Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has largely been “hands-off” during his 16 years owning the franchise. He doesn’t meddle in the football business, allowing his coaches, players, and executives to earn their paychecks. However, Lurie is very visible in the building where he often attends practices and always goes to games, including road contests.
So it’s a bit curious as to why Lurie was missing in the press box last week in Cleveland. The 69-year-old didn’t make the trip out of an abundance of caution due to the pandemic because he had Thanksgiving plans with his elderly mother, per an Eagles spokesperson.
But, according to The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, the real reason Lurie missed the trip was that his frustration with the team has boiled over. The billionaire is “frustrated” about the way the season is going. The Eagles were supposed to contend for a Super Bowl, but they can barely get out of their own way right now.
The report went on to say that Lurie has been leaving practices early “out of disgust” and his influence could deepen if things don’t get turned around soon.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for the first time in years — and perhaps ever — didn’t travel to his team’s road game last Sunday. Lurie’s frustration with his team has been mounting, and his absence in Cleveland was widely believed by many at the NovaCare Complex to primarily be an extension of his feelings, two team sources said.
Lurie also has been at recent practices and has left various workouts early out of disgust, the sources said. In the past, even sickness hadn’t kept him from following his team, no matter where it played. Sources close to the team, past and present, were shocked that Lurie missed a game and couldn’t recall the last time it occurred, if at all.
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Lurie’s Relationship with Eagles Coaching Staff
As stated above, Lurie normally stays out of the football operations and rarely comments on players. Still, he is one of the most passionate owners in sports and keeps a keen eye on what’s going inside the locker room.
There was a report last year, per Jeff McLane, that Lurie was responsible for convincing Doug Pederson to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch. It was never proven to be true, although the way their dismissals happened was very bizarre.
Lurie, who gives a state-of-the-team address every year during training camp, was pretty open about where he stood on the offense. Remember, the Eagles hired a slew of new faces and built a collaborative coaching staff to aid Pederson. Offensive minds like Rich Scangarello and Marty Mohrningweg were supposed to mentor Carson Wentz. It hasn’t gone well.
“I think that we’ve always emphasized offensive football and trying to be as dynamic as we can be,” Lurie told reporters on Aug. 30. “The last couple of years we were all, as a group, not satisfied with our offensive production. It didn’t stop us from making the playoffs. It didn’t stop us from making a postseason run. But we always have the belief as an organization — it’s part of our DNA — that you want to be a top-five offense to have your best chance of winning the Super Bowl.”
Lurie brushed off questions about how much input he had on personnel decisions, although he did cop to having “weekly involvement” in all aspects of the organization while not interfering in final decisions. It was a telling admission of influence.
“Most of the head coaches that I’ve had over the 20-something years have obviously been quarterback tutors, and I believe in that, but I also believe that a coach constructs his own staff,” Lurie said. “My approach has always been to have weekly dialogue, weekly involvement with all aspects of our operation, and at the same time have enough respect and trust in our head coach, general manager, to let them make the decisions.”
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