September 14, 2015 |
In March, Jeffrey Lurie said that he was willing to gamble to take the Eagles from "good to great. " The Eagles were still nearly five months from the start of the regular season, but an offseason of remarkable change was nearly complete. Lurie had restructured the front office, and the man he placed at the top of the pyramid - Chip Kelly - had taken a blowtorch to a roster that had won 10 games. The Eagles have still not played a meaningful game. They open on Monday night in Atlanta against the Falcons.
August 29, 2015 |
Joe Banner spent 20 years in the NFL having his decisions dissected by a growing media that was representative of a nation's fixation with football. But he's now on the other side of the conversation - or at least he's been given a much larger platform - after ESPN announced Thursday that Banner was joining the network as a "Front Office Insider. " The former Eagles and Browns executive will appear regularly on weekday editions of NFL Insiders , NFL Live , and SportsCenter and will also contribute to ESPN Radio and espn.com in his new role.
May 1, 2015 |
When Chip Kelly lays his head down at night and counts seconds between snaps, what quarterback does he dream of? Of all the reasons given for why the Eagles could trade up and draft Marcus Mariota in Thursday's NFL draft, Kelly's seemingly unwavering belief that his former Oregon quarterback will be a transformative player is at the crux of any plausible argument. "He might be the fastest guy on the field, but his mind is even faster," Kelly said of Mariota in January before the national championship.
April 30, 2015 |
Joe Banner sat in enough NFL draft rooms to know that anything can happen. He also sat in enough NFL draft rooms to know that it usually doesn't. The former Eagles president, who still acts as an NFL consultant while enjoying a much-less-stressful life, described the typical draft room as being a lot like sitting in front of your own family-room, big-screen TV as each selection is made. His point is that the groundwork is done by the time the draft arrives. The discussions and debates are usually over.
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.