During a press conference shortly after Chip Kelly was fired, Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie talked about Philadelphia's new power structure with respect to the Player Personnel department. At the time, he explicitly said the Eagles would not be hiring a general manager. Instead, Lurie explained the Eagles will be relying on a collaborative effort of three people to run the department: 1) executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, 2) senior director of player personnel Tom Donahoe, and 3) the new head coach, who has turned out to be Doug Pederson. Shortly after that press conference, however, media reports revealed Donahoe is effectively a placeholder and the Eagles plan to hire a new personnel chief. Lurie confirmed those reports on Tuesday during Pederson's first press conference.
"We’re about to do a Search for a Player Personnel Head," Lurie said. "That will really be an important search that we’re all participating in starting this week. Given that search and given the competitive nature of that search, what I’d like to do is 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."
But will the new personnel chief be a puppet to Roseman similar to how Ed Marynowitz had to answer to Chip Kelly? It's a fair question to ask considering the position isn't an official "general manager" title. One reporter got into an exchange with Lurie about the nature of the new personnel position:
Q: Will the new player personnel head report to Howie Roseman?
Lurie: "All questions of structure will be determined after the search is complete."
Q: So you haven’t made the decision on that yet?
Lurie: "Can’t reveal any decision on that because it would impact our ability to find the right people we’ve designated in the search."
Q: In December, you had said you gave Chip Kelly full control of personnel because you wanted to hold him accountable. How will you hold Howie Roseman accountable?
Lurie: "No matter what structure and ability to have a great player personnel head and player personnel department, accountability will be the number one feature. And that goes for everybody. Goes for Howie, it goes for the player personnel head, it goes for the head coach. My number one priority going into this offseason is accountability. We’ll be completely accountable. By myself."
Q: "By the personnel decisions that are made in the offseason? Or by … ?
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?
Lurie: "You’re going into question that we will answer after the search is complete.
Q: I just think the fans really want to know exactly who’s making the decisions for the team when you guys are on the clock in the draft and when you guys are making decisions in free agency.
Lurie: "Right, it doesn’t quite ever work out that way, it’s very collaborative, but trust me, as soon we finish this search, accountability will be 100% acknowledged."
It remains to be seen who the Eagles will choose. Hopefully they'll offer media availability when that person is hired and expand more upon the new power structure, as Lurie indicated he would.
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