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March 03, 2021

Eytan Shander: Will Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie ever fire Howie Roseman?

Opinion Eagles
Lurie-Roseman_012021_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie talks with general manager Howie Roseman.

The short answer is no. Why? Because you don’t fire your son. You may repurpose him, move him to the basement for a couple of years, maybe even give him a false sense of confidence, but no, you don’t fire him.

As we move deeper into months of March and April, we will see the conversations around the Eagles shift to signing free agents, drafting new players and making trades. That means the focus will be back solely on Howie Roseman, just the way he and Lurie like it.

But this is about job security and the way in which this might end. Ask yourself, what would it possibly take for Roseman to lose his job? Because whatever your answer is, multiply it by 10. It’s going to take something extreme — something worse than a 4-11-1 season coupled with a massive organizational failure that led to trading away your starting quarterback and firing your head coach. 

That's a luxury countless few other people in sports have.

At least with Sam Hinke, there was a plan of action in place and it was executed before the NBA stepped in and made changes. Weak ownership allowed that to happen. In this case it’s the opposite. A strong – albeit meddling and belligerent at times – owner has his hands everywhere and the person representing those hands is Roseman.

We always focus on what Roseman has done, or is doing, or we ask, "What pictures does he have on Lurie?" We use whatever stupid phrase is associated with the bewilderment that Roseman is still employed. We're grasping at straws, because it's otherwise unbelievable. How often do you hear some moron calling in a radio show asking the same question now for the past three years: How does this guy still have a job?

Beyond questioning that person’s basic comprehension skills, and the person who keeps going back to him on the phone, I am trying to push the focus back to the real person in charge, Mr. Lurie. We’ve done so many hit pieces my arms are tired, so I’m trying to understand the nature of the relationship between Lurie and Roseman from the owner’s side, not the puppet's.

This feels like a boss who takes a shine to an employee, sees a son-type figure in him, and will do whatever he can to raise that person in the “family” business. I honestly believe Roseman is closer to being groomed to take over the team after Lurie than he is to being fired. This, after a 4-12 season!

If you want to understand why Roseman is still employed, and why Lurie can allegedly interfere with multiple levels of his team, try looking at their peculiar relationship with normal lenses. You will see what I see — a man doing anything and everything to protect the guy he views as a son. Except this isn’t middle management; this is the owner. This is the one guy who makes everything happen with the snap of his fingers, and the “son” is the only other person in the franchise with carte blanche.

Now comes the biggest problem: How would you – as a parent – deal with this phenomenon? 

No, I am not sticking up for Lurie or Roseman, but I am trying to understand what specifically I dislike about this arrangement, instead of just following the herd. Can you be objective as a parent and try to understand at the very least why Lurie let's Roseman get away with everything he does? All of this is reinforced by what appears to be a random shot in the dark, winning a Super Bowl in 2017.

I am having a son – my first child – in June of this year. I don’t need to have been a parent to understand how to be a good parent. I have plenty of role models from my own parents and in-laws to another first-time parent, my wife. I don’t know much about what to expect outside of what I’ve been told and am equally nervous as I am excited.

Here’s what I do know: Everything I do will be for the benefit of my child. I can see myself pushing my son, demanding he give effort and put time into his craft of choice, but also being there as he stumbles, holding myself back trying desperately not to pick him up. Knowing, of course, the only way he truly grows is through picking himself back off the floor.

I don’t want to have to have him learn from mistakes – even while knowing it’s the only way I truly learned, despite the amazing parenting I received. I want to tell him the answers before every single test he takes. I want him to succeed and not have to bust his ass like I do, even though it’s the only way I am able to succeed.

You see the theme? Yes, I am going to be hard on my child when it requires stern growth from teaching moments. But I will fight back the urge to be there for him to the point where he can’t learn from anything other than his own experiences. By adding training wheels to his life, I prevent his ability to learn rather than aid his growth. It will take every single ounce of my being because every single ounce of my being is now focused on him.

Maybe you see it differently as a parent of multiple children, or a non-parent, or maybe I'm just an idiot. That's all fair. It’s taken this life-changing moment and reflection of my own life to truly appreciate the lengths Mr. Lurie will go to protect the only man inside his own organization he can truly call a “son" — Howie. 

Lurie may be guilty of many things when it comes to overreaching as an owner, but nobody will ever accuse him – no matter how it eventually ends for Roseman – of not doing everything he can for his football son.

The Middle w/ Brooks, Mayes and Eytan – Clip of the Week

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