March 20, 2015 |
SOUTH BEACH, Fla. - Joe Banner wears banishment well. Seated at a window table inside a Miami trattoria where he knows all of the maitre d's witticisms, Banner is bearded and robust. The shaven, sallow shark who ruthlessly ran the Eagles for 18 years is gone. He enters his sixth decade with dignity. He and his wife, Helaine, will be empty-nesters in 3 months. They have rented a house near Philadelphia where their youngest, Jon, is finishing school, but they are borrowing a friend's high-rise condo here this entire month.
March 10, 2015 |
THE GOOD NEWS is the Eagles have more than $45 million in salary-cap space heading into tomorrow's 4 p.m. start of the free-agency signing period, which is the fifth most in the league. The bad news is, thanks largely to the $20 million increase in the salary cap over the last 2 years, they aren't the only team with a significant amount of spending room. As of yesterday, 12 teams were sitting with at least $30 million in salary-cap space, according to spotrac.com. Nineteen had at least $20 million in cap room.
March 6, 2015 |
It wasn't long ago that the Eagles earned a well-deserved reputation as a flinty-eyed organization that was quick to discard veteran players nearing the wrong side of 30, or who made just a little too much money, or had otherwise become expendable despite their previous contributions to the team. The best example, or at least the most referenced, was the previous administration's decision to let Brian Dawkins walk into free agency after the 2008 season. To the fans, it was a loss that was all about heart and soul.
February 20, 2015 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Andy Reid spoke recently with Howie Roseman, Reid said yesterday, and "Howie's doing good. " Maybe you read that sentence, shrugged your shoulders and said, "eh. " But for the Eagles' information-starved media corps, which has not laid eyes on the former general manager since the Jan. 2 restructuring of the team's front office, this was a gleaming, rare pearl of information. The way most teams operate, yesterday's opening of the NFL Scouting Combine would have been a day to talk to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly about how he sees his role in the draft process, now that Kelly has full personnel control.
February 5, 2015 |
It's really an honor and I'm sure all of you shared my excitement when The Inquirer announced last week I had been promoted to Senior Executive Columnist for Sports Content. There's nothing like a new title to make a guy feel important, and I'd also like to congratulate colleagues Bob Brookover, the new Vice President for Sports Columnizing, and Mike Sielski, who steps into the role of Director of Sports Opinion/Columns. There's no doubt in mind that we will work together seamlessly to help the department achieve its goals with the structure now in place.
December 30, 2014 |
If when December began, you assured Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie that his team would end its season with a win, he would have been a very happy man. At that time, with the Eagles appearing all but certain of qualifying for the postseason, the only scenario that would fit such an ending would be a win in the Super Bowl. That's not quite how things turned out, however, and after three straight losses that eliminated them from the playoffs, the Eagles did win their last game, a minor-key 34-26 finale against the New York Giants.
November 23, 2014 |
Joe Banner woke up Thursday morning in Delray Beach, Fla., where the forecast high was 77 degrees. All things considered, he would have rather been in Cleveland, where the natives had to deal with a record low of 10 degrees Tuesday and nearly 10 inches of snow the week before. Taking the temperature of the former Eagles president who was surprisingly fired as the Browns CEO earlier this year after just 16 months on the job is complicated. For the first season since being hired by his boyhood friend Jeffrey Lurie to help run the Eagles in 1994, Banner is not part of running an NFL franchise.
October 21, 2014 |
PAT SHURMUR feels most comfortable when he's uncomfortable. It is no surprise, then, that he smiles even as he squirms when confronted with the million-dollar question: What does he DO, exactly? Shurmur is the offensive coordinator of an offensive system for which he usually gets no credit - neither for its conception, nor its implementation, nor its execution on game day. Will this perception handicap Shurmur the next time he is considered for a head-coaching job? Hardly.
May 19, 2014 |
For 18 of Jeffrey Lurie's 20 years as Eagles owner, his childhood friend Joe Banner was a key part of the organization. Banner served in a number of roles, including team president, and was influential in almost every aspect of the Eagles, from stadium construction to coaching hires to player negotiations. Banner left in 2012 to become the CEO of the Cleveland Browns and is no longer in football. Many Eagles employees were hired under Banner's watch, including team president Don Smolenski and general manager Howie Roseman.
April 2, 2014 |
IT IS HARD to know what Chip Kelly thinks about his public reputation. He has done so little to cultivate the media that we are a fallow field at this point. We have become so used to the game and its accepted rules - coach comes in; coach whispers an occasional sweet nothing into a couple of ears; coach buys some degree of favor in anticipation of the next whisper, and on and on - that we do not know what to do. The nerve of the guy. So when DeSean Jackson happens, we flail away.