Eagles owner Jeff Lurie on Chip Kelly: 'The end result was mediocrity'

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie didn't hold back when discussing the firing of coach Chip Kelly.
"I wanted to make Chip accountable for everything he wanted to happen, that is what he insisted on," Lurie said. "I in fact remember saying to all of you that there's dangers in that in terms of having two 10-6 seasons in a row and whether making significant changes, you can easily achieve mediocrity. I think it would be a shame not to try but the end result was mediocrity." Lurie said he plans to interview all of the players about what happened.
"I want to engage them and have them understand and what they felt was lacking, I need to understand," Lurie said. "Have them understand and take accountability but also at the same time be a sponge for what is leadership like in today's football world. You're dealing with 22 to 35 or more aged people and people who are elite athletes, trying to perform at the very peak of their profession and there's a lot of issues. And what is leadership like in today's world?
"It's very, very different than it was 10, 15 years ago. I would like to think that we're always gonna try and be on the progressive end of how to lead and that's top-down, but it's also through the head coach and people the head coach surrounds himself with. It's a real opportunity and if I wait until Monday, there would be so much less of that opportunity."
Lurie said the new coach needs to connect with players on a personal level and have "emotional intelligence." The Eagles aren't hiring a general manager. Howie Roseman and Tom Donahoe will split up duties. "I think the best approach is a real collaborative approach," Lurie said. "In this case with Chip, I think there were some very good reasons to be bold about what he wanted to be able to accomplish and do. However, going forward, I think a much more collaborative approach between player personnel and coaching is the way to go. That's the direction we would go. "In terms of the front office and the executives and all that, Howie Roseman will remain our Executive Vice President in Charge of Football Operations. Tom Donahoe will run the day-to-day player personnel department, which is crucial hire and a crucial position in terms of player personnel. Howie Roseman will be responsible for making sure our player personnel department is as good as it gets in the NFL, he'll be accountable for that." What does Lurie want in a coach? €œI think in terms of what we're looking for in a coach, it'€™s several things," Lurie said. "Number one, a smart, strategic thinker, that’s a given. You’ve gotta be looking out for the short-term, mid-term and long-term interests of the franchise. Looking for somebody who interacts very well and communicates clearly with everybody he works with and comes in touch with. Understands the passion of our fans and what it's like to coach the Philadelphia Eagles he said. It's a unique, incredibly passionate fanbase that just wants to win. You've got to incorporate that in your life, in your heart and you've gotta be willing to do that. Another thing is attention to detail. I think all good coaches have tremendous intention to detail. And lastly amongst many other things but I'€™ll just mention a few, you've got to open your heart to players and everybody you want to achieve peak performance. "€œI would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided, and at the same time values emotional intelligence. I think in today's world of the way business are run and sports teams are run that a combination, and it’s not easy to have, a combination of all those factors creates the best chance to succeed. In terms of the staff, no one is eliminated, every member of the staff is under contract and yes, it's possible there will be some interviews of some members of the staff." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.  
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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