PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Lurie recently celebrated his 20th anniversary as an NFL owner. Lurie bought the Philadelphia Eagles from Norman Braman way back in 1994.
After Wednesday’s practice at the NovaCare Complex, Lurie was asked if he expected to win a Super Bowl by now.
“I don’t know,” Lurie said, “but I’m obsessed with it. If you love the sport as much as I do, and you love this team and this city as much as I do, that’s the ultimate goal. Until that happens, it’s a hunger. And even if it does happen, it will be a hunger because you don’t want to just be satisfied to have it happen once. It’s my obsession, trying hard to make it happen.”
The Eagles came close, reaching the Super Bowl a decade ago, after the 2004 season. They also lost four NFC championship games during coach Andy Reid’s tenure. But things turned sour after the last of those in 2008. Lurie finally changed coaches in January 2013, completing a makeover of the entire Eagles hierarchy.
“I feel really good,” Lurie said. “I feel very lucky to have a coach and a coaching staff that is really dynamic, a young general manager (Howie Roseman) I think is really outstanding and a young president (Don Smolenski) who is terrific and brings everybody together. It’s lucky for me as an owner. I feel like we have an excellent young team, and we just need to get better. It’s not that complicated.”
It was hard for Lurie to move on from Reid, but he has found a new face for his franchise in former Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
“I just think we got a good coach and a really good coaching staff,” Lurie said. “They just want to get better. They don’t know how to classify themselves or how to compete with last year. It’s just about getting better. Be quiet about it, work at it and get better. The fact that everyone is used to a lot of the schemes on our part, I think, allows for better execution. I’m excited to see how we are (this season).”
Lurie said he expects expectations to be higher this season after the Eagles went 10-6 and won the NFC East title in Kelly's first season.
“It will rise every year, because you just want to get better and better,” Lurie said. “Getting better every day is my expectation.”
Lurie also expects quarterback Nick Foles to take a step forward in his first full season as the starter.
“It’s hard not to be impressed with him from Day 1 in terms of off-the-field [things],” Lurie said. “Just incredibly hard worker, great work ethic, very humble, so respected by everybody around him. I remember talking to Michael Vick about him last year and a little bit the year before. Mike was saying, `Sheesh, this guy is such a superb team player.’ He was only 24 years old at that point and just incredibly respected in the locker room and talented and young and just wants to get better.”