It’s been over 24 hours since word that Joe Banner was no longer president of the Philadelphia Eagles was reported. Not a soul seems to believe the Eagles PR pitch that the move that made Don Smolenski the new president is exactly what Banner wanted (more or less).
On Comcast Sportsnet’s Daily News Live on Thursday, the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane,w ho broke the story, said, “I think it’s fair to say that he was pushed out.” This is from the man the Eagles’ front office hand-picked to break the story. They tried very hard to make him think this was the case, but it doesn’t make much sense to him or anyone else.
The organization tried again to put this pitch forward at the press conference held yesterday at the Novacare. Banner, head coach Andy Reid, owner Jeffrey Lurie and Smolenski sat in a line and toed the same company line: Joe was ready for a new challenge.
After he gets back from the month-long vacation Banner is reportedly going on now. What timing.
A lot of great stuff has been written about the front office shuffle, so here is a collection of some of the most interesting reads.
Les Bowen of the Daily News wonders what the change means for the team going forward, and particularly for Andy Reid.
It will be fascinating to see what unfolds. Roseman started out as Banner’s protege, but his style is very different. Reid still doesn’t have a contract beyond 2013, but remember, it was Banner who said Reid had to win the Super Bowl to get a new deal. Neither Lurie nor Roseman has been quoted on that subject. Wonder if it’s still true?
Are the Eagles Andy Reid’s, more than ever, this morning, or are they Howie Roseman’s? Or were they Jeffrey Lurie’s, more than we realized, all along?
In typical ownerspeak, Lurie called the announcement “an executive succession plan.” Which sounds a lot better than saying, “It was time for Joe to go.”
Truth is, I believe Reid when he says he and Banner are friends. But for the first time since he was hired in 1999, Reid’s job is on the line. And survival trumps friendship.