Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Roseman, Kelly And Gamble

Howie Roseman has been hesitant to offer a straight answer.

Perhaps he doesn’t want to feed into the perception that he’s a power-hungry GM looking for maximum control. Or maybe it’s just a matter of Chip Kelly wanting the organization to project a team-oriented approach in all aspects of the operation.

But asked many times over the past few months who has the final say on draft picks, Roseman has given different variations of the same response.

It’s a collaborative effort.

It’s an organizational pick.

We’re working together to make sure we get a good football player.

Back in January, on the same day Jeffrey Lurie fired Andy Reid, he gave Roseman a strong vote of confidence, saying he only held the Eagles’ GM responsible for the 2012 draft. Lurie, one of the few men who’s been privy to the behind-the-scenes decision-making, sent Joe Banner and Reid packing.

Yet he gave Roseman added responsibility. So even if no one wants to come out and say it, the draft is his baby.

“What we do is, as a scouting staff, we’’re watching 600 guys,” Roseman said. “And we’’re narrowing those down. Think of it like a funnel. We’’re narrowing down to then the coaches get involved, they’’re the guys that we’’re really excited about. And then we’’re handing them to the coaches to evaluate and getting heir feedback on those guys.””

Kelly wasn’t hired until mid-January. He didn’t have his staff in place until the second week of February. By that point, the Eagles were a little more than a month away from the start of free agency.

In other words, he’s had a full plate. Kelly definitely has a say and has given Roseman parameters for different positions, based on scheme and preference. The Birds’ head coach also has an advantage, having come from the college ranks. Kelly sets the guidelines, but it’s on Roseman and his staff to deliver the goods.

This year, the Eagles’ GM has the help of new vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble. The Eagles brought Gamble on board in mid-February, and Roseman said he’s been a big help throughout the evaluation process.

“By the time we got him in, having some experience, going on the road in the fall, having his own opinions, not being influenced by our draft meetings, those conversations, that insight’s’ been extremely invaluable,” Roseman said. “A huge addition to our staff.””

So in reality, it is a collaborative effort. Roseman, Gamble, Kelly, scouts, assistants and others.

But down the road, when it comes time to judge the success of the 2013 class, it’ll be the GM’s name attached to the picks.

WHAT YOU MISSED

For the Eagles and Roseman, offensive tackle seems like the safest bet, writes T-Mac.

What’s the likelihood of the Birds trading down? Here’s the rundown.

Reading between the lines, it doesn’t sound like the Eagles are targeting Geno Smith.

One national report links the Birds to Utah DT Star Lotulelei.

The Eagles released quarterback Trent Edwards.

Tim takes a look at the team’s situation at wide receiver.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com takes a look at some later-round QB options, including Arizona’s Matt Scott:

While he has the physical ability to be an NFL QB, he needs to work on his QB skills.  I don’t think Scott can challenge for a job initially.  I think he’ll need a season of coaching.  The reasons to love him are his running ability and the fact he’s a natural passer.  He has a good arm and quick release.  He has pretty good accuracy.  Scott did throw 14 INTs.  He simply makes bad decisions on some throws.  Aggressive is good, but you don’t want to force the ball into a situation where there is more chance for a bad outcome than good.  Scott did that at times.

NFL.com goes over the best and worst all-time picks for each franchise. Freddie Mitchell makes the list as one of the Eagles’ worst:

The Eagles were in desperate need of a playmaking receiver when they used the 25th overall pick in 2001 on UCLA’s Mitchell. What they got was a guy who never cracked 500 yards in a season and scored only five touchdowns during a 63-game run in Philadelphia.

COMING UP

The Eagles begin a three-day minicamp. We’ll hear from Kelly this afternoon.

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