If you would’ve asked me just 2 years ago “who is the best owner in Philadelphia?” I wouldn’t have hesitated, answering Jeffrey Lurie. Even before Jeffrey Lurie hoisted the Lombardi trophy in 2018 I would’ve said the same thing. Jeffrey Lurie was that owner that was seen, but not really heard. Sure you would see him in his suite at games. He would make his state of the Eagles address that no one really cared about (because we all know he really isn’t a football guy.) And we would see video of him calling draft picks. But he wasn’t the one making the football decisions. He wasn’t an absentee owner, but he also wasn’t one that meddled. AND he spent money. The Eagles were always players in free agency. But all that changed.
One of the biggest disasters in the recent decade was the signing of DeMarco Murray. The running back set the world on fire with the Dallas Cowboys, but on the last year of his deal it was obvious that Jason Garett was running Murray into the ground. History said dont sign a player with that many carries, but Chip Kelly knew better. Chip Kelly was (and still is) the smartest guy in the room.) So he
wined smoothied and dined Murray and his wife and ultimately signed him to a ridiculous contract. It was a disaster.
It got to the point where the team turned on Chip. The franchise left tackle refused to play for the man. And DeMarco Murray harnessed his inner Brutes and stabbed the man who brought him to town in the back. Murray headed to the back of the plane and spoke to the owner candidly that Chip Kelly wasn’t the guy. Lurie took swift action, firing Kelly. This after giving Kelly the keys to the Eagles kingdom. Lurie realized he needed to take control of his organization back. But he went too far.
He went back to his comfort blanket. Hiring Doug Pederson from the Andy Reid coaching tree. He fit the bill. A rookie head coach who had little to no interest from other teams. It worked out when they hired Andy, and ultimately it worked for Doug who won the franchises first Super Bowl. We were promised a “new norm” but had no idea that the “new norm” wasn’t championships, it was an owner who just got the justification for everything he was doing in the decision making process.
I, like most fans, have sat there shaking my head on how in the world little finger, err…..I mean Howie Roseman has survived. But we got a picture of the inner-workings of the Novacare complex when Jeff McLane did an incredible in-depth article on the flaws of not only Roseman, but the owner as well. The culture that is formed when two non-traditional “football guys” answer to no one. The latest is another incredible in-depth article from The Athletic where Zach Berman, Bo Wolf, and Sheil Kapadia showed the ineptitude of an owner who has let one Lombardi trophy go to his head.
During the glory years when Andy Reid and Joe Banner were running things Jeffrey Lurie was in the corner. He was aware of everything going on, but he didn’t have a say. Nor should he. Just because a man owns a restaurant doesn’t mean he knows how to be a chef. Just because you own the complete series of “House M.D.” on DVD doesn’t mean you know how to do open heart surgery. Just because you own a football team doesn’t mean you know a damn thing about football.
The Athletic article paints a picture that Jeffrey Lurie has created a culture of Harvard analytical geeks who are better suited for creating Facebook than deciding which players to take in the draft. That’s an issue. I’ve never been one for nepotism. And i’m sure Julian Lurie, Jeffrey’s son, earned that Harvard acceptance letter…..but it seems like a forgone conclusion that Julian will eventually take over the Eagles whenever Jeffrey decides to retire. He is prepping for this by giving his friends jobs. Alec Halaby is a friend of the younger Lurie who has the ear of the elder Lurie. Why? Because he was Julian’s wingman at Harvard and hes good at math.
Jeffrey Lurie is slowly creating a gang of yes men, who cant evaluate talent and think they’re smarter than everyone else because they have an Ivy League degree. The problem with millionaires is because of their bank account they don’t understand their limitations. Were living in the book/movie Moneyball except with a completely different ending. Math geniuses who don’t listen to the scouts and don’t listen to people with life long experience.
No one is holding the king accountable for the mistakes hes making. And that’s because of like minded individuals like Roseman, his son, and his sons buddy. It was one of the reasons Doug Pederson couldn’t wait to bolt for an island somewhere. We have a major issue in Philadelphia, and his name is Jeffrey Lurie. A rich, powerful, and (in terms of football) incompetent man who answers to absolutely nobody. And it will have this franchise in the basement for a long long time.