Luries Getting Divorced

Jeff and Christina Lurie:

“Please be assured that this decision will have no impact whatsoever on the ownership, the business and the operations of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. We are certain that our family’s future and our collective future as colleagues will be a bright one.”

A strange offseason gets stranger. All I have to say on this is: easier said than done. Depending on their ownership structure and financial situation, this could easily result in the Luries having to sell the team.

Adam Schefter Stirs the Lurie-Reid Pot

Adam Schefter, when asked if Bill Cowher might be a candidate to replace Reid in the undetermined future:

My belief is that Reid will stay on in that job as long as he wants. Jeffrey Lurie will not fire him. When the time comes for Reid to go, whenever that is, it will be because he opts to go.

People seem to be getting worked up about this because they’re taking Schefter’s words too literally. He’s obviously wrong that Lurie won’t fire him. In fact, the owner has backed himself into a corner this year where if the team doesn’t improve from “unacceptable,” he’ll have little choice but to fire Reid. What Schefter’s words reiterate is simply that Lurie doesn’t want to fire Reid. Give him a playoff win and he’ll be happy keeping the status quo.

In other news, Reid (or someone else at NovaCare) apparently convinced Jason Babin that running with the bulls isn’t such a bright idea.

Let's Talk About Jeffrey Lurie

Jeff lurie

Since Joe Banner was forced out decided to leave the Eagles organziation for anyone who will take him a new, more difficult challenge, most of our focus has been on the Banner’s former underlings — Andy Reid and Howie Roseman. But what about his boss and friend, owner Jeff Lurie? Where does this firing departure leave him?

I think one of the critical things to understand about Banner is what his role was over the years. You could call him Lurie’s right-hand man, but that would understate his impact. Lurie didn’t run the organization, Banner did. Lurie certainly had input into many things, and involved himself in major decisions, but for all intents and purposes he has been the chairman of the board, not the CEO.

Banner was Lurie’s only real direct report and therfore was his default proxy in all aspects of the business — from the stadium to the football and everything in between. Everything flowed to Banner first, and the vast majority of concerns certainly never needed to make it to the owner’s box.

But now Banner is gone. In his place are three different people. Dan Smolenski, the new president, doesn’t have his former boss’s scope. He will be in charge only of the business aspects. As to what happens on the field, it’s unclear exactly what the structure looks like between Roseman and Reid, but it doesn’t seem like either one purely reports to the other.

What does that mean for Lurie? It means he’s gone from being strategically divorced from day-to-day operations by screening everything through Banner to being more involved in every part of the team. The dual wings of the organization can probably operate independently, but Lurie has placed himself in the unavoidable position of chief executive.

Ultimately, one might write all this off as basic palace intrigue, but active ownership from Lurie is something we’ve never seen before. After the 2011 debacle, he was clearly disturbed by the way his Eagles were performing on the field and being perceived in the city at large. What steps might he take to remedy those problems, especially after he already made the tough choice to fire accept his childhood friend’s decision to leave?

I doubt Lurie’s looking to model himself after peers like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, but there’s a wide expanse of potential influence he can exert on operations before reaching that extreme. Whether he does so will be important to keep an eye on going forward.

Photo from Getty.

Highlights From a Chat with 'Coach Reid'

Jeff McLane moderated an online fan chat with Andy Reid on, which is a cool idea, although I’m not sure why he felt the need to call him “Coach Reid” all the time. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s not like Reid is McLane’s coach.

Some choice highlights:

Comment From Philly In DC: Coach, you look great with the loss of weight. Did you have a specific goal or heath objective in mind coming into the season?

Andy Reid: Where I sat at the end of the season, my goal would be equivalent to winning five Super Bowls in one season. There was a big challenge and it will continue to be a challenge.

Comment From Matt: Are we going to see more of McCoy in the slot this year like Westbrook used to do so well?

Andy Reid: We started easing there in certain situations and even starting lining him outside away from a three-man look. So, yeah.

Comment From Guest: Andy, what is your favorite meal ?

Andy Reid: Right now, today: cottage cheese. pre-diet: great cheesesteaks of Philly.

Comment From Guest: would you ever consider allowing the behind the scenes show Hardknocks to film the Eagles? Would be awesome as a fan to see how the team operates behind the scenes and get a sense of player/coaches personalities. Or do you feel its too much of a distraction?

Andy Reid: I understand the part about it being great for TV and it’s a tribute to HBO for doing it. From an organizational standpoint it ends up being a distraction.

Comment From TRO: What is your favorite meal your wife cooks you for dinner?

Andy Reid: Does a great fried pork chops, mash potatoes and corn, chased with Mississippi Mud for dessert.

Comment From Guest: Andy, what is your bedtime?

Andy Reid: In-season, extremely late. Out of season, I’m in bed by midnight because nothing good happens after midnight, as I tell my players.

Epic non-answers:
* On what steps he took to improve game management last year.
* On whether Dion Lewis would win the back up RB job.
* On Romney or Obama (as if that’s a choice for him).
* On Eskin or Bowen (ditto).