Here are five quick takeaways from Lurie's news conference:
1. Why six days before the end of the season?
Lurie said that this was a three-fold decision. First, the Eagles wanted to get a jump start on what will inevitably be a chaotic "Black Monday". Traditionally, teams let their head coaches go the day after the season ends, leading to a flurry of calls and interviews at the same time. A six-day jump start can be an eternity and Lurie hopes to maximize his time. The second reason? Lurie wanted Kelly to have an opportunity to survey the market himself. Years from now, we might come to find that there was a scathing bit of sarcasm associated with that statement.
But the third reason was the most important to Lurie; he wanted a chance to interview all of his players. The Eagles owner held a private meeting with his players Wednesday and will continue exit-style interviews throughout the week.
"I want to engage them and have them understand and what they felt was lacking, I need to understand," Lurie said. "Have them understand and take accountability but also at the same time be a sponge for what is leadership like in today's football world. You're dealing with 22 to 35 or more aged people and people who are elite athletes, trying to perform at the very peak of their profession and there's a lot of issues. And what is leadership like in today's world? It's very, very different than it was 10, 15 years ago. I would like to think that we're always gonna try and be on the progressive end of how to lead and that's top-down, but it's also through the head coach and people the head coach surrounds himself with. It's a real opportunity and if I wait until Monday, there would be so much less of that opportunity."
This quote leads us to our second takeway quite nicely...
Lurie tried his best to sound appreciative and grateful of his time spent with Kelly, but over the course of his session, he essentially told reporters that everything players and executives feared about Kelly was true.
A few examples:
» Lurie mentioned the next coach needing to open his heart to players and to have "emotional intelligence." Kelly was frequently lambasted for his inability to connect with his team on a personal level. Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, DeMarco Murray was one of the players who told Lurie that Kelly had completely lost the locker room. Lurie said that Murray had nothing to do with Kelly being fired.
» Lurie hinted that he was not happy about the way Kelly was describing his level of organizational power. Kelly always said he was not the GM, and that Lurie suggested he get control of the 90-man roster this offseason. On Wednesday, Lurie said it was Kelly who "insisted" on personnel control. Lurie said: "I wanted to make Chip accountable for everything he wanted to happen ... that is what he insisted on."
» This quote here (emphasis mine): "I in fact remember saying to all of you that there's dangers in that in terms of having two 10-6 seasons in a row and whether making significant changes, you can easily achieve mediocrity. I think it would be a shame not to try but the end result was mediocrity."
3. The new power structure
Lurie will revert back to a collaborative approach. Howie Roseman, vice president of football operations, will maintain his title but will once again have a say in personnel. Along with senior advisor Tom Donahoe, they will act in the traditional general manager role. The Eagles will not be hiring a general manager to work directly over the new head coach.
"I think the best approach is a real collaborative approach," he said. "In this case with Chip, I think there were some very good reasons to be bold about what he wanted to be able to accomplish and do. However, going forward, I think a much more collaborative approach between player personnel and coaching is the way to go. That's the direction we would go. In terms of the front office and the executives and all that, Howie Roseman will remain our executive vice president in charge of football operations. Tom Donahoe will run the day-to-day player personnel department, which is crucial hire and a crucial position in terms of player personnel. Howie Roseman will be responsible for making sure our player personnel department is as good as it gets in the NFL, he'll be accountable for that."
4. This was a clean break
The way Lurie described his Tuesday meeting with Kelly, there was not much back and forth. Lurie did not offer Kelly a chance to stay without personnel control. Kelly did not ask for one.
5. Lurie really wants a people pleaser in the building
If a team has to fire a coach, there is almost always a 180 degree shift in personality. The Jets go from Rex Ryan to Todd Bowles. The Dolphins go from Joe Philbin to Dan Campbell. The Eagles will go from Kelly to a rah-rah guy; maybe not someone with a penchant for chaos like Ryan, but someone who checks in emotionally. Expect the list of candidates to be a long one, and don't be surprised if it dips into college and into the ranks of assistant coaches who have not had much coordinator experience. Lurie needs someone who is as talented as he is humble and agreeable.
"I think in terms of what we're looking for in a coach, it's several things. Number one, a smart, strategic thinker, that's a given. You've gotta be looking out for the short-term, mid-term and long-term interests of the franchise. Looking for somebody who interacts very well and communicates clearly with everybody he works with and comes in touch with. Understands the passion of our fans and what it's like to coach the Philadelphia Eagles," he said. "It's a unique, incredibly passionate fanbase that just wants to win. You've got to incorporate that in your life, in your heart and you've gotta be willing to do that. Another thing is attention to detail. I think all good coaches have tremendous intention to detail. And lastly amongst many other things but I'll just mention a few, you've got to open your heart to players and everybody you want to achieve peak performance.
He added: "I would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided, and at the same time values emotional intelligence. I think in today's world of the way business are run and sports teams are run that a combination, and it's not easy to have, a combination of all those factors creates the best chance to succeed. In terms of the staff, no one is eliminated, every member of the staff is under contract and yes, it's possible there will be some interviews of some members of the staff."
The perception among many after Kelly gutted the Eagles' roster was that these were unique, individual talents that would only work together in Kelly's system. And while Lurie will be starting over without LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin, he doesn't think this roster will need a massive overhaul.
"The tempo was unique, but the kinds of players, whether it's Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray, Sam Bradford, Vinny Curry, you name it," he said. "It remains to be seen if we run a high-tempo type of offense. That will be determined by the new head coach. But I don't see any players on the roster that one would say would be only a fit for a Chip Kelly-team, not at all. So we have to increase the talent level and increase the performance level of those we have. That's the key, it's not a fit system type of situation."