The offseason changes for the faces of the Philadelphia Eagles organization are continuing in a major way. The latest news out of the Eagles front office is that Joe Banner is being removed from his post at President of the club. COO Don Smolenski is taking over job of President, but will not assume all of Banner’s previous responsibilities. Banner is expected to remain with the team and will take on the role of “strategic adviser” to owner Jeffrey Lurie. For what it’s worth, Banner has indicated that the relationship between himself and rest of the Eagles decision makers (owner Jeffrey Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and Andy Reid) is still very amicable. Banner also stated that he has plans to “pursue a major new opportunity within the sports field”. Just what that major opportunity will be is anyone’s guess.
The time has finally come where the Eagles organization has realized they cannot keep doing the same things and expecting different results; that is, by definition, insanity. So the team shook up the roster last year and this year focused on re-signing their young talent so as to ensure they remain with the club for the long haul. Jeffrey Lurie insisted that head coach Andy Reid make himself more available to the media, and to be more amiable during his media sessions. Now Banner, who was treated with a great deal of disdain by the Philadelphia faithful, has been ousted from his spot as President. One can only assume that the decision making responsibilities will now lie solely with Lurie, Roseman and Reid.
Banner has always had a philosophy that was centered more around the bottom line than anything else. This is, however, what made him such a genius when it came to things such as the salary cap the like. It’s also what infuriated Eagles fans everywhere. If a decision did not work out from a numbers perspective (see: Dawkins, Brian), Banner had no qualms about cutting ties, regardless of how the fan base or coaching staff felt about the decision.
The rededication of the Eagles to fielding the best possible group of players, even if it meant conceding in some negotiations, seems to be in stark contrast to Banner’s philosophy, and is likely the reason he is no longer team President. Winning in the board room does not always translate to winning on the field, as the Eagles organization is all too well aware. It’s refreshing to finally see the organization realize that real changes needed to take place for this team to be able to take the next step.