office is important. While it's still early for this regime, it appears there have been no major power struggles and hopefully that continues down the line.
We'll see how all of this plays out in the years to come, but as of now it's not hard to feel confident with this structure. Howie Roseman manages the heck out of the cap and is never shy to add talent. Recent draft performances have been improved as well. Roseman's hire of Tom Gamble (Eagles VP of player personnel) was a strong addition. Kelly's innovative methods and successful background make him inspiring. Smolenski seems to do well in his role. Jeff Lurie effectively oversees all of this without getting too involved (Sup, Jerry Jones?).
It's time to move on from the failures of the past. This group has the makings of success. Only time will tell if they will be.