jeff lurie

Eagles confident another parade is coming soon

Eagles confident another parade is coming soon

Thursday was a pretty incredible day in Philadelphia history. Eagles players, coaches and front office executives met with a few million of their closest friends for a parade down Broad Street. 

A parade many had been waiting on for their entire lives. They all hope they won't have to wait as long for the next one. 

After festivities from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art began, owner Jeff Lurie got on stage and talked to the crowd of millions. He left them with one thought on what seemed like a perfect day. 

"And I have one final message for you," Lurie said. "We are just beginning."

Lurie's message was echoed throughout the ceremony on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles just won their first Super Bowl in franchise history, but they don't expect it to be their last. With a coaching staff and front office set up and with most of their 22 starters returning under contract, they hope this is just the beginning. 

The Eagles hope they didn't just end the Patriots' dynasty. They hope they started their own. 

"We brought you guys a world championship and just like Mr. Lurie said, we are not done yet," head coach Doug Pederson said. "We have more to go, more to prove. This is our new norm. This is our new norm, to be playing football in February."

Howie Roseman, the man responsible for putting the Super Bowl team together, didn't take a long time at the podium. His speech was short and sweet, but had the same sentiment. 

Come March, he'll be trying to sign free agents and the draft won't be far behind. He lives for the offseason and his greatest challenge will be to recreate another world championship team. It won't be easy. 

"This is the best city in the world, with the best fans in the world," Roseman said. "And now we have the word championship. Get used to it! Let's go!"

On the surface, it would seem crazy to at least not think the Eagles won't have a chance to repeat next year. In addition to bringing back most of their starters, they'll also bring back several injured players like Carson Wentz, Jordan Hicks, Jason Peters, Chris Maragos and possibly Darren Sproles. 

Of course, Wentz is the big one. Foles played great in the Super Bowl, earning the MVP award, but Wentz was the league MVP before going down in December. If he's able to return to form, the Eagles will have a chance to become a dynasty. He even has two more years left on his cheaper rookie contract, before the Eagles will have to pay him a crazy amount of money. 

"From the moment I got here, I knew this was a special place," Wentz said. "Special locker room, a special organization, special coaching and some seriously special fans. I knew it wouldn't take long until we were standing up here. And here we are today as world champions. Last thing I gotta say is I hope y'all can get used to this." 

The Eagles hope they've not just broken through; they hope they've changed the culture. They now expect to be fighting to earn a parade down Broad Street every winter. 

Poor Zach Ertz had to follow Jason Kelce's epic speech on Thursday. Not an easy task. But if you didn't hear what Ertz said, he more than held his own. 

"We're world champions," Ertz said, "and I promise this ain't the last time we're going to be partying on Broad Street."

It'll be a tough promise to keep. But doubting the Eagles just doesn't seem wise anymore. 

An ode to Jeff Lurie

An ode to Jeff Lurie

The Eagles had just gotten throttled at home by the Redskins. The loss, their fifth in seven tries, dropped their record to 6-9 and buried any faint playoff hopes for a second straight season. The year was 2015 and that would be the last game that Chip Kelly coached the team. The Eagles owner knew it was time for a change.

Chip Exodus
Jeff Lurie pulled the plug on the Kelly era less than three full years in. It was the best move he has made in his nearly quarter century owning the club. Kelly’s stubborn, know-it-all, abrasive, locker room fracturing personality has been well documented. Lurie knew he made a mistake and set about correcting it.

Roseman Remake
Re-enter Howie Roseman, who Lurie chose to marginalize in favor of Kelly, yet keep in the building. It was an unorthodox move to say the least. But Lurie trusted his gut and also knew the work that Roseman had done during his year-long hiatus as chief decision maker for the organization. Instead of stewing on his demotion, Roseman looked in the mirror and sought out input from others in similar positions in the sporting world and beyond. Lurie also smartly insisted Roseman bring in a respected personnel man. Joe Douglas, who spent years under the tutelage of Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore and a season in Chicago, was the choice.  

'Emotional Intelligence'
The next crucial decision was hiring the right coach. Lurie and Roseman knew they had to bring in someone polar opposite personality-wise from Kelly. Locker room, front office, and building fissures needed to be healed, that much was obvious. But the guy needed to be able to coach as well. Lurie knew Doug Pederson very well from both his time playing and coaching here under Andy Reid. Pederson’s embracing, players coach personality was apparent to anyone who had worked or spent time with him. The question was: could he coach?

Wentz Wagon
Roseman and crew’s bold trades to maneuver up to snag Carson Wentz second overall in the 2016 draft were a sign that they were going to be aggressive and unafraid in their approach. A trait we’d soon find out was shared by the new head coach. Teddy Bridgewater’s injury and Sam Bradford’s subsequent trade opened the door for Wentz to start as a rookie and recouped a first-rounder parted with to move up to grab the rookie signal caller. Pederson’s and Wentz’s rookie season had the typical ups and downs. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But you could see that with some more talent around both men, things could get righted quickly.

Moving and Shaking
Nick Foles, Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan, Jay Ajayi, LaGarrette Blount, Ronald Darby, Derek Barnett, Corey Clement, Chris Long, Patrick Robinson, were all new faces in 2017. Each and every one contributed in a major way. Roseman and crew had the greatest offseason any Eagles front office has ever had. And it was on full display throughout this magical season and stunning Super Bowl win. It was also the moves they didn’t make. Mychal Kendricks, disgruntled and unproductive, stayed in midnight green instead of being dealt and had a monster, rebound season. Nelson Agholor appeared lost last year. A little tender love and faith saw him bounce back in a huge way. Emotional intelligence anyone?

All Roads
In a little more than two calendar years, this organization went from dysfunctional under Kelly to Super Bowl champions. And there are not enough fingers and toes in the Delaware Valley to point out the deserving parties for the transformation. From Pederson’s bold coaching, to Wentz's magnificent 13-plus games, to the defense, to Foles' incredible playoff run, to as fine of a coaching staf as there is in the NFL, to the unique camaraderie and selflessness in the locker room. This truly was a team effort. But it all starts at the top. The CEO, the man who put all of these moves in place. The owner, Jeff Lurie.

The ultimate vindication for Howie the Creator

The ultimate vindication for Howie the Creator

MINNEAPOLIS — You know how cool it was watching the Eagles win the Super Bowl? 

Now imagine you put the team together. 

Imagine that the team you watched on Sunday was crafted by your own two hands. Nearly every player picked by you for one reason or another. The pressure and the reward. 

That's what it had to be like for Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. Once stripped of his personnel power and banished to the supply closet, Roseman returned with a vengeance, even more bold than he was before, and he put together the team that won Super Bowl LII. 

He drafted Carson Wentz. He traded Sam Bradford. He traded for Tim Jernigan and Jay Ajayi. He signed LeGarrette Blount and Alshon Jeffery and Chris Long and Patrick Robinson and Stefen Wisniewski. And he brought back Nick Foles. He helped hire Doug Pederson and Joe Douglas. He drafted Derek Barnett. 

Roseman put this team together. And then he watched it do something all the others in franchise history couldn't. 

"That's my job. I'm just trying to do my job," Roseman said late on Sunday night. "That's it. Try to do my job, try to do it the best I can. I've got a great staff that helps me. We've got a great coach and great players. It's not about Howie Roseman. It's about the Philadelphia Eagles being Super Bowl champs!"

As Roseman walked through the hallway that led away from the Eagles' locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Lombardi Trophy was still being passed around for photos, he said he hadn't really thought that deeply about watching his creation. 

On Sunday night, Roseman just wanted to soak it all in. 

Roseman, 42, started with the Eagles as an intern in 2000 and slowly worked his way up from there. He was relentless in his pursuit to become an NFL general manager and got there with the Eagles in 2010. He lasted through 2014, when Chip Kelly won a power struggle briefly. 

For a year, Roseman waited in the shadows and eventually outlasted Kelly, who was fired. Roseman then brought in personnel man Joe Douglas, one of the conditions of his reinstatement to power, and started making moves to put together the roster that won Super Bowl LII. 

"It's great," Roseman said, before stopping briefly to make sure the busses weren't about to leave for the party without him. "Happy for the City of Philadelphia, happier for our organization. It hasn't even started yet, man. We got to celebrate with all of us here, but can't wait to do it with all of our families, can't wait to do it with our friends. And I can't wait to do it down Broad Street."

The most impressive thing about the team that Roseman built was that it was built to last through injuries that would have devastated other teams. Sure, coaching had a lot to do with it, but Roseman provided Pederson the players to get it done. 

Last week, owner Jeff Lurie admitted that winning a Super Bowl with this group of players would be even more special because of the adversity they've faced. 

"It's hard to win a world championship," Roseman said. "Everything has to go right. And not everything went right for us. But when you think about it, the city of Philadelphia hasn't had a world championship in 60 years. Is it going to be easy? No! Nothing in life that's worthwhile is easy. And this (Super Bowl) hat. We're world champions forever. This group is a special group."