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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jeffrey Lurie staying true to his script for a sequel

PHILADELPHIA >> In the 22 years since he has owned the Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie has demonstrated two things.
The first: He doesn't know how to win a Super Bowl.
The second: He does know how to come close.
So with those realities in hand heading into the 56th renewal of the Eagles' effort to repeat the success of the 1960 team, Lurie called a standard football plan. He would go to his strength. He would do what he did the last time he almost but didn't cause the breakout of a parade.
Out, then, he would come with the wrinkled blueprint. First, he would seek out a relatively young, relatively inexperienced head coach. Then, he would shove his team high enough in the draft to be able to choose a franchise quarterback. Indeed, he would make it the No. 2 pick in the draft, all the better to see that the team picking No. 1, in this case St. Louis, could choose the wrong quarterback, allowing the right one to seep to the Birds.
Remember: The man is a movie producer by trade. He knows from the making of sequels.
Thus, the new cast for the remake of Lurie's one successful football production: Doug Pederson as Andy Reid; either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz as Donovan McNabb, with the other as Tim Couch; Howie Roseman as Joe Banner; and Merrill Reese as himself.
Not that it is a bad plan. Chip Kelly was overmatched in the big leagues and spread in-house stress. Pederson will be an improvement. Roseman paid heavily to swap first-round picks with Cleveland Wednesday, and leap from No. 8 in the draft to No. 2, surrendering in the transaction a future first-round and a future second-round pick. But if the know-it-alls are right, Goff or Wentz will be worth the effort.
“In the end, based on all the evaluations over the last several weeks and even months,” Roseman said, “we decided that moving up to the second pick was the right move for our franchise.”

The last time the Eagles drafted No. 2, it turned out fine, with a Super Bowl appearance within five years. Even if sequels rarely match the original, Jeffrey Lurie at least knows how it is done.


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