On the eve of the Parade of Champions back in February, a party 52 years in the making, the coaching staff and football operations department huddled up to begin planning for the 2018 season. Losing over a month due to the playoff run, the Eagles wanted to waste no time even though they were just days removed from the most significant win in franchise history.
It was during this meeting that Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie witnessed the approach that would dictate the offseason.
"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,'" Lurie said.
Over the past few months, Lurie has worked to extend the contracts of the man in charge of the personnel side - executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman - and the head coach, Doug Pederson. On Sunday, the team announced that both Roseman and Pederson signed contract extensions through the 2022 season. Two men, who will continue to collaborate for years to come to ensure that the Super Bowl run in 2017 wasn't a fluke, and that the Eagles are not one-hit wonders. In Lurie's view, extending Roseman and Pederson was "very simple."
"This is an opportunity to really solidify the great leadership we have as an organization. Howie and Doug, two very, very impressive leaders who collaborate and are a big part of the success of this franchise. They really have instilled a culture of collaboration and teamwork. It's all about the group and the team. They work well with everybody. They're not afraid of hiring people that are very smart and terrific within their areas," Lurie said.
"They both I think have an awareness for what it takes to win big and they both realize that it takes everybody to win big. It's not about any one executive, one coach, one player, one anything in this league. It all has to come together. That experience of being World Champions I think just ratified or reiterated the need to be incredibly collaborative and also at the same time, never ever losing the smart risk-taking mentality of our organization in hopefully every aspect."
Lurie added that "it takes a village to win a championship," adding team president Don Smolenski's direction on the business operations front as a huge part of the equation. Lurie fulfilled the promise of delivering the City of Philadelphia a Super Bowl title. And the hunger burns brighter than ever.
"Our goal every year is to win the Super Bowl. I can't tell you how terrifically positioned I think we are. 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 we're about to undertake, but with a realization that we're also in the NFC," Lurie said.
It is a critical time for the Eagles. Lurie compared the NFC to the NBA's Western Conference, stacked with a plethora of legitimate championship contenders. Can the Eagles become the Golden State Warriors of the NBA The Eagles have an advantage with franchise quarterback Carson Wentz still playing on his rookie deal. It is imperative that Roseman and vice president of football operations Joe Douglas continue to mine young talent to surround Wentz. The Eagles will be among the league leaders in draft picks next spring. And then Pederson and his staff must cultivate and develop those players to avoid having to go to high-priced players in free agency.
"One of the great things about this coaching staff is not only are they great coaches, they're great teachers as part of that. They're terrific teachers," Lurie said. "They want to develop young talent. And the key to sustaining great success is definitely bringing along that young talent because in a salary cap world, which averages out, so the average team basically fulfills their expenditures, because everyone spends the same, if you're a lot better than that, you better develop the draft choices otherwise you have no chance to keep winning big."
When you have a young, burgeoning talent, you want to sign that player early and for a long time to ensure his services. Lurie views it the same way with his top personnel executive and head coach.
"There is just an ability to be wonderfully collaborative between them, between their staffs," Lurie said. "They're both aggressive. They're both risk-takers. It's part of our culture. We never want to lose that. And they're also smart."
At this time of year, each team has about a three percent chance of winning the Super Bowl. Lurie wants to do everything in his power to increase those odds. Sunday's announcement will do just that for years to come.
The Eagles hosted their first of two public practices this Training Camp at Lincoln Financial Field on August 5. It was also Military Appreciation Night presented by Dietz & Watson.