HomeDa Birds NewsExploring the Dynamics of Collaboration and Accountability Inside Jeffrey Lurie's Eagles

Exploring the Dynamics of Collaboration and Accountability Inside Jeffrey Lurie’s Eagles

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Exploring the Dynamics of Collaboration and Accountability Inside Jeffrey Lurie’s Eagles

PHILADELPHIA – When the Chip Kelly administration came to an end, Jeffrey Lurie’s Philadelphia Eagles started rebuilding the organization. They focused on collaboration, in contrast to the autonomy Kelly craved and ultimately achieved.

Kelly’s push for personnel power was perhaps the biggest mistake Lurie made in his more than 25 years as the owner of the Eagles. In March of 2016, Lurie spoke about his regrets over giving Kelly so much authority.

“I don’t regret the hiring of him because it was done with a really good thought process,” Lurie claimed at the time. “But, yes, I would say I regret giving him the kind of authority I gave him, yeah.

“That’s an easy one.”

Jeffrey Lurie
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie with his most-trusted advisor Howie Roseman. USA Today

Looking back, Lurie’s explanation for moving Howie Roseman, his most trusted advisor, to the other side of the NovaCare Complex was tortuous. “It was a bold choice and we knew there were some potential pitfalls,” Lurie said after moving on from Kelly. “I wanted to make Chip accountable for everything he wanted to have happen. And one of the ways to make him accountable was to have him make those decisions because that is what he insisted on decisively doing. So if you want to make those decisions, be accountable for them, and that’s the direction it took.

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“… There was a risk involved in allowing Chip to have that kind of say over player transactions. However, you know, risk-reward. Sometimes the risks don’t work, and this case, it didn’t work.”

Perhaps nothing better highlights the tightrope between accountability and collaboration.

From a big-picture perspective, no NFL organization has been as well-regarded as the Eagles. Few are even in the same ballpark when it comes to losing both personnel executives and assistant coaches since the Kelly debacle.

Nick Sirianni is likely to stay, according to reports

Even after a 1-6 collapse to end the 2023 season, Eagles’ offensive coordinator Brian Johnson has gotten three head-coaching interviews, and assistant GM Alec Halaby got a look from two other organizations.

Over the long haul, Lurie’s Eagles have become the most reliable headhunting firm for other NFL organizations in a perpetual cycle of impatience and poor decision-making.

That doesn’t mean Lurie or the Eagles are perfect, something the downfall of Doug Pederson and the current debate over Nick Sirianni’s future exemplifies.

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The organization’s biggest stress points are the public-facing nature of the industry it exists in and the cyclical nature of the sport itself.

Signs are pointing toward Sirianni returning and he should. A .667 winning percentage and three postseason berths aren’t exactly commonalities around the NFL.

Pederson wasn’t fired until eight days after the 2020 season when he balked at Lurie’s demands over his coaching staff, a festering issue after the owner embarrassed the then-head coach a year earlier by demanding Pederson move on from then-OC Mike Groh.

Once Pederson’s plans were pushed back on again he refused to budge. In Pederson’s mind he had already decided he was fine leaving an organization that didn’t value his contributions to it.

Lurie and SIrianni met for the first time after the latest Eagles’ season ended Friday at the NovaCare Complex and there was no white plume of smoke billowing from the NovaCare Complex.

Related: Nick Sirianni Meets With Eagles: Four Things to Know

Nor will there be any grand declarations unless Sirianni is fired. Otherwise the coach will take the podium, likely with Roseman, for their end-of-season press conference sometime next week.

Assistants will certainly be sacrificed and the defensive staff might be gutted.

It’s the unintended consequences of the “collaboration” that has worked so well in recent years vs. the accountability Kelly had.

In the latter, at least you knew who to blame.

When Pederson’s team fell back after Super Bowl LII, it became about Frank Reich leaving. Now, it’s about losing Shane Steichen. Forget the five meaningful defensive starters or multiple career years regressing to the mean, things need to be tied neatly into a bow for far too many.

Lurie’s been around far too long at this point to keep playing into the emotion game when outside expectations aren’t met, especially with the loyalty of his fan base. He’s the one man at the NovaCare Complex who knows where all the bones are buried.

Lurie certainly doesn’t have to wonder who fueled the decision to move from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia and whether or not it was a meaningful decision or a desperation Hail Mary. He also realizes many in the organization wanted Reich fired after the 2016 season and understands what losing coordinators like Steichen and Jonathan Gannon means.

Even in the most collaborative organization, accountability exists. In Philadelphia, though, there’s no one atop Lurie on the flow chart and the court of public opinion is the only thing holding the owner’s feet to the fire.

For Eagles fans, it’s in Jeffrey Lurie we trust.

There is no alternative.

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