December 30, 2015
Now that Chip Kelly is no longer the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, the question becomes who will be the next coach.
It's way too early to answer that -- any names would be complete speculation at this point -- but during his first public comments since deciding to "release" Kelly, owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed a few things about the coaching search that will be important to remember going forward.
First, and most importantly, there aren't any restrictions on the scope of this search.
"No category is diminished here," Lurie said Wednesday. "We're going to look at NFL coaches, NFL coordinators, college coaches, retired coaches, any category you can come up with if we think it's the best candidate."
According to the owner, that also includes current members of the coaching staff, like offensive coordinator and interim head coach Pat Shurmur, who spent two seasons coaching the Cleveland Browns before returning to the Eagles.
"No one is eliminated," he said "Every member of the staff is under contract and, yes, it's possible there will be some interviews of members of the staff."
And even though the last two coaches Lurie hired were both offensively minded, that won't be a consideration when picking Kelly's replacement.
"We're looking for the best leader. I've looked carefully at coaches around the league and where they've come from and I don't think there's any clear evidence of offense over defense or defense over offense," Lurie added. "It comes down to the leadership ability with today's athletes in today's world. It's different than it was some time ago, but I don't treat offense of defense differently."
The coaching search will be led by a three-person team -- the same team that lead their last coaching search -- consisting of Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski. Lurie was quick to point out Wednesday that there will be many more people weighing in, including Tom Donahue, who was just promoted to Senior Director of Player Personnel and others.
But what kind of attributes will they want in their next head coach?
"I think in terms of what we're looking for in a coach, it's several things," Lurie said. "No. 1, a smart, strategic thinker; that's a given. You've got to be looking out for the short-term, the mid-term, and the long-term interests of the franchise. I'm looking for somebody who interacts very well and communicates clearly with everyone he works with and comes in touch with. Someone who understands the passion of our fans and what it's like to coach the Philadelphia Eagles; it's a unique an incredibly passionate fanbase that just wants to win. And you've got to incorporate that in your life, in your heart and you've got to be willing to do that.
"Another thing is attention to detail. I think all good coaches have tremendous attention to detail in this league. And lastly, among other things -- but I just wanted to mention a few -- is you've got to open your heart to players and everyone you want to achieve peak performance. And I would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided and, at the same time, values emotional intelligence. I think in today's world, in the way businesses and sports teams are run, that a combination -- and it's not easy to have -- a combination of all those factors creates the best chance to succeed."
It's strange. Those qualities sound eerily similar to the ones that led the same three men to hiring Kelly nearly three years ago.
One thing, however, that Lurie said he won't be seeking in a coach is the quality that ultimately led to Kelly's downfall: personnel control.
Lurie wants a more collaborative approach going forward between coaching and personnel department, i.e. no more coach-slash-GM.— Matt Mullin (@matt_mullin) December 30, 2015
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin