Lurie Doesn’t Have to Look Far For Best Guy


“This is a pretty sweet gig, Matt, you should think about it.”


If Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, is to be believed, then he really does not have to look far to find the next coach of his team. Lurie can grab a pair of binoculars, walk outside of his office at Lincoln Financial Field, and look four miles up North Broad Street. If he can see past City Hall, his guy is just north of there.

That’s where he will find Matt Rhule, the current head coach of the Temple Owls, who seems to fit all of the criteria Lurie outlined when he described his vision for the next Eagles’ coach. If Lurie was carrying a notepad around, Rhule certainly would earn a lot of checkmarks.

Smart, strategic, thinker? Check. Communicator who understands Philadelphia fan base? Check. Attention to detail and NFL experience? Check. Personal style of leadership that relates to players? Check.

No one knows if the NFL is in Rhule’s future, but he gave a clue in a four-hour appearance on 97.5 Thursday. A caller asked him if he’d rather have the Alabama job or the New York Giants’ job and he didn’t flinch. “Giants,” he said. “Temple is the only college job I want.”

Matt's communications skills passed the ultimate test with Sam Ponder.

Matt’s communications skills passed the ultimate test with Sam Ponder.

With all the clowns Lurie is bringing in for an interview–including a Chicago Bears’ assistant who is four years younger–he’d be crazy for not picking up  the phone and making a local call before the Giants do.

Lurie said he wanted a smart, strategic, thinker, who looks out for the long-term interests of the organization, and Rhule certainly has proven to be that in taking the Owls from 2-10 to 10-4 in three years. He did it by recruiting two- and three-star athletes, giving most of them a red-shirt year to get stronger and faster and he sacrificed short-term gain for long-term goals.  There are no redshirts in the NFL, but the thought process should be appreciated.

Lurie also said he wanted a communicator and anyone who saw Rhule talking to Sam Ponder on ESPN College Football’s Game Day knows Rhule certainly is that. He wanted someone who knows what it is like to coach the Eagles, and understands the fan base of Philadelphia, and Rhule gets a checkmark for that as well. If you can concentrate enough to give a coherent answer while looking at Samantha, you are a great communicator.

Lurie mentioned attention to detail and, as an assistant to Tom Coughlin in 2012 with the New York Giants, Rhule said that was his biggest takeaway, an attention to detail. Lastly, Lurie wants a personal style of leadership that relates to players and is not aloof.

With those comments, Lurie made clear he was looking for the anti-Chip Kelly—in other words, Matt Rhule.


12 thoughts on “Lurie Doesn’t Have to Look Far For Best Guy

  1. The trend in the NFL is to pick hot coordinators or retread HCs.., guys like Kelly are outliers…., think MR has to prove he can win a conference championship where he is at before being considered for an NFL HC .., makes you wonder what he envisions as his career path…,

    the distraction with Missouri this year is a strong indication Temple is part of the journey, not the destination…,

    PSU is losing patience with Franklin and Temple is scheduled to play ND again in ’17…, he would take either of those jobs if offered..,

    just don’t see him as an NFL HC on the short horizon unless he first moves to take an NFL coordinator position or wins a championship at Temple

  2. Kelly is an exception. Only 4 years in college as a HC, split bowl wins, and zero national titles. Most people with the MR track record go on to become OC’s in the NFL after a bit. Even then it’s a matter of a good stint at a winning team to become an NFL HC.

  3. Hey Mike, binoculars won’t work from 4 miles away – I know because I’m a birder, speaking of Owls and Eagles. Sounds like you’re trying to nudge Rhule out the door at Temple? I think he’d take the PSU job in a heartbeat, especially since his roots are there.

    • not trying to nudge him out the door, but as an Eagles’ fan (second to Owls), totally underwhelmed with the people they are bringing in so far. Andrew Guise (he’s 37) and his main claim to fame is turning a bum into a serviceable (not even good) QB in Chicago. No thanks. Ben McAdoo? Rather have Bob McAdoo. Sean McDermott? Was he ever a great DC here? No. Does he have great players there? Yes. At least with Matt, you have a guy who won games as a head coach and he’d bring Snow with him and maybe Tom Coughlin as OC. Then he’d hit the ground running. He wants to be in the NFL, so why not now? (Temple would survive with Al as HC, Mike Locksley as OC/recruiting coordinator and D’Onofrio as DC. He’d also keep Foley, Fran Brown, Robinson and DiMichele.)

  4. Dick Vermeil was the best coach the Eagles ever had. He was HC at UCLA for only two years, so Rhule is actually a good candidate so sshhhhh.

    • 3-4 finish is OK in some circles; not mine.

    • It’s not surprising that the O was rated so low. It was clear to many on this site that it underachieved and that was because of the bewildering scheme employed by Satterfield.I don’t care who the OC next year is because anyone could have done a better job than he did over the last three years with the talent the team had at running back and tight end the previous two seasons and this season with the addition of talented receivers. There was no deep passing game, little use of the backs as receivers, no roll outs, a red zone offense that failed at the most critical times, and a complete under utilization of play action and the tight ends, especially Booth, who, with his size, easily could have been used to catch passes in front of the LBs. Anyone who watches college football regularly or even those who just watched TU’s opponents will draw the same conclusions and see how much better the offense should have been and how simple its scheme was in comparison to those implemented by 90% of the teams in D-1.

  5. I totally get your point and have thought similarly. In reality, we know it would be total disruption and unacceptable to the fan base which would see it as radical. However, based on the Lurie’s outlined criteria, Coach Rhule is a fit. Considering Coach Rhule’s success in the NFL, the high praise he has received by Giants former head coach Tom Coughlin, whom he worked under, I see him ending up in the NFL when its his time.

    • looks like your post was put in the “pending review” section by wordpress and I immediately approved it after getting back from a 3-hour run (nice day for the middle of winter). I started walking home and got on 97.5 and was the last caller (7:12 p.m.) and pushed the idea of Matt coming on board and bringing in Coughlin as offensive coordinator. They said, “yeah, right he’s going to work for Matt Rhule” and hung up on me before I could explain: 1) Coughlin wants to continue in coaching, not necessarily HEAD coaching; 2) he respects Matt and would definitely work “for” him; 3) He would relish the role of mentoring the young coach and creating a legacy coach; 4) He would have a lot less stress calling the plays than dealing with the goofy players like Beckham. Tried to get those points in but they were too busy saying stupid things like “yeah, and Matt can get Belichick to be defensive coordinator, too.” Is Matt really a worse choice than Doug Peterson? No.

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