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Jeff Lurie has 'complete respect' for Chip Kelly

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles owner Jeff Lurie has heard the talk about his most visible employee, coach Chip Kelly, but he says there is nothing to the claims that Kelly makes coaching decisions based on race.

"Some of it has been just beyond ridiculous," Lurie said Friday of comments from former Eagles LeSean McCoy and Tra Thomas, who both suggested that Kelly has trouble relating to African-American players and that it influences his personnel decisions.

"Chip's a leader in our organization, and he's held to a very, very high standard," Lurie added. "I watch him … relate to players. His door is always open. I've never even seen that before. He cares about the people, the players. I'm very proud, and I have complete respect for him, as a person and as a coach."

Lurie has known the players involved for a long time. Thomas was the Eagles' first-round draft pick in 1998 and spent 11 years with the team. McCoy became the franchise's career leading rusher last season.

After being traded to Buffalo, McCoy said Kelly "got rid of all the good black players." Thomas, who served as an assistant coach for two seasons under Kelly, said he heard players talking about the coach's perceived issues with black players.

"I know Chip's situation really well," Lurie said. "Listen, LeSean and Tra are really good alumni of our organization. People say things sometimes in a sense when they're quote-unquote rejected. They get dejected because they're rejected, and then they say things.

"I know the way Chip is, and I'm really proud of the way he is."

Lurie also reacted to a recent ESPN investigative piece about the Patriots, which raised issues about New England possibly spying during the era when it beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

"I don't have enough information to make that determination," Lurie said. "I look back on that game, the Super Bowl, as some missed opportunities. We turned the ball over. I tend to focus on that."

Lurie added that he has "a lot of confidence" in commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We all rely on the NFL being a strong investigative body that will look into everything. We all want to play on a completely level playing field," Lurie said. "And we don't know. We just don't know. So it's not just what's been going on with Deflategate or things like that. We're dependent.

"I fully support Roger. Can we tweak the administration of it in some way? Absolutely, you can tweak everything. There's ways to accomplish that."