Lurie’s State of the Eagles
PHILADELPHIA - Jeffrey Lurie was on the defensive Friday.
Speaking to reporters after Friday's practice, the Eagles owner defended his head coach from the veiled racism chargers coming from former players like LeSean McCoy and Tra Thomas, and also had the back of embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is facing mounting criticism thanks to his botched efforts in handling various league crises.
"Some of it has been beyond ridiculous," Lurie responded when asked about the shots taken at Chip Kelly. "Chip is a leader in our organization and he is held to a very high standard. I watch him on the field, how he relates to players. His door is always open, I've never even seen that before. He cares about the people, the players and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as both a person and coach.
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"People say things sometimes when they are quote unquote rejected. They get dejected because they're rejected and then they say things. I know the way Chip is and I'm very proud of who he is."
Kelly also provided a glowing endorsement of Goodell, who came off looking bad again during Thursday night's opener between New England and Pittsburgh as the NFL had trouble with frequency coordination issues.
"I have a lot of confidence in Roger," Lurie claimed. "There is a couple of things a commissioner in any sport has to accomplish . One is the business end but two other important aspects is improving the health and safety of the sport and making sure we have a level playing field.
"We as a team don't have the information to ensure it's a level playing field so we all rely on the leagues. We are very much dependent on the NFL being a strong investigative body that will look at everything. We all want to play on a completely level playing field."
The Eagles' boss believes Goodell has accomplished that although most disagree. As for Philadelphia's own Super Bowl loss to the Pats, Lurie claimed he's over it despite renewed allegations that New England was filming opposition signals during that time.
"Factually I personal don't have enough information to make that determination," He said. "I look back at that game as some missed opportunities. We turned the ball over and I tend to focus on that. I've moved way on and there is nothing we can do about that."
So "it's on to Atlanta" as Lurie joked with a new quarterback who has been lights out in the preseason.
"(Sam Bradford) has been everything we've hoped for so far," the owner said. "A wonderful leader, very bright. Obviously the football talent is impressive and it was just what we hoped for when we traded for him."
That hope has translated to many in the national media who have pegged Philadelphia as the "it" team.
"I have no idea (what's going to happen)," Lurie said. "I think what we have is a really great culture, a really great hard-working team. A very committed group with great chemistry. Great summer, excellent preseason but that doesn't correlate. You gotta play when it's really prime time and regular season.
"There's no correlation between preseason and regular season at all. The ingredients look great, it looks wonderful but now we gotta go out and beat Atlanta."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen