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Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie and Head Coach Doug Pederson



JEFFREY LURIE**: Welcome to everybody on a cold, Philly day.I can't tell you how excited I am to welcome back Doug Pederson to the Eagles family. This was a very, very detailed and exhaustive search process, some of which we could share publically, but most of it is a very private and intense few weeks that goes on in the NFL, I'm sure with most teams and ours was no exception. I first want to reach out and thank everybody who was involved in the search process, especially Don [Eagles president Don Smolenski] and Howie [Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman] and [Eagles senior director of player personnel] Tom Donahoe and all of our special advisors that we had. This was really a terrific, terrific process: the best I've been a part of. And it's also a long one in the sense of a lot happens in a couple weeks, but in most businesses, it would take place over many months. In the NFL, it gets very condensed. In this process, we started with about 25 candidates that we completely researched, analyzed, vetted, however you want to describe it. And that research started during the season -- at some point late in the season -- and it gave us some time to -- if we needed to go this direction -- be fully prepared for the search process. The good news in the NFL is that there's a lot of real good candidates. When we went from looking at 25 viable candidates, we then reduced it to about 10 candidates that we were very, very interested in, some of whom were existing head coaches on other teams, waiting to see if they would be available and creating our own top tier of candidates, in addition to internal candidates. So that list ended up being about 10 or 11 candidates that we were totally focused on.I have to say that the candidates we ended up interviewing were all impressive. It is a really good fortune for people to develop such young talent and [there is a] multi-type of talent in the NFL, whether it's young coordinators, impressive internal candidates [or] very experienced head coaches in the National Football League. [There are] very, very impressive people, smart and really able to be very successful I think in the NFL.We then, basically from all the interviews, continued to analyze, research and with all of us and our advisors, unanimously came to the conclusion that the best man for the job and the best leader in this process was Doug Pederson.The main features with Doug that really impressed all of us, and especially myself, were first, [he is] real smart. [He's a] real smart, strategic thinker. Things we noticed early on in his career, but really blossomed over the last decade of coaching. As a player and a coach, he worked under coaches that really knew how to do it right, whether it's Don Shula, Mike Holmgren or Andy Reid, these were well organized coaches that absolutely were at the forefront and are at the forefront of their profession.As a player, how he worked with our quarterbacks that he was playing with, and as coaching them, as well, terrific, just terrific. Communications skills, unparalleled. A key ingredient for me, and I think when you go to this it kind of defines differences between candidates, and that is who is the most comfortable in their own skin. And when I say that, what I mean is an ability to be genuine at all times. I got to spend a lot of time with our players at the beginning of this coaching search, and the message loud and clear [was] -- which I agree with in terms of leadership in today's world -- no matter what, you've got to be comfortable in your own skin in order to be able to reach out, be genuine with those you want to get high performance from, be accountable to them and make them accountable to you. When you get down to it, that's something that we were not going to go away from. That was a very key variable, and Doug has that unquestionably. I think what Doug brings also is an understanding of the passion of our fans in Philadelphia. This wasn't a requirement for the job, but he understands how dedicated and obsessed we all are to bring a Super Bowl to Philadelphia. He's talked about it for years and years and years; he continues to talk about it and understands a lot of the issues of what we all want to bring to the best city in terms of football fans imaginable. So that's another piece of it.We can go into many more variables, but I'm going to tell you that at the end of the search, this was an easy call. With that, I'd like to welcome back Doug Pederson and introduce him as the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

DOUG PEDERSON: I'm standing here before you, just a humbled human being. There's a lot of people I want to thank, and the first people is obviously the Kansas City Chiefs. [Chiefs Chairman and CEO] Clark Hunt and the Hunt family for giving me the opportunity to be the offensive coordinator there for three years. Mark Donovan, the team president, and Coach Andy Reid, one of my mentors in my life. And then turn this chapter of my life back to Philadelphia. I started my career here in 1999 as a starting quarterback, I came back as a position coach with Coach Reid, and now I'm back as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.So with that, I want to thank Tina and Jeffrey Lurie for this opportunity; Howie Roseman, Don Smolenski, the search team and the committee. The efforts that were put forth in finding their next head coach, and last but not least, I want to thank my wife, who is here today, Jeannie. She's been my rock, my support and my inspiration for anything and everything that we've done together as a couple.Looking at the Philadelphia Eagles and what intrigued me about coming back to Philadelphia: One is an opportunity to lead young men. An opportunity to be surrounded by quality individuals, top-notch individuals and a tremendous owner: an owner that gives you the fullest of support. The players that are in this room. My challenge to them is that we are going to work every day. We are going to work hard every day. We are going to come to work every day. As coaches, it's our job to make you better: to make you better as individuals, to make you better as men and to make you better as Philadelphia Eagles. And that's my job. It starts with me.I understand the culture and the passion of Philadelphia. I get it. I experienced that as a quarterback in 1999. I experienced that firsthand. And now coming back, I understand what it feels like to win in this city. This city hasn't won and this organization hasn't won in quite some time. It's my job to turn that around. And you do it one day at a time. You do it one player at a time and you do it one coach at a time.So as I continue to go through the evaluation process, you know, nothing's settled. Nothing's settled. You evaluate the team and you evaluate the coaches. You want to put the best people in place, not only for the Philadelphia Eagles, but people that are Doug Pederson people. People that I can trust, coaches that I can trust, coaches that I can trust that they are doing the best things for their players, whether it be in the training room, the strength and conditioning department, the personnel department, and obviously the coaching department.And so I'm proud to announce right now, Jim Schwartz will be our defensive coordinator for the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles. I'm excited to have him, his track record and his defenses that have led the National Football League. I've had a chance to coach against him and I'm glad he's on our team now. So I'm honored to have him to be a part of my staff.

So with that, we're ready to answer questions.

Q. You just mentioned Jim Schwartz. Do you have an offensive coordinator set yet and what are your plans at the quarterback position with Eagles QB Sam Bradford looking at free agency soon?

DOUG PEDERSON: To answer that, I'm still going through the evaluation process there. I haven't decided yet on an offensive coordinator. Interviewing a few people, and again, just evaluate that position. I know it's an important position. From where I come from the last three years, [the offensive coordinator is] tied directly in with the quarterback position. And looking at the quarterback position here, I think Sam's a quality quarterback; I think he's a top-notch quarterback. Look what he did the last half of the season and the numbers that he was able to put up. I feel like he's an individual, he's a quarterback that would fit perfectly into a system that I'm going to bring. And so, you know, as we evaluate, as I evaluate that position, those decisions will be made as we go.

Q. You have been in the NFL as a coach for seven years now after initially coaching high school. You've had two years as a quality control guy, two as a position coach and then three as a coordinator. That's a lot less coaching experience than most NFL head coaches have. How much of a hindrance, if any, is that, and how do you kind of overcome that and make up for the lack of actual coaching experience?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I think being a head football coach in the National Football League, you have to be a great listener. You have to listen to your players, you have to listen to your coaches and you have to listen to the fans. I think that makes you a better person. I think the people that I've been surrounded with in my career, the Don Shulas, the Mike Holmgrens, the Andy Reids, and being a part of championship organizations [such as] the Green Bay Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs and being a part of the Philadelphia Eagles, and understanding what that takes and that dynamic to win in the National Football League, has prepared me for this opportunity.

Q. Like you said, you're familiar with this city and you're also familiar with Andy Reid. The perception here is that because of your connection to Andy, people are wanting to know, 'Are they getting Andy back?' Is that a good or bad thing and do you feel you need to separate yourself from that, and if so, how will you do that?

DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, Andy Reid is a mentor. I'll be the first one to tell you that he is. But I'm also here to tell you that this is not an Andy Reid football team and it's not a Doug Pederson football team, this is a Philadelphia Eagle football team. So I'm going to bring my spin on it, I'm going to bring my personality to it, and we're going to make it our team going forward.

Q. Will you call plays on offense?

DOUG PEDERSON: I will. I will.

Q. How much responsibility did you have for the Chiefs final drive in the playoff game against New England?

DOUG PEDERSON: I'll tell you -- I'll even go back a little bit further. I was able to call plays [this season] really since the Pittsburgh game on, if you follow the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Reid and I had a great understanding and a great feel for the game. He allowed me to call the second half of every football game from that Steeler game on. The second half of our playoff game the other night, I had the second half. I did have the second half and so I called the entire second half at that point.

Q. Why did that drive take so long?

DOUG PEDERSON: It took us time because No. 1, we did not want to give [Patriots QB] Tom Brady the ball back. We knew we were going to score. We knew we had timeouts and time. We were also limited with the number of receivers; we had [Chiefs WR] Jeremy Maclin out of the game at the time. We were down numbers. We felt like at that point, not to give the ball back to Tom Brady. We still had timeouts and time, even with the onside kick, to put ourselves in a position to tie the football game.

Q. What did you learn from Andy Reid as far as organizing, leading a locker room of men and holding players accountable as a head coach?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think that last one is the most important part: holding the players accountable. It starts with me. I've got to hold myself accountable and then I've got to hold my assistant coaches accountable. The message has to be one message. One thing that I [learned from] Coach Reid over the years, being with him, is his consistency and his message of family first, of trusting one another and you can't sacrifice hard work. And listen, we cranked through training camps. Our training camps were tough. Our practices were tough. But he never wavered from that and I think that consistency has made him a successful football coach in the National Football League and those are the things that I want to bring here: the things that I learned from him that I can use here in my journey.

Q. Can you describe what the search process was like for you and what the timeline was from when you met with the Eagles, I guess it was that Sunday, through Thursday when they hired you? It seemed like they were also looking at some other guys and just kind of what your thoughts were during that whole four or five days.

DOUG PEDERSON: First of all, it was a tremendous honor to be even mentioned and then obviously having an interview. It has been a dream and a goal of mine. I think you get into this league, one, by being the best coach you can be in whatever that role is. But as you are on teams that are successful, you begin to kind of climb the ladder so to speak. So to be mentioned with the guys that were mentioned here and were interviewed here, I felt honored and privileged. It was a little tough because we were still in the postseason, so trying to separate preparing for an interview and getting ready for a football game, you know, and keeping those two things separate, it was tough. I'm not going to lie, it was tough. But it was something -- because we were getting ready to play Houston, and everything was obviously very successful down there in Houston at that time. But the preparation part I think was easy, because it was about being yourself when you go into those things and showing who you actually and really are.

Q. To kind of piggyback off that last question, it seemed like the organization had some other guys that they were more interested in. Does it bother you that you weren't the first choice?

DOUG PEDERSON: Because I'm here today, no.

Q. Is that the way you viewed it?

DOUG PEDERSON: I just felt that they were going to select the best man for the job. And they feel that they have confidence in me, and I'm going to show that same confidence and that same respect back, and I don't want to disappoint.

Q. You mentioned Sam Bradford. Have you had any contact with him? Do you know him at all? Have you had a chance to --

DOUG PEDERSON: You know what, I don't know him personally. I think he's a tremendous player. I liked him coming out of college, when we evaluated him before. But again, he's someone I do want to reach out to and talk and have conversations with.

Q. Based on that then, what in your mind makes Bradford an ideal quarterback -- I assume you're going to run the West Coast offense -- for your version of what you want to do offensively? What makes him perfect for that?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think there's a little bit of a -- you say West Coast; I think that has kind of gone by the wayside just a touch. I'll tell you this: the core values of the offense, the core principles, some of the core plays are West Coast-ish. We have developed a hybrid-type system. We utilize our players' and quarterback's strengths with the offensive system, use our players' strengths. I think Sam, he's got all the tools, there's no question. There's no denying that. Got good size, got a great arm, good mind for the game, and it's just a matter of now just plugging him in and cutting him loose and utilizing those strengths in this system.

Q. When you talked with your family about moving back here and the kids, were you excited to come back to a place you know, and is it nice knowing the area, favorite dinner spots, things like that?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, that was -- our kids were thrilled, honestly. Our oldest son actually graduated from Morristown High School [in Morristown, NJ], spent four years here. Our second son, Josh, is going to graduate this spring there in Kansas City [in the] Overland Park area, and our youngest who will be a freshman, is actually probably the most fired up because all of his buddies are texting him and telling him, 'Come on back. We've got travel baseball spots for you, we've got basketball spots, we've got your high school spot ready to go.' It does make that transition much easier knowing that you're coming back to a place that's very familiar to you.

Q. For Doug or for Jeffrey, who has control of the 90-man roster and who has control of the 53-man roster?

DOUG PEDERSON: I know this, it's a collaborative effort. It's Howie, myself, Tom Donahoe, there's a bunch of people but that's the nucleus of the group and we'll make the best decisions for the football team.

Q. Who breaks the tie?

DOUG PEDERSON: [Jeffrey Lurie raises his hand off stage followed by laughter]

Q. During your interview, what is it when you walked away, what is it you think sold the Eagles on you? What does it take to jump from a coordinator to a head coach? And for Jeffrey, what was it for you and how much input did former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski have in the process?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think walking away from that interview, the familiarity with the guys in the room, and [senior vice president, general counsel] Aileen [Dagrosa] was there, the ladies in the room. And just I think the genuine feel of walking away going, 'This feels really right. This feels right.' I think, two, you also look at, you know, you can look at the 'X's' and 'O's', and you can look at what we did offensively. You can look at a 1-5 record and turning it around and making the postseason with a chance to win your division at the end and say, 'You know what, something there was special. And he was a part of that team at that point.' And I think just, too, just knowing each other, you know, and having that common bond and understanding this right here, understanding this community, this city, the passion that these fans have, I think is a big part of why I'm standing here today.

Q. When you jump from a coordinator to a head coach, what changes?

DOUG PEDERSON: It's that normal progression, I think. You know, it doesn't hurt to have an Andy Reid endorsement, you know. His track record and being under his tutelage for seven years, I think doesn't hurt, also.

Q. Jeffrey, what sold you on Pederson? What sold you, and how much involvement did Jaworski have in the process?

JEFFREY LURIE: I already went through what sold me on Doug. It was numerous things. Checked the box on everything we looked at from football intelligence, overall intelligence, strategic thinking, communication skills, collaboration skills, genuineness, comfortable in your own skin, I mean leadership abilities. Those were the obvious ones. It was pretty easy. I want to sort of correct a misinterpretation. I guess some questions get asked based on belief in your own media reports, but at no point was anybody about to be offered a job besides Doug Pederson, so that was -- that's where that is. And the last question was Ron. Ron was just one piece of the entire pool, a very valuable one. When he can really contribute is on leadership, on 'X's' and 'O's', on football IQ and things like that. The beauty of this search was the ability, and I guess it's because of being in the league for 20-plus years, I have great relationships with head coaches around the league, several of which have worked here. You know, I made it very, very clear to them and they to me that we would talk every few days during this search. Jaws was one very valuable source but I have to tell you, I would never want to go through a head coaching search without having had all the conversations I had with terrific, successful head coaches in the NFL working today. They have the best insight on what leadership is all about in today's NFL. There's no competition for that knowledge. There's no way to get that unless you're a head coach of an NFL team, know what it really takes to succeed in this very difficult league. I can't thank everybody who really invested time, some of them in the playoffs and some not; terrific head coaches, going over every candidate with me, their strengths and weaknesses if they knew them, and it gave me a tremendous amount of confidence in the whole process. I wish I was able to do that when I was a first-time owner. And this now, it's a great situation to be able to have sort of the unspoken resources. They were awesome.

Q. Doug, what was the best piece of advice you got about becoming a head coach and who did it come from?

DOUG PEDERSON: Be yourself. Everybody I talked to.

Q. No one in particular?

DOUG PEDERSON: Coach Reid, Mr. Lurie, Jim Schwartz, former head coaches, just be yourself.

Q. There have been reports of some assistants already in place being held over from the previous regime. Can you confirm, will Dave Fipp be back as your special teams coordinator; Jeff Stoutland, the offensive line coach, Duce Staley as your running backs coach; Ken Flajole has been hired, what's his role?

DOUG PEDERSON: I'll tell you this, we're still in an evaluation process. I would tell you that Dave Fipp will be retained. I like his style. He's one of the top special teams units in the National Football League the last few years. I like his style. Jeff Stoutland as offensive line [coach], I like his demeanor and what he brings to that room. I think there's continuity there. There's a toughness there and there's a style that I like with him. And then going forward from there, I'm still in the evaluation process and that's where we're at for right now.

Q. What about Ken Flajole? It was reported that he turned down the defensive coordinator position at UTEP to work here.

DOUG PEDERSON: I've been in talks with him, talking with him and there's a potential of hiring him, as well. But again, it's all part of the evaluation process. I can't give you anything more than that.

Q. To piggyback off of that especially since you just played three days ago, how much were you involved in the selection of your staff?

DOUG PEDERSON: I had full cooperation there. I was given the opportunity to search and put together the best staff, not only for the Philadelphia Eagles but for me, and the guys that fit with my personality and what I believe in. So I was given the support of that.

Q. Doug said it doesn't hurt to have an Andy Reid endorsement. What did Andy tell you about Doug and how much of an influence was that on your decision?

JEFFREY LURIE: You know, it was one of many influences on the decision, but the detail of Andy's analysis of Doug over the years and especially in the last few weeks was important, because it was so thorough. The experiences of Doug as a coach and how he deals with players was detailed. It was extremely valuable in terms of understanding the core of Doug Pederson. It's something you can't get from an interview; but somebody who has literally had probably 800 interviews with Doug every day on the field and classrooms and all that. It's important. However, I want to just say that equally as important to me were those that didn't know Doug as well, because they had a chance to really analyze him more from afar and did their own research. I can't tell you the positivity of the other head coaches that we talked to and general managers and people like that. It was unanimous in terms of who were the best of the up-and-coming coaches to be head coach in the NFL, and I went into it just wanting to hear, that was all. I was a good listener.

Q. Doug, you mentioned Sam Bradford fits what you want to do on offense. How does RB DeMarco Murray fit into your game plan offense and what players on the offensive side of the ball are you most looking forward to working with?

DOUG PEDERSON: Really all of them. Got some guys over there that I'm very familiar with, you know. [TE] Brent Celek being one of them. [T] Jason Peters being one of them. [C Jason] Kelce being one of them. Guys that I've had a chance to work with in the past. And then with the addition of some of the younger guys, I think a Demarco Murray fits well into what I can bring. I think there's a unique style there with him. When you go back and look at his tape in Dallas, I think there's some great opportunities with him, more of a downhill-type guy, physical running back. And then with Sam, I think Sam brings a whole skill set that benefits him. You know, it is a pass-friendly system, but yet it's not so much of a vertical system than what people think. Today's game has changed offensively. You're seeing more spread-style offenses in the National Football League. You're seeing more of the run/pass options that the quarterbacks have at the line of scrimmage. Quarterbacks today have the ability to think with their brain and I want to tap into that, too, and put the offense into a great -- a better play in any situation. So just tapping into those guys makes it more advantageous for you offensively.

Q. When you look at the roster you're inheriting, is this a team that you believe can be back in serious playoff contention next season?

DOUG PEDERSON: I do. I do. And there's some pieces that we've got to work on and try to get back, and free agency, as you know, you're going to lose some and you're going to gain some. I think the nucleus of this football team is very good. It's structured very well. There's some talent here and I do believe that you can put yourself in a position to not only win the [NFC] East, but have a chance to get yourself into the postseason and then go deep into the postseason.

Q. Mr. Lurie, you talked a little bit about the front office structure when we talked to you a couple weeks ago. Can you just explain why you prefer a collaborative approach over just having a general manager who has just one voice who has final say? And second part of that question, obviously the situation with Howie, when you removed the personnel element from his job for a year when former head coach Chip Kelly took control, can you talk about what gives you the confidence to restore that from what he's done?

JEFFREY LURIE: Well, I'll preface the questions by say we're about to do a search for a player personnel head. That will really be an important search that we are all participating in, starting this week. Given that search and given the competitive nature of that search, what I'd like to do is really talk to you more about structure and the exact nature of those once the search is over, because I don't want to sort of telegraph anything we're doing.

Q. Jeffrey, you've been here two decades. You know this fan base, you know this city, and you had to go in knowing when Doug came here, what some of the initial reaction would be. What gave you the confidence that he can thrive in the cauldron you're putting him in?

JEFFREY LURIE: Oh, I think we've got the best fan base in the United States, bar none. Best football fans in America without any question. You know, we weren't playing all that well going into the Arizona game or the Washington game for the division, and the electricity in the stadium, the fans' faith that we could possibly win the NFC East and head into the playoffs from that was incredible. The fans just want to win. In picking a new head coach, it's not about winning the press conference. It's just about picking the best leader and it was very clear to us that was the way to go.

Q. Doug, while Andy Reid has obviously had some very strong success in the league, the concept of clock management has been an issue for many years, and certainly we saw it here in Philadelphia. Totally aside from what just happened this past weekend, what is it about his approach offensively, I don't know if it's about verbiage and how long it takes to get plays in, communicating it; what is it about the approach he has had that has led to pretty consistent issues with clock management and what can you as the head coach do to avoid that happening in the future? You mentioned about giving the quarterback an opportunity to survey the field and make adjustments. What can you do to put the quarterback in a position to avoid the issues that have existed?

DOUG PEDERSON: The best way is to practice those situations every week, which we've done, which we do. Teams in the National Football League work on those scenarios and those situations all the time. And again, it goes back to the decision of -- particularly in that game, you don't want to give a great quarterback an opportunity to win the football game. Keep the time, keep the timeouts. One thing we did in Kansas City is we actually streamlined our offense. We cut out a bunch of terminology. We gave the quarterback the flexibility; the keys to the car, so to speak. And we as coaches put our players in the best situations possible on game day to allow them to play fast, to allow them to play free, to use their talents. And those situations are worked in OTAs, they are worked in training camp, they are worked during the regular season. And it's my responsibility as a head football coach to make sure that those situations are covered and that you make good of the time that you have.

Q. Will the new player personnel head report to Howie Roseman?

JEFFREY LURIE: All questions of structure will be determined after the search is complete.

Q. So you haven't made a decision on that yet?

JEFFREY LURIE: Can't reveal any decision on that because it would impact our ability to find the right people that we have designated in the search.

Q. In December, you had said that you gave Chip Kelly full control of personnel because you wanted to hold him accountable. How will you hold Howie Roseman accountable?

JEFFREY LURIE: No matter what structure and ability to have a great personnel head and player personnel department, accountability will be the No. 1 feature and that goes for everybody. It goes for Howie, it goes for the player personnel head and it goes for the head coach. My No. 1 priority going into this offseason is accountability.

Q. So how will you measure it?

JEFFREY LURIE: Will be completely accountable.

Q. By who?


Q. By the personnel decisions made in the offseason?

JEFFREY LURIE: By everything, managing everything. In terms of all of his responsibilities as they are revealed after the search, he'll be responsible.

Q. Will he have final say on the draft?

JEFFREY LURIE: You're going into questions that we will answer after the search.

Q. I just think the fans really want to know exactly who is making decisions for the team in the draft room when you guys are on the clock and when you guys are making decisions about free agency.

JEFFREY LURIE: Right. It doesn't quite ever work out that way, it's very collaborative. But trust me, as soon as we finish this search, accountability will be 100 percent.

Q. Doug, what one or couple things as a player, as a quarterback, most prepared you to lead men as a head coach in this league and do you think the league is a different league when you played quarterback and if so, how so?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think being a former quarterback, kind of the leader of your football team, you're in front of the media quite often as a quarterback. You're out in front. You're the voice of the team. You're the voice of a lot of great men in that locker room. So I think that has given me the opportunity, has given me a basis to stand here today. And the second part?

Q. About how the league's changed.

DOUG PEDERSON: I think the speed of the game. I think the speed of the game; I think the players that we are getting from college now are coming to us with -- especially on offense, they are coming to us from systems that are very fast. Tempo is very fast. I think there's a place for tempo. We love tempo. We used it in Kansas City where I just came from and it's a good change up. I think that's the biggest thing that you're seeing today in the spread style of offenses, particularly in your short-yardage situations, even some of your goal line situations, where you're not just packing the box with 11 big bodies. You're spreading the field and giving your quarterback and your offense a favorable chance to make those downs.

Q. You mentioned Jim Schwartz as your defensive coordinator. Can you confirm whether you'll run a 4-3 and what type of defense you think your personnel fits?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think the best way to answer that is, I don't think -- I don't think you can come in and say, 'We're going to be this.' I think what you do is you come in and you evaluate your personnel and you use your personnel that best fits them, and then you structure your offense and defense based on that.

Q. What are your thoughts on training camp? I know the team has not gone away for the last three years and Andy Reid usually does. Do you plan to go away?

DOUG PEDERSON: Those are things that we'll discuss this offseason. I did briefly kind of, in the interview process, we kind of talked about that. It's a great set up here. I don't know all the ins and outs, yet, on that. That's something that we'll talk about as this offseason unfolds. But I kind of like the idea of doing it right here in our backyard and keeping it local where the people can come and it makes it more accessible to them.

Q. Jeffrey, it seemed like throughout the search, Andy Reid was kind of a big theme throughout it, whether it was the guys you were looking at or things the players said and what they kind of wanted as a head coach. Can you kind of explain at least if that perception is real or why do you think that was or that is?

JEFFREY LURIE: You know I think Andy is respected by a lot of people, but I have to go back to the fact that in terms of our search, he was one helpful voice and that's it. It was a lot of conversations with a lot of people that I personally have great respect for their track record in the National Football League. Hours and hours of conversations with head coaches that all of you know and I think respect. It was very multi-directional. You know, Andy was one valuable voice amongst many.

Q. You had said last March that the only thing that correlates to success in this league is having a franchise quarterback. You've got a major financial decision to make on Sam Bradford. Do you think what you saw this year, that he is a franchise quarterback?

JEFFREY LURIE: I think, really, this is the time to leave that to the evaluation process. We have a new head coach who understands the quarterback position a lot more than I do. I think all the input of someone who really is now in charge of our football team as head coach will have a very large influence over that. Sam did a lot of good things and he seemed to get better during the course of the season, but that's -- it is the key. Structure is -- accountability is crucial and franchise quarterback is very, very important.

Q. You spoke last month about an exhaustive search and again used the word exhaustive today, but from a public perception standpoint, there were only six candidates interviewed, four outside of the building. Could you go just a little bit deeper in terms of some of the conversations and maybe the amount of -- the extensiveness of the search that led you to Doug, maybe outside of what the public had been made aware of?

JEFFREY LURIE: Yeah, in these searches, there's always a disconnect. It's frustrating, as the owner, between the public in the search process because you just can't reveal what is really going on, because otherwise you're not able to conduct the search process in a very neutral -- and in a competitive environment, you want to be completely doing it the way you feel it should be done. I can only describe to you the vetting of 25 candidates to begin with. We're talking probably about 2,000 pages of information, files, dramatically large files on every single candidate. Almost like you're involved in a first-round draft pick, only much more, because you have much more information. When I tell you the files on each potential candidate of the 25, these are large, large blocks of information to digest in terms of every aspect of leadership, how they deal with players, how they have handled different crises in their career in their personal life, whatever you can come up with, is hopefully in that file. So you go through 25 candidates over and over, talking to, as I said, multiple people in the profession that know these people a lot better than we do, and that's how you get from 25 to 10. Ten was the number where we thought they were 10 really qualified candidates of which three or four became unavailable because they were able to keep the jobs they were in or they decided not to leave college. And that was -- that accounted for getting it from 10 to six. What we didn't want to do is because three or four were not fired from their present jobs, go back to the Tier Two list. It didn't make any sense. We had already decided, these were the 10. One of these 10 was going to be the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. And that's the process. I've only done it a few times, but it's always frustrating to me that you spend so much time in the research and discussion with so many people, but you can't reveal that during the process. You just can't explain it. It's not fair to those that are helping you and it's not fair to those you're competing with. I apologize for the misconnection there, but it's the nature of the search in the NFL. You know, when you're a CEO of a normal business, you take six months to figure out who the next CEO is going to be, and you can talk to many people, you can tell people who you talked to. You can talk within other companies. The whole thing is a very, very different and more public operation, and with this, you've got to be both sort of clandestine, yet you owe it to the public to try to let them know who you're meeting with. The numbers you meet with have nothing to do with the process.

Q. A minute ago you said you started the process late in the season, quote, 'In case we had to go in this direction.' Do I understand that correctly to say the process of whittling down candidates or identifying candidates began before you fired Chip?

JEFFREY LURIE: No. The research started. I've always been one to feel you have to have research started long before you ever make a final decision, because that research is the key. You've got to do the legwork or you're going to be making it off of names. You've got to have, you know, so much detail of information, conversations planned, who you're going to talk to about candidate No. 14; who are the connections that really know how that coach was when he was a coach or an assistant coach or whatever it was; who are the players that played for him; who are the general managers that he worked with; maybe potentially owners. So you've got to have it all planned out. We were ready to roll by the time a final decision was made on Chip and that gave us both an advantage in terms of research, and also as I said before, the week I was able to spend meeting with the players was invaluable, because in the end, you've got to try to relate and get the players to play at peak performance. And what does team mean? What does team mean to the players? What coaches would be able to both relate, get across in a strong and direct communicative way what that is all about, what they are all about and what do the players need in terms of genuineness, accountability and the like? And that week was, I'm just really happy we were able to do that because it made us able to much better embark on the search.

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