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Has the Linc lost its mojo?
It’s a question that’s come up lately, with the Eagles enduring the NFL’s longest-active home losing streak. It reached 10 with Sunday’s 15-7 loss to the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. Eagles fans haven’t seen the home team win since Sept. 30, 2012.
“Yeah, it’s very frustrating,” Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said during a mid-season exclusive with CSNPhilly.com. “I never really focused on it much because we lost a lot of our games last year, home and away.
“This year we’re playing a lot better on the road. The only loss was to Peyton Manning. No one is more frustrated than any of us. The fans are frustrated. Multiply that another five times and you’ll have our frustration.”
But Lurie doesn’t think the Linc has lost its ability to intimidate; it’s just lost the annual playoff contending team it used to house. When the Eagles improve overall, they’ll play better at home.
“I just look at it as, when we become a better team, we’re going to have a very good home record and we’re going to have very good away record and there is no sort of distinguishing between the two,” Lurie said. “Right now if we had … if the Broncos played at the Linc and that was our team right now, they’d be doing very well.”
Lurie touched on several topics during the half-hour interview, including Chip Kelly’s handling of the Riley Cooper incident, a pleasant surprise on the roster and his vision for the second half of the season.
Here’s the rest of the Q&A:
Q. What has Chip Kelly done to impress you most?
A. “It’s been a while since he’s lost a couple of games anywhere. So how are you going to deal with it? How are you going to translate that to what you communicate to the players, the fans, everybody. He just has a knack, that very earthy ability to both analyze, communicate and explain why to everything. I really like that in somebody, instead of being dictatorial and, ‘This is the way we’re doing it, I’m the new sheriff in town.’ He was nothing like that.”
Q. How did he handle the Riley Cooper incident?
A. “It went great. He didn’t take what was the most popular or reactive route. He went with what he felt was right. He did that with LeGarrette Blount in Oregon (a player suspended for punching an opposing player after a game). I think it’s an integrity or honesty about it where he will do what he thinks is right for the player and for the team, not what everyone wants to hear [in] a reaction to an incident. Handled it well. Brought the team together in many wonderful ways, communicated great. It was a good first-year learning experience. Things are going to happen and the unexpected will always happen. How do you deal when it’s not just a winning machine like University of Oregon?”
Q. Is it tougher to be more patient with your Super Bowl obsession as the years pass?
A. “The only way you can accomplish the goal is to not insert irrational impatience. Once you do that, you’re going to make patchwork decisions and you think you’re closer than you are and you’re going to make decisions on how to spend resources and you’re going to assemble more of an older, veteran roster. I would never put my own impatience into that because it’s the wrong strategy.
“It’s difficult to sometimes do that but, even as a fan, and I’m a fan of teams in other sports, I get most excited when I think the team is doing things that will really pay off in the long run as opposed to short-term, where it may really injure the long run. I’m very aware of that and that dynamic and to not let one’s own impatience impede that building process.”
Q. After eight games, a pleasant surprise on the roster is …. ?
A. “Cedric Thornton. Really didn’t know a lot about Ced. We were hopeful. Howie [Roseman] has been high on Cedric from the very beginning. He’s played very well.”
Q. What do you see for the second half?
A. “The second half there’s no more trying to get used to the system. It’s really about what can they do. Who does well when there’s been some adversity? Who is tough enough to play through some injuries? Who are the guys that are great teammates? And who has the innate talent level that would be a core player on a championship-level Eagles team?”
Q. How has Chip acclimated to the Philadelphia fishbowl?
A. “He loves Philadelphia. He appreciates our fans. He’s adapted really well to the intensity of this kind of football city. He fits right in. He’s like them. He’s all football and obsessed with this. That all bodes really well.”
This is the fourth and final installment in our series with Jeffrey Lurie. Here are the other three installments: