Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie spoke on Tuesday afternoon for the first time since training camp and showed all of us just how out of touch he really is with his customer base. Lurie advised the public he will be bringing back Andy Reid for a 14th season and while this did not come as shocking to most of us.
The thing that is shocking is one of the reasons as to why he’s bringing him back that got under my skin and many others.
Lurie started off strong and spoke of the anger and frustration he had with the 2011 campaign.
He even went as far as saying that 2011 was the most disappointing season ever under his ownership. “This season was without question the most disappointing season since I owned the team. It’s completely unacceptable to be 8-8.” His words early on in the press conference sounded genuine.
I even thought at one point he might possibly be leading into dropping the bomb that Andy Reid will not return. But then I was immediately struck in the head with Eagles reality. As fast as Lurie showed us his distaste and frustration with the team in 2011 he reverted to what seemed to be an “Andy Reid can do no wrong script”.
“You’ve got to have the anger. You’ve got to have the motivation, the dedication, and the focus and the talent. My answer to those questions is yes,” said Lurie. “That’s why I want to see our team coached by Andy Reid next year, and I can’t wait to see that team play. There’s no doubt in my mind, if our focus is on trying to win a championship next year, the best coach for that is Andy.”
This is where Lurie should have just taken questions and walked away but he decided to insult our intelligence by trying to sell us on Coach Reid. Lurie began analyzing the track record of his head coach and it was clear his take on Reid’s track record is much different than what Eagles fans think of it.
Lurie pointed out that since 2008 only the Ravens have reached the playoffs more than the Eagles and that the Birds have made the playoffs more than any other NFC team since 2006.
“You’ve got to be in the tournament to be able to win a SuperBowl. That’s the singular goal. It’s hard enough to get into the playoffs and this coach and his staff have a superb track record of getting into the tournament” said Lurie. This statement is absolutely insulting to the Eagles fan base and shows just how out of touch Jeffrey Lurie is with his customers who pay good money to see this team.
The goal should be to win a SuperBowl every season not just get into the tournament. It’s unacceptable to be content with a coach that simply gets you into the tournament. The fans of this team want to win a SuperBowl not just get into the tournament it’s simply not good enough anymore to simply get there.
Lurie then decided to talk about the intangibles of Coach Reid. “The intangibles are the overriding factor for me,” said Lurie. “What I don’t look for is a player’s coach. I want a coach that coaches hard, and how to get the players to respond to hard coaching? This was, contrary to the 8-8 record, one of the best groups in terms of motivation and energy at practice I’ve ever seen.
“Does [Reid] have the fire in his belly? Does he have what it takes to take a team far into the playoffs and have a shot at the Super Bowl? It’s a grueling profession, as you all know. Andy Reid to me not only has the love of the players and their respect but he also has the fire in his belly to be the best.” I’ve never been an NFL coach but something tells me every coach has the fire in his belly to be the best otherwise they wouldn’t have made it to that level.
Lurie’s use of the Andy Reid intangibles and his impression of Coach Reid’s successful track record are the complete opposite outlook of his paying customers. It’s common sense for an owner of any company to know what his customers want and know how they view their product or service. Lurie seems to think fans are joyous with Andy Reid’s track record of playoff appearances and its mind boggling for an owner to be that out of touch.
Another word Lurie threw around quite often was his use of the word championship. He described the NFC East title as the NFC East Championship. He also described the NFC Championship appearances as arriving to the championship game. Lurie needs to get in touch with owners of a few other teams such as the Steelers, Patriots, Giants, or Cowboys because I’m pretty sure owners of those teams know of only one championship and that’s the SuperBowl.
Lurie is very nonchalant with that word and it should be offensive to all Eagle fans. Winning the NFC East and arriving to the NFC title game are not what we call arriving to the championship or winning a championship. After 13 seasons winning the NFC East or arriving to the NFC title game are not satisfying to Eagles fans. Nothing short of winning the SuperBowl will satisfy us fans.
One important piece of Reid’s track record that should have been stressed more is the fact he’s coached in one SuperBowl in 13 years. This team has had some amazing talent over the years especially early on in the Reid era when the defense was stellar and Donovan McNabb was unstoppable as a starting QB. This team should have had multiple Super Bowl appearances let alone multiple Super Bowls at this point. Yet Lurie kept referring to NFC East Championships and NFC Championship games as the bench mark for a stellar track record.
Part of owning any business is to know what your customers want and how you can improve your product or service to their liking. You need to create a positive brand image for your company and in order to do that it’s imperative you’re in touch with what your customers want from your business. You need to listen to your customers and figure out a way to make them happy.
The owner of the Eagles has no sense of just how frustrated the fans really are with this franchise and it showed with his speech.
Lurie touched on the ignorance of Reid and how he views a side of the coach none of us ever see because he’s so loyal to his players and the organization. Going forward we as a fan base should be giving more heat to the team’s owner because his ability to be so out of touch with his fan base is far more ignorant than Reid blowing off a question at a post game press conference.