Eagles

What to expect when Jeff Lurie breaks his silence this week

What to expect when Jeff Lurie breaks his silence this week

PHOENIX -- Amid reports over the last year that Jeffrey Lurie had become more vocal and hands-on with his football team, the owner was noticeably quieter in the public eye. 

One year and six days. 

That's how long his silence in the media will have lasted once Lurie finally breaks it as he's expected to speak to reporters Tuesday night at around 8:30 ET.  

The 65-year-old Eagles owner spoke during last year's owners' meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, on March 22, 2016, and hasn't graced the local media with his words since. The timing of the wordlessness seems bizarre. For the first time in years, the franchise seems to have stability. 

Remember, in 2012, Lurie fired Andy Reid, then hired Chip Kelly. The three years in the Kelly era were anything but dull and led to another fired coach and a resurrected general manager. 

So, no, there isn't as much going on with the Eagles this offseason as there was a year ago, just after Doug Pederson was hired and Howie Roseman was reinstated back into power. 

Still, there's plenty to talk about with Lurie on Tuesday night, starting with his perceived and reported increased role in football matters. 

The most obvious case of this was his decision to block the New York Jets from interviewing quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Multiple outlets -- ESPN first -- reported that it was Lurie's call to prevent DeFilippo from leaving. While there's a strong structure in place for franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, no coach spends as much time with the young QB as DeFilippo. 

Aside from the DeFilippo decision, Lurie seemed to have taken a more active role throughout the season, when he met with Pederson often. That was something we hadn't heard of him doing with Reid or Kelly in the past. 

While Lurie talked to Pederson plenty throughout the season, he hasn't talked about Pederson since the head coach went through his first season under the helm. Lurie's assessment of not just Pederson, but also Wentz's rookie season, will be at the forefront on Tuesday. 

So will the evaluation of Roseman, who was put back into power after Kelly's ouster during the 2015 season. While at the meetings in Florida last year, Lurie, when asked for an evaluation of the vice president of football operations, said, "At the moment, couldn't be more pleased." 

That was before Roseman was able to put together a package that allowed him to move up to No. 2 and draft Wentz. 

In addition to Roseman, the Eagles have a new player personnel director in Joe Douglas, hired in May. Maybe we'll get some more insight into the inner-workings of the front office from the head honcho. 

Then, there's the issue of off-the-field concerns when drafting or bringing in a player. A month after Lurie spoke at the owners' meetings in 2016, the Eagles drafted a trio of players with what many called "red flags." Jalen Mills and Wendell Smallwood both had previous run-ins with the law and Alex McCalister was guilty of team rules violations while at Florida. With all three, the Eagles thought they found value in getting guys in later rounds because of those question marks. 

Another draft brings another crop of players, each with their own individual stories and pasts. That's how it appears the Eagles like to look at prospects: as individuals. While some teams have complete non-starters -- domestic abuse, for example -- it appears the Eagles choose to evaluate each player based on fact-finding about their specific set of circumstances. 

This year, two of the top running backs in the draft class have "red flags." Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon have both had run-ins with the law, Mixon's being much more public because of a video that shows him striking a woman and breaking her jaw. 

While the Eagles research prospective players with their own security team and while Roseman and Douglas might want to bring a guy in, it ultimately falls on Lurie. It's his team and what he says goes. 

But Lurie hasn't said much, at least publicly, lately. He did write a piece that railed against political polarization in Time Magazine -- and that'll likely come up on Tuesday -- but aside from that ... nothing. 

Until Tuesday night. After over a year of silence, we'll finally get some answers from the Eagles' owner. 

Duce Staley would have been the easier choice

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USA Today Images

Duce Staley would have been the easier choice

The right choice isn't always the easy one. Ultimately, we won't know for some time if the Eagles' tabbing Mike Groh for the job of offensive coordinator over Duce Staley was the correct call. But we know they didn't take the easy way out.

Staley has spent 14 seasons with the Eagles as a player and coach. He's been in charge of the Eagles' running backs since 2013 and even interviewed for the head coaching spot after Chip Kelly was fired following the 2015 season. He has the utmost respect of the guys who have played for him and from the organization. His time coaching in Philadelphia has spanned three head coaches (Andy Reid, Kelly, Doug Pederson). That tells you how the folks in the executive offices feel about him. He would have been the easier choice. He juggled egos and the Eagles' crowded backfield skillfully. He smoothly integrated Jay Ajayi into the Birds' system after a midseason trade.

Duce checked a lot of boxes. But Pederson and the Birds chose to go with Groh, who has been with the club for just one season. (They did, according to a league source, reward Staley with a new title: Assistant head coach/running backs.)

The 46-year-old Groh coached the Eagles' wide receivers last year and is credited with helping Nelson Agholor find his game and confidence. Groh has coached in college and the pros for 18 seasons, including a stint as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Virginia. Perhaps that gave him the edge in Pederson's and the team's eyes. 

Despite Pederson's calling the plays, the job of offensive coordinator is not just a title. Frank Reich played a huge role game-planning and acting as a sounding board. 

Can't imagine Staley is too happy about this development. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to stay or go elsewhere. But if the track record of Pederson and Roseman is any indication, they did a pretty good job putting together the staff that helped them win their first Super Bowl. So they've earned some trust on the hiring end.

Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

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AP Images

Eagles reach decision at offensive coordinator

Doug Pederson has made his decision. 

The Eagles are promoting wide receivers coach Mike Groh to offensive coordinator, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the move.  

On Monday, Pederson interviewed Groh and running backs coach Duce Staley for the vacant offensive coordinator job after Frank Reich became the Colts' head coach earlier this month. 

Groh, 46, just joined the Eagles last offseason, taking over for Greg Lewis. In his first year in Philly, he did a masterful job with the Eagles' receivers and had a bigger role in the offense and game-planning than a typical receivers coach. 

There had been a report that Pederson was thinking about not having an official offensive coordinator for the 2018 season. He already calls the plays. But it looks like he saw the value in filling Reich's old spot. 

Staley did get a consolation prize though. According to a league source, the longtime Eagle will get a new title of assistant head coach/running backs. Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011 and has been in his current role as running backs coach since 2013. He has previously expressed interest in moving up the ladder. 

When Pederson hired Reich to be his offensive coordinator, he said he was interested in what Reich could bring to the downfield passing game. If that's still important, it would make sense for him to hire a receivers coach with a background as a quarterback over a former running back and running backs coach. 

The 2018 staff is starting to come together. Press Taylor is expected to be named the team's quarterbacks coach (filling in for John DeFilippo), Groh is OC and Staley will stay with the running backs. The last shoe to drop appears to be filling Groh's old post of receivers coach.