Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie couldn't hide the excitement.
In his opening remarks during his annual State of the Eagles press conference at the NFL's Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, Lurie revealed that the Classic Green jerseys will be added as an alternate in 2023.
"In Philly, we've got the most intense and wonderful fans anybody could ever imagine. I've said it before, I'm very lucky to have been able to own a team in a city that loves football and loves the Eagles as much as they do," Lurie said. "It's what our fans have wanted. It's what we wanted. I just want all of our fans to know, we've listened to you. We've wanted this from the beginning. 2023 is when we'll have the introduction of the Classic Eagles Green."
The NFL softened the rules regarding alternate jerseys in 2018. Lurie eyed the return of the Classic Green jerseys back then, but wanted "to do it right" with a matching helmet. The NFL allowed for a second helmet in 2021 which was the next domino to fall. The Eagles have worked with Nike ever since to get the color "as identical as possible," which is a nearly two-year process.
In the meantime, the Eagles will take advantage of the second helmet rule and add a black helmet to go with the black jerseys in 2022.
"Our players love wearing black, and they love all-black," Lurie said.
The Eagles will then need to convince the league to allow for a third helmet to have all three in the rotation when the Classic Green jerseys are ready to wear.
• Lurie praises Nick Sirianni after the head coach's debut season
In his first season as head coach, Nick Sirianni helped the Eagles rebound from a 2-5 to reach the postseason. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie deemed that 2021 was a "transition year," but was proud to see that everything in the interview process about Sirianni "came to fruition."
"Everything that we loved about Nick in the interview process and on the research process came to fruition in his very first season," Lurie said. "It was not an easy year for him to take over. We were handicapped in different ways, and it was really a transition season and what he was able to do was connect to players, everybody in the building; manage his coaches in an effective way; and bring a vision and an energy."
Sirianni's five core principles serve more than just fancy graphics on the walls of the NovaCare Complex. One of those principles is connection and Lurie was truly impressed with how Sirianni embodies that mantra.
"This guy connects on a really human level. You've probably seen it yourselves, but he connects in a very personal and important level with players of all types, coaches of all types, people in the building. He treats everybody with respect and lives it that way," Lurie said. "I think that's what we saw in the first year of Nick, assembled a great staff, not an ego-driven coach, a confident coach who's very comfortable in his own skin and will only get better and better as the years go by."
• Eagles are "committed" to Jalen Hurts at quarterback
While Sirianni was in his first season as head coach, Jalen Hurts entered 2021 in his first full season as the team's starting quarterback. He guided the offense that led the league in both rushing and explosive plays (Link to Spuds column).
"We have a young 23-year-old playoff quarterback who gets better every year in college and in the pros. He's had really one full year. No one knows where that's going to end up, but I think what you do know is you have a guy that is incredibly dedicated, an excellent leader of men," Lurie said. "Players around him gravitate to him. He will do anything and everything to get better and work on every weakness he has and try to maximize every strength he has. That's why we're committed to Jalen."
• What's next after a successful transition year?
After a transition year, a productive offseason, and a draft with three first-round picks (10 total selections) on the horizon, the Eagles are well positioned to "build for the present and build for the future," Lurie said, with General Manager Howie Roseman overseeing the football operations.
"Howie deserves a lot of credit. Over the last five years, we've been in the playoffs four of the last five years and won a Super Bowl. He's really good at building a roster and rebuilding a roster. He's very, very well regarded in the league," Lurie said.
Lurie witnessed the collaboration between the new coaching staff and the football operations side in the first year of working together. The coaching staff's ability to develop and the football operation's eye for talent will allow for the Eagles to "build a really good roster."
"That's what smart management does. You balance both and you don't want to sacrifice the future, but you also want to maximize the present. That's always the push-pull. I think we can do both at the same time," Lurie said. "I think we've got an excellent, excellent teaching coaching staff. I think we'll have a dynamic strategy and excellent relationship and culture with our players and it's about building the roster and building it for now and for the future. I do know if you're disciplined and focused on maximizing the present and the future at the same time, you have a chance to build a really good roster."