There were two themes to Jeffrey Lurie's news conference Sunday evening, held to discuss the contract extensions that will keep Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson here through 2022.
The main theme was collaboration, how well Roseman and Pederson work with each other and with the rest of the organization. If there were footnotes after each of Lurie's seven references to how great the collaboration is between the vice president of football operations and the head coach, they would read like this:
1. Unlike Chip Kelly.
2. Unlike Chip Kelly.
3. Unlike Chip Kelly.
4. Unlike Chip Kelly.
5. Unlike Chip Kelly.
6. Unlike Chip Kelly.
7. Unlike Chip Kelly.
But Lurie's secondary theme also was interesting. You'd think a guy who spent 23 years of ownership chasing a Super Bowl title, being denigrated and mocked and tut-tutted throughout the land for not being able to deliver on what he started talking about when he arrived in 1994, would be focused on savoring the moment.
Lurie is not. Sunday night he continued an emphasis he first detailed in his remarks during the NFL owners' meetings in March. Lurie sees the Eagles as having a tremendous opportunity to become the first NFL champs to repeat since the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
He talked about that being part of the process of deciding on the contract extensions. Was he serious? Roseman and Pederson don't get long-term, virtual lifetime passes for doing something nobody had done here in 57 years? That part of it might have been hyperbole. But a component of why Lurie is so fired up about keeping Roseman and Pederson together clearly is that he likes the way they jumped right into trying to do the whole thing all over again.
"I wanted to, you know, observe what success looked like in terms of how people reacted to it. It was not surprising to me that everybody we had in the building was raring to go, including myself, fired up for another season really early on, and whenever [a discussion about contracts] happened, it happened," Lurie said. "The discussions were very short and very, very positive."
In addition to getting along well, Lurie said of Roseman and Pederson: "They're both aggressive. They're both risk-takers. It's part of our culture. We never want to lose that."
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Lurie said the push to repeat began in meetings held Feb. 8, the morning of the championship parade in Center City.
"How they've handled success since Feb. 4 has been something really wonderful to behold," he said. "I think they both treat it like we just finished the season 7-9 or 8-8 and we can do much better than we did. We should be better at several aspects of the organization … every aspect of football.
"There's no sense of 'We just won something gigantic, we're the world champions and we'll let it fly.' Not at all. … Right before the parade, we had meetings on offense, defense and overall football operations. We had everybody there, and I have to tell you, the culture of the coaching staff and the football operations staff was 'This was really great. Let's dig in. It's now Day 1, we're 0-0.' I have to say, it's been that way since Feb. 4."
Also notable was that Lurie didn't mention Joe Douglas until a reporter brought up the vice president for player personnel, whose two years with the organization coincide with the rapid ascent of Pederson and Roseman. There is a good chance that Douglas won't be part of the long-term future Lurie envisions; if the Eagles really do defend their Super Bowl title, he just about has to be running some other operation by this time next year.
"I can't tell you how terrifically positioned I think we are," Lurie said. "It's a tough, tough league. I couldn't be more fired up myself. I don't think I've ever been more fired up for a season than [the one] we're about to undertake, but with a realization that we're also in the NFC; I compare it to the NBA West. There are many, many teams entering this season that I think can be in the Super Bowl. We have to try and collaborate and grind and do all the things that were not sexy, they were just daily grind last year, and do it again and again and again."