Here at Bleeding Green Nation we've often talked about how Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie is one of the best owners in the NFL. It was only about a month ago that we ran a Lurie approval poll and he finished with a 96% approval rating. Part of what makes Lurie successful, in my view, is that he stays out of the spotlight and trusts the people he's empowered to take the stage. With that said, it's still interesting to hear what Lurie has to say in the limited times he does speak.
Lurie addressed the media following the Eagles' Wednesday training camp practice. Here are the highlights of what he said, starting off with his desire for a Super Bowl championship.
On the lack of a Super Bowl
You know, I don't know [if I thought we would have won one by now 20 years ago], but I'm obsessed with it. I think if you love the sport as much as I do, and you love this team and the city as much as I do, that's the ultimate goal. Until that happens, it's a hunger. Even if it does happen it will be a hunger because you don't want to be satisfied with just having the one. Yeah, it's my obsession and I'll try hard to make it happen.
On the Chip Kelly/Jimmy Johnson comparison:
Right, interesting. It made me think a little bit when I saw Peter [King's] column. You know, there is something… there are some similarities there. I don't know if you can carry it all the way. But certainly Jimmy [Johnson] was very cognizant of what it took to bring a team together. People focused on his bravado and his intelligence and all that, but he comes from a pretty savvy psychology background. He had a feel for what brings 53 men together and your staff together, and Chip has a lot of those qualities. He knows what it takes to have a common purpose to bring people together, and it's not about who's the best team on paper, what team has the best stats, what team accomplishes this, it's not about who runs the fastest offense. It's just about how to bring people together in a common goal where you can compete against 31 other teams trying to do something similar. [Chip and Jimmy] have a similarity in that way and a self-confidence.
On the extent of Chip Kelly's power in the organization
Within the building it's just such a team approach. I think one of the reasons he's been successful, his staff has been successful, is it's been such an excellent team approach. Whether it's dealing with player personnel, whether it's dealing with the trainers, dealing with sports science. It's really a team approach, everyone is humble about it. Nobody is trying to take responsibility for anything. It's strictly to be better than 31 other teams, you better be a really good team. It's just not about one person in the slightest.
Sports science is something important to us. It's something we wanted to do for a long time but Chip has been leading the way and it's been great. He brought a lot with him from Oregon and we've expanded it greatly. It's all about preparation as a team in every possible way: physical, mental, nutritional… You can imagine all the possible ways of human performance and I think we just want to be on top of it.
State of the franchise
I feel really good, I feel really lucky to have a coach and a coaching staff that is really dynamic. A young general manager [Howie Roseman] who I think is outstanding. A young president [Don Smolenski] who is terrific and brings everybody together. It's lucky for me as an owner. You can't always feel that every day and I feel like we have an excellent young team that is just young and needs to get better. Stay humble, get better, and practice hard. It's not that complicated.
It's hard not to be impressed with him from day one in terms of off the field. He's just an incredibly hard-worker, great work ethic, very humble, so respected by everybody around him. I remember talking to Michael Vick about him last year and a little bit the year before and Mike was saying "This guy, he's such a superb team player." He was only 24 at that point and incredibly respected in the locker room. He's just talented and young and wants to get better.
Other NFL owners seeking advice due to the Eagles' success
To some degree, yes. I think what I get more calls on is just a little bit on how to conduct coaching searches. We've been successful with Andy Reid and with Chip, and there's been a patience involved and an analysis going into the process, sort of a strategy not to rush it, and to really think it through. Try to hire somebody you hope to work with for a long time. That's what [we] get more calls on. Everyone knows that we don't answer much on the sports science stuff so it's hopeless to ask about that.