Jeffrey Lurie's Philadelphia Eagles Will Never Win a Super Bowl
Well that didn't last long.
The euphoria that any Eagles fan with a clue felt over the firing of Chip Kelly lasted less than 24 hours. News of Kelly's firing broke at 7:12 pm on Tuesday night and led to everything but a parade of Eagles fans singing "Ding dong the witch is dead" while marching down Broad Street. Then Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie crushed the spirit of all long-suffering Eagles fans during his press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
What? Don't tell me you missed the one piece of actual information that leaked out of all the nonsense Lurie was spewing from the podium. While praising Kelly as a "great coach" who will go onto great things in the NFL (Then why would you get rid of him Jeff?) and never giving a straight answer to why he actually fired Kelly, Lurie used two little words that were a dagger to the heart of any fan. Those words? Howie Roseman.
Apparently Howie Roseman has his old job back as GM of the Eagles and that is very bad news. It also guarantees that the Eagles will never win a Super Bowl while Jeffrey Lurie owns the team. Think I'm exaggerating? Let me explain.
As bad a reputation as Kelly obviously had with his players (judging from the glee certain players expressed on Twitter to the news of Kelly's firing, the players hated Kelly), Roseman's reputation around the NFL is even worse.
Roseman has the reputation of a weasel that agents don't like working with and fellow football executives don't trust. It's obvious that Roseman has been feeding Lurie every bit of negative information he could unearth since the very first second he lost that power struggle with Kelly back in January. For proof, ask yourself why Lurie also fired Ed Marynowitz. The reason is that, according to several sources within the organization and outside, he and Roseman butted heads regularly. That is a common theme with Roseman; he does not play well with others.
And now he's got his job back as GM of the Eagles. No, Lurie didn't say the words, "Howie is the GM again", but he said everything to indicate that what's old is new again.
Lurie said he, team President Don Smolenski and Roseman would pick the new head coach. That is the same brain trust that picked Kelly, so they've already got strike one against them. But that's not the important part here. What is important is that when the gathered press asked Lurie about the general manager, he talked in circles. He mentioned how everything is done by committee and other such nonsense. History has shown that committees don't build Championship football teams, good football minds do. When asked specifically about Roseman being the GM, Lurie talking in more circles, but never said that Roseman was not the GM again. What he said that Roseman was the Executive VP of Football Operations. A quick scan of the Eagles hierarchy reveals that this distinction makes Roseman the highest ranking person on the football side of the Eagles front office. Roseman answers only to Lurie, while Smolenski deals strictly with the business side of the franchise.
That means he's the GM again. And that means the Eagles are screwed.
How do you feel about Howie Roseman getting his job back as GM of the Eagles?
I admitted before that it is hard to get a clear read on exactly what players Roseman drafted. Lurie absolved him of blame for a few horrendous picks at the end of the Andy Reid era, like Danny Watkins. But we really have no idea if Marcus Smith was Roseman or Kelly's fault. The Eagles have spent 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft picks on receivers over the last two drafts, yet nobody would question the fact that the Eagles have the worst receivers in the NFL. Again, it's hard to know how much of that was Roseman's fault, but according to Lurie, he was involved. The committee, remember?
More disturbing is that no good head coach is going to want to come to the Eagles knowing that he will have to answer to Roseman. Any coaching candidate who is contacted by the Eagles is sure to place an immediate call to Kelly to ask his opinion. Anyone else think Kelly will trash Roseman to anyone and everyone who asks? Of course, he will. And although Lurie allowed Andy Reid to hang around for 14 years, he pulled the plug on Kelly in less than three years. Coaching candidates might think that Lurie has grown inpatient after 20 years and now has a quick trigger finger when it comes to his coaches.
While we're on the subject of who will be the next Eagles head coach, I don't think the Eagles are an attractive destination, regardless of the front office dysfunction. Kelly's free agent spending spree has put the Eagles in a bad salary cap situation. Sure they have exclusive negotiating rights with QB Sam Bradford until March, but who knows if any coaches want Bradford. Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York Giants, Miami and Tennessee are all definitely going to be looking for new head coaches in the offseason. All four teams are in far better shape than the Eagles at QB. So why would a coach want to come to Philadelphia to take over a bad team with salary cap problems and have to answer to Roseman? The answer is that the top candidates won't.
Tom Donahoe has been a "senior football advisor" since 2012, but he isn't the GM. If he was going to be the GM, Lurie would have said so during his press conference. He knows Roseman has a poor reputation around the league and with the fans, but Lurie kept a far worse guy in Joe Banner around for a long, long time. Roseman is the GM.
We may never know why Lurie really fired Chip Kelly. Lurie did mention how Kelly "insisted" on full control of personnel in January and that he decided to "make Kelly accountable for everything he wanted to happen". We all know that didn't work out well for Kelly, as every single move he made as GM turned out horribly. It also probably ticked Lurie off that Kelly was such an arrogant jerk, when he repeatedly denied that he demanded full control or that he was, in fact, the GM of the Eagles. At least we now have confirmation that Kelly is a liar.
Unfortunately for Eagles fans, we also have confirmation that Howie Roseman is the Eagles GM once again. No it wasn't made official, but nothing is ever clear when it comes to Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles.
Wait, that's not exactly true. One thing is clear. The Eagles will never win a Super Bowl while Jeffrey Lurie owns the team. Decisions like making Howie Roseman the GM again prove that.