Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie is in Orlando, Florida this week for the annual NFL owner's meetings. Lurie took the time to speak with some media on Tuesday evening. He touched on a number of topics.
To no surprise, Lurie was asked about the status of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He declined to comment, responding with: "Nothing to say."
Eagles GM Howie Roseman had a similar response when he addressed the media on Monday. It appears no one from the Eagles is willing to talk about Jackson.
Jairus Byrd was the free agent safety that Eagles fans coveted but did not end up receiving. Instead, the Birds signed Malcolm Jenkins while Byrd signed a mega-deal down in New Orleans with the Saints. Some questioned why the Eagles didn't make a serious offer for Byrd. The Eagles had both a) the need at safety and b) the cap space to afford him.
Lurie implied that if the Eagles really wanted Byrd, they would have signed him. "Nobody knows [Byrd] better than [Chip Kelly]," the Eagles' owner explained. Kelly spent a limited time of his career with Byrd at the University of Oregon. Kelly was still the offensive coordinator when Byrd was a player there. Now, I'm not sure if Kelly truly knew him better than anyone, but clearly Kelly did have some level of familiarity with Byrd.
Eagles Offseason Plan
"It’s a very focused plan based on what the character needs to be, what the performance level needs to be, what the preparation to perform at your maximum level needs to be. It’s a very focused target system where you know the kinds of people you want to surround our current players with and who to go after and what the function in this offense is. Because it’s different than it was with Andy [Reid]. The defense is completely different.
So I think they’re very, very focused, and it worked out really well the first year with Chip and the personnel department, Howie, figuring out what would be best. But now it’s really obvious. Because at first you’re just checking to see whether you can understand each other and communicate and maximize what you’re doing. Now we’ve had a whole year to figure out exactly the kinds of players in the draft and what their performance level needs to be, what their strengths and weaknesses can be and their character."
Lurie's emphasis on character is interesting. The Eagles are known for focusing on high character players when it comes to the draft.
On the signing of Vick: "It was a leap of faith. He hit all markers at a 100 percent level."
On Vick's off the field impact: "He wanted to take action and he did that. I think he had a pretty big impact on young people in Philadelphia."
Speaking of Vick, Lurie mentioned him and Avant by name as two players in the Eagles' locker room that need to be replaced from a leadership perspective. Lurie called both Vick and Avant the "most influential players" on the team.
Wilson, who founded the Buffalo Bills in 1960, passed away at the age of 95 on Tuesday. Lurie had some nice things to say about Wilson. An official statement from Lurie has been released on the Eagles' team site:
"Ralph Wilson was not only a founding father of the American Football League, but an iconic leader of what is so special about the NFL. He was a man who loved his football team and his Buffalo fans and always wanted what was best for the NFL. I admired his independent thinking on every issue that arose and will always remember his welcoming support when I came in to the league. He was a great example of ownership based on his love of the sport and especially his Buffalo Bills. On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to pass along my condolences to the Wilson family and to the entire Buffalo Bills organization."
With Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie fulfilling their media obligations on Monday and Tuesday respectively, all that's left now is for Eagles head coach Chip Kelly to speak. Kelly will officially address the media early tomorrow morning at 7:15 AM EST.