Philly.comIn a seismic shift in the Eagles organization, Joe Banner is no longer the team’s president. Banner, who has been a member of the Eagles’ front office since his childhood friend, Jeffrey Lurie, purchased the team in 1994, will become a strategic adviser to the owner. Lurie, however, will allow Banner to pursue other opportunities outside the organization as he fulfills his new role. Chief operating officer Don Smolenski will replace Banner as president and run the day-to-day operations. General manager Howie Roseman will assume all of Banner’s responsibilities in managing the team’s salary cap and contract negotiations. A news conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Still, as Lurie stated, there is the “inevitable question” of whether Banner was pushed out in a power struggle with Reid and Roseman over the direction of the football team. “No, the opposite,” Lurie said. “It was all done, I think, for what’s best for everybody involved.” Whatever the characterization, Banner’s drastically reduced role signals a change for the franchise in both how it is run and in its image. There used to be four heads at the table when major football decisions were made. Now there are three – Lurie, Reid, and Roseman – Lurie conceded. “Joe’s a free agent now,” Lurie said Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex, the team’s practice facility. “I’m an employed free agent,” Banner added. Lurie and Banner gathered with Smolenski, Roseman, and Eagles head coach Andy Reid to announce the finalization of what they are calling a “front-office succession plan,” one that the owner said began when Banner approached him last spring. Still, as Lurie stated, there is the “inevitable question” of whether Banner was pushed out in a power struggle with Reid and Roseman over the direction of the football team. “No, the opposite,” Lurie said. “It was all done, I think, for what’s best for everybody involved.” Whatever the characterization, Banner’s drastically reduced role signals a change for the franchise in both how it is run and in its image. There used to be four heads at the table when major football decisions were made. Now there are three – Lurie, Reid, and Roseman – Lurie conceded.

Jeff McLane did a great job on this story but for me, the bold part above is the true lede. Over the past two years, what really has Joe Banner done besides pointless “From the President’s Desk” interviews with that bald Eagles puppet Dave Spadaro? Exactly. Howie is a younger, better version of Joe Banner. And the Eagles treated this situation just as they would if a younger, better player stepped in a veterans role — showed the vet the door.

I know when I personally watch interviews on the Eagles official website (which I do almost daily because I’m a loser), I frankly could not care less about what Joe Banner says. Howie Roseman interviews — the exact opposite. With Howie you get the feeling that even though he’s guarding it with 50 million thick layers of plastic smile and humoring responses, Howie Roseman knows the exact details to every Eagles issue and specifically how the team is planning (or will plan) to solve it. You never really got that sense with Banner over the past couple of seasons. Banner was removed from the conversation, sitting comfortably behind his desk, talking of “all-in”, and “best roster in the league” while Spadaro’s puppet-like head nodded in acceptance.

Okay so what does this all mean? From what I see it’s fairly simple: Jeff Lurie is still Owner/King/Avon Barksdale, Howie Roseman is now one of the most powerful (and youngest) GMs in the league/Head of all cap & contracts/Head of all Strategy/Stringer Bell, and Andy Reid now has nobody looking over his shoulder and no fear of losing his job. No, I don’t believe Jeff Lurie will fire Andy Reid.  Big Red could throw up a 7-9 this season and still be in midnight green.  He’ll leave when he wants to leave.

It’s the Jeff, Howie, and Andy show now. Stay tuned.

PS – Where the hell are our Lincoln Financial Field’s wind turbines?