Luriebride

Mr. Lurie and the Eagles have a new Queen…

You know it's a slow news day in Eagles football-land when the lead story is the Boss' new main squeeze…

 

 

 

 

But it's important because he's…well, our Boss.

"Uncle Giggles" tied the knot yesterday. Jeffrey Lurie married Philadelphia resident Tina Lai in a private ceremony this weekend. Lurie is 61…Tina Lai is 39.

Lai will have no official role in the Eagles organization. The wedding was attended by family and close friends.

"I am happy and excited as Tina and I begin our lives together," Lurie said in a statement.

Lai, 39, is from a family that owns restaurants in Philadelphia, including the Vietnam Restaurant in Chinatown and the Vietnam Cafe in University City. Her family immigrated from Vietnam in 1978. She was involved in starting the cafes, although she no longer has a direct role in the restaurants, according to a restaurant spokeswoman.

Lurie bought the Eagles in 1994 for a then-record $195 million. The franchise is now worth $1.26 billion, according to Forbes' 2012 valuation. Lurie maintained full control over the team in his divorce settlement, although Christina remains a part owner and serves as president of the Eagles Youth Partnership.

This wedding was covered exclusively by philly.com. As for ex-wife Christina's continued role?….

"I've structured this franchise around having complete control, 100 percent voting and total, final decision-making," Lurie said in August. "That continues. I've always had a couple of limited partners that were nonvoting and not involved in decisions, football decisions particularly. That continues. Christina will also be a limited partner as she has been, just like the other limited partners."

Not exactly a clean break…

Also (and this may come as a shock to our readers who think I am anti-Foles), I am campaigning for the holdover of Nick Foles. Much like Christina Lurie, I am not ready to write him off yet.

I think the kid deserves a shot at competition for the QB#1 or the QB#2 slot on the roster. Unlike several of my colleagues, I don't think there is enough data in the sample yet to write him off.

My big beef with Foles last year was really a knock on his coaches for throwing him into the mix in a basically unprepared mindset. Foles looked lost and stupid at times—but whose ultimate fault was that?

I'm giving Foles the benefit of the doubt. I'm also hoping he has worked on his overall strength and conditioning, as well as his willingness to throw it away when nothing is there.

Other observers are already writing Foles off.

Mark Eckel of the New Jersey Times thinks Foles is toast…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"As far as the quarterback situation goes, it’s anybody’s guess right now and that’s what everyone is doing.

"The speculation here is that if Kelly liked Nick Foles as much as he has said he likes him, then there wouldn’t have been any reason to spend two draft picks, a fourth-round and the seventh-round it cost him to move up, to select Matt Barkley.

"If Foles was his quarterback of the present and more importantly the future, then he should have used those picks on defensive players, or offensive linemen or anything but another young, unproven quarterback out of the Pac 12."

That seems to be the logic circulating right now among beat reporters like Eckel.

Barkley, who is Kelly’s choice, figures to be waiting. His strength is his smarts, so he’ll have the offense learned. It will just be a matter of executing it.

For Foles, his future with the Eagles appears to be in jeopardy.

Coaches can say all they want about how competition is good, but honestly they do not want three quarterbacks sharing reps equally in camp, especially in an offense that is new to all of them.

Don’t be surprised if Foles isn’t traded (Kansas City did not draft a quarterback if you were wondering) before camp opens.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Eagles offense after the draft.

Running backs – The Eagles didn’t draft anyone here and with good reason. McCoy, despite losing his match race with Mike Vick, could flourish in Kelly’s scheme and be among the league leaders in rushing yards. Second-year men Bryce Brown and Chris Polk are adequate backups. Matt Tucker, an undrafted rookie out of TCU, who scored 33 college touchdowns, will get a long look at camp and could at least make the practice squad.

Emil Igwenagu, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, is the only fullback on the roster, but look for free agent signing Jim Casey to be used as an H-back as much as a tight end.

Wide receivers – DeSean Jackson, another player who could have a big year in Kelly’s scheme, and Jeremy Maclin, who is in the final year of his contract, will be the starters barring any unforeseen occurrences. There will be nine other receivers battling for the final three or four spots. Don’t be shocked if one of two veterans – Jason Avant or Riley Cooper – doesn’t make it. Arrelious Benn, the former Illinois star acquired from Tampa Bay via trade, is a better bet. Return man Damaris Johnson also has a good shot, while undrafted rookie Russell Shepard, from LSU, and 6-foot-6 rookie Ifeyani Momah, are long-shots.

Tight ends – Kelly said after selecting Zach Ertz, of Stanford, in the second round that he has no problem using three tight-end sets. I can’t imagine it happening too often, however. Ertz, if not by Opening Night, soon after will be the starter. Casey will be used in a variety of ways. And Brent Celek is going to have to be impressive this summer after a subpar 2012 season that included too many drops.

Tackles – The Eagles are praying that Jason Peters’ Achilles tendon problems are over and he returns not only as a starter on the left side, but as an All-Pro starter. No. 1 pick Lane Johnson will start on the right. Dennis Kelly, who started at the end of last year and wasn’t horrible, will likely be one backup. Veterans Alan Barbre, a one-time Green Bay draft pick, and Ed Wang could battle for another backup slot.

Guards – With Lane Johnson in the fold, Todd Herremans can move back inside to guard. The question is whether it will be on the right side or the left where he started his career. Evan Mathis will be the other starter. Former first-round pick Danny Watkins figures to be a backup, but could be moved as well, especially if Barbre shows he can also play inside, or rookie Matt Tobin impresses in the summer.

Centers – Jason Kelce will be back and will try to show he can play in Kelly’s offense as well as he did in Howard Mudd’s line scheme. Kyle Quinn and Dallas Reynolds will vie for the backup spot.
 

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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