Eagles Wake-Up Call: Time To Build a New Culture

The Eagles’ primary objective in free agency will be to target young talent at need positions.

But there’s a secondary factor at work too: building the kind of culture that Chip Kelly is looking to establish.

“You’re never trying to use the word rebuilding,” Howie Roseman told Birds 24/7 on Wednesday. “That equates to the fact that we’re not trying to win every year. And we’re always trying to win. We want to build it the right way. We want to do the right things so that we can compete for a long time.

“On that same token… there are certain players that no matter what the age is, they set the right example, they do the right thing. As you’re building a culture, they help carry that culture forward. That’s important stuff.”

The culture clearly deteriorated in the final year of the Andy Reid era. Michael Vick was critical of his teammates after the regular-season finale against the Giants. Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and others expressed their displeasure too about the team’s chemistry.

“Guys I felt like should have been pros, have been in this league and understand how things go, wasn’t acting like it,” Maclin said back in January.

“I think guys made a lot of excuses,” added McCoy. “Guys maybe weren’t playing up to par, guys weren’t focusing enough, guys making a certain amount of money, not putting out. So I think guys were looking for excuses.”

The key for the front office will be to identify the key pieces already on the roster, while making smart decisions in the draft and free agency.

If you’re looking for an example of the type of player Roseman is talking about, linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a good place to start.

“Coach talked about what he thought about DeMeco and what he saw on tape and his intangibles that he brings,” Roseman said. “Those are culture-setters when you have guys like that – great character, hard-working.

“A lot of times, the first year you’re in a new place, it takes a little while to adjust, but you’re talking about a really productive player and a really hard worker – smart player as well.”

In other words, the Eagles could use a few more like him.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The 2011 offseason was a disaster for the Eagles. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to afraid to make moves this year in free agency. Here’s what Roseman had to say.

Could 49ers safety Dashon Goldson be a fit for the Birds? T-Mac has the latest.

From Darrelle Revis to Goldson to the No. 4 pick, here’s what they’re saying about the Eagles.

Tim caught up with Vinny Curry, who’s adding muscle and ready for a potential shift to linebacker.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk brings up the possibility of the Eagles trading Nnamdi Asomugha:

If the Eagles cut him, they’ll still owe him $4 million, with no offset for what he earns elsewhere.  So why not agree to pay the $4 million and send him for a late-round pick to a team that would then sign him to a new contract?

Tommy Lawlor has a mock draft out on PhiladelphiaEagles.com. He has them taking Oregon’s Dion Jordan with the No. 4 pick:

I’m not alone in thinking that Jordan would be a great fit for the Eagles. A lot of mock drafts have the team taking him with the fourth overall pick. This isn’t a matter of linking Chip Kelly with one of his former players. Jordan is a very gifted prospect that all 32 teams will have interest in. He had a terrific showing at the combine. He looked like the most natural pass rusher there. Put on the game tape and Jordan stands out there. He can fly off the edge. The thing that really stands out is how well he bends for such a tall player. Those guys tend to be too upright. Jordan can dip and get low to get by offensive tackles. He’s not just a pass rusher. Jordan has good cover skills. He can cover backs in the flat or run with wide receivers 20 yards downfield. Oregon would have him line up over the slot receiver on a regular basis.

COMING UP

More from our interview with Roseman, plus free agency and draft buzz.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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