Philadelphia Eagles owner and CEO Jeffrey Lurie spoke to reporters at the Annual League Meeting on Tuesday evening and gave some insights into Howie Roseman’s extension, some of the team development, and his involvement with personnel and coaching decisions.
Lurie also announced that they are bringing back the Kelly green jerseys in 2023, something that takes a little bit of time, so their 2022 alternate jerseys will be black.
He talked a bit in his opener about how popular football is and how it’s grown. Lurie said that it’s one of the few areas left where the small markets and big markets have the same opportunity to see their teams win. He also was emphatic that, through the pandemic, they learned how important the fans are to making football what it is, and while the sport itself is great, the fans energy and love of the game is what makes it a special event.
“I think all of us that are apart of it, whether you’re covering it or operating in it, need to have the humility to realize that fans are the basis of why we’re all here, and why it’s so successful.
“In Philly we have the most intense and wonderful fans anybody could ever imagine, and, I’ve said it before, I’m very lucky to have been able to own a team in a city that loves football, and loves the Eagles, as much as they do.”
Here’s what else Lurie had to say:
On Howie Roseman’s extension
“In all the ways of evaluating a General Manager, it is truly a broad position, and you’re managing a lot of information, a lot of departments, and it’s a very important leadership position in an organization.”
Lurie addressed that there’s often controversy over whether draft picks were hits or misses, but that his job to deal with how those players were evaluated, what they were seeking to acquire with their limited number of picks. So, he has a tough job looking at the bigger picture to see whether the process as a whole was effective, versus the individual successes of the players picked.
“Howie deserves a lot of credit. Obviously, over the last five years, we’ve been in the playoffs four of the past five years, we won a Super Bowl. He’s really good at building a roster, and re-building a roster, and he’s very, very well-regarded in the league.”
Ultimately, Lurie said extended Roseman was a relatively easy decision to make.
On re-signing Fletcher Cox
“Fletcher Cox. Very valued member of the team.”
Lurie went on to say that Cox’s contract was team-friendly, but that they also knew what he was being offered by some other teams, and he’s someone they value and think can do perform even better this year with the same defensive coordinator. He said it was an easy decision to bring back the veteran defender.
On Carson Wentz
Lurie was asked about their former quarterback, and what they learned about their evaluation process through his short stint in Philly. He pointed out that in 2017, Wentz played at an MVP level and his performance won’t be forgotten. Lurie also acknowledges that they likely wouldn’t have been the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs that year without Wentz, and that there’s a chance they don’t win the Super Bowl at all if they weren’t No. 1.
“That was the best of Carson. When we drafted Carson, that’s what we hoped for. It was almost like an MVP level — it was an MVP level quarterback. Not every quarterback, and not every player is able to sustain that level of play. You have injuries, you’ve got lot of factors. It didn’t end how we envisioned it to end, but I’m always thankful for — winning a Super Bowl is not easy.”
He went on to say that there’s no one definition of what a franchise quarterback is, or how they become one, citing Josh Allen and how it took him a few years to develop into filling that role for the Bills. Lurie said that now they have a QB who continues to improve every season, has a good work ethic, and is a leader of men at just 23 years old — which is why they’re committed to Jalen Hurts.
“I welcome Carson when he comes back. I think I rather take the road of, he really helped us in a very important way in the 2017 season, and I wish he had been able to maintain that level of growth throughout. And, it didn’t pan out that way.”
On Nick Sirianni
“Everything that we loved about Nick in the interview process and in the research process, came to fruition in his very first season. It was not an easy year for him to take over. we were handicapped in different ways, and it was really a transition season. What he was able to do was connect to players, everybody in the building, manage his coaches in a very, very effective way, and brings a vision and an energy.”
Lurie went on to laud Sirianni’s ability to connect with people on a real genuine level and he treats everyone with respect. He claims Sirianni is a confident, but not ego-driven coach, and has assembled a really good group of coaches around him.
On his role and involvement
Despite perception that Lurie has been more involved with personnel and strategy over the years, he said it’s actually the opposite. He’s been less involved because he trusts the guys in the building and thinks they have a great staff in all departments — from injury prevention to scouting.
He went on to cite three times during his tenure that maybe he was a little too involved or made his opinion know when it came to their draft strategy:
- Jeff Stoutland told the team that OT Lane Johnson maybe wasn’t going to be the best OT in Year 1 out of college, but if looking at the top prospects, he had the most potential to be the best in Years 2 and 3, and beyond. Lurie wanted to do what they had to in order to be in a position to get Johnson.
- He lamented about missing out on drafting Russell Wilson and wishing they had taken him with their second round pick in 2012.
- He strongly supported Stoutland and Roseman working together to get back on the board in the early-seventh round to get Jordan Mailata.
Lurie disputed rumors that he was the reason behind the JJ Arcega-Whiteside pick, but noted that it was a time between JJAW and Parris Campbell, and he gave his blessing for either player.
He later acknowledged his involvement in coaching hires with regards to Doug Pederson, and pointed out that while he never tells someone who to hire or not hire, it is his job as the CEO to evaluate how those coaches are performing and whether they are the best person to develop to players and scheme.