Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was eager enough to move on from Chip Kelly that he started looking at potential replacements before the team was eliminated from playoff contention last season.
Lurie acknowledged that the process that ultimately led to the hiring of Doug Pederson started before the firing of Kelly.
“That research started during the season, at some point late in the season,” Lurie said, via Philly.com, “and it gave us some time to – if we needed to go this direction – be fully prepared for the search process.”
Although Lurie says he didn’t decide to fire Kelly until a Week 16 loss to Washington eliminated the Eagles from the playoffs, he does think it’s smart for an owner to have an idea of what his options are.
“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,” Lurie said.
Lurie believed enough in Kelly that he hired him as a head coach with no NFL experience, then gave him full control of the roster, the draft and free agency with no personnel experience. But as soon as that experiment failed, Lurie was smart enough to realize his mistake and prepare to move on.