Eagles Wake-Up Call: Gamble’s Input ‘Really Valuable’

Chip Kelly wasn’t the only new face in the draft room for the Eagles this year.

In mid-February, the team brought Tom Gamble in as vice president of player personnel.

Asked about Gamble’s input, Kelly said, “It was really valuable. I knew Tommy from when he was with the 49ers because he was on our campus all the time at Oregon.”

“I’ve seen and had the chance to interact with Tom and talk to him about personnel and a lot of different things for the last six years. I go back to when Tommy was looking at kids when I was at New Hampshire. I’ve known Tom as a personnel guy in this league for a long time. When the opportunity for him to come on board came about, it wasn’t like, ‘Who is this guy?’ I was very familiar with him and very familiar with his work. I thought he was a great fit and we were fortunate to get him. His familiarity, not only with the Eagles, because he had been here before, but with Howie [Roseman] and also myself and some of the guys on our staff that knew him. If you’re a college football coach, you know who Tommy Gamble is because he has been on your campus looking at players for a long, long time. I think that familiarity helped with us getting along together.”

It’s been a period of dramatic change at the NovaCare Complex. As recently as the 2012 draft, Joe Banner was the Eagles’ president, and Andy Reid was the head coach.

Roseman is the most prominent name still remaining. Earlier this offseason, owner Jeffrey Lurie absolved the GM of any blame for the 2010 and 2011 drafts. Roseman will instead be judged on 2012 and 2013. He acknowledged that he’s never been a part of so much change since joining the Eagles 13 years ago.

“Definitely not. I’ve been here and we’ve had the same people here for a long time,” Roseman said. “You think about a year ago this time, who we had in the building and who we have in now, and it’s dramatic at every level. So I’d be disingenuous if I told you that I’ve been through it before and it was business as usual.

“But that’s what makes it so impressive about getting on the same page so quickly. And that’s not only with Coach and I. But it’s the personnel staff. We have a new video department. We have a lot of new things in this building. And it’s exciting for the future of this football team.”

Kelly, Roseman and Gamble. Working under Lurie, they’re the men in charge of setting the course for the new era of Eagles football.

WHAT YOU MISSED

T-Mac looks at the logic behind Kelly’s actions.

The NFL is looking into the Russel Shepard claims, Tim reports.

Breaking down the similarities and differences between the Lane Johnson pick and the Danny Watkins pick.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News has an excellent piece up where he talks to a player personnel executive about the Eagles’ picks. Here’s what the source said about seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer:

This is a helluva value pick here. We had him as a late-five. Some teams I talked to had him higher than that. Speed was the obvious concern. Ran a 4.65. But he plays faster than that. Tight in the hips and doesn’t have great recovery speed. But he’s got really good hand-eye coordination. Had seven interceptions as a nickel last year, which is where he’s going to play at this level. Eventually, I could see him being moved to safety. He’s going to help them right away on special teams. He was a gunner on their punt coverage unit and also can return kicks. He needs to get a little stronger. He only did the 225-bench eight times. I know he’s a corner, but that’s still pretty bad.

Brian Solomon over at McNabbOrKolb.com offers his take on the Matt Barkley pick:

If Barkley does win the starting job, the offense would certainly cater more around his strengths and the read-option would be relegated to a side show. But the one thing that’s tough for me to accept is that there was that much foresight in the selection of a fourth round player. To suggest that the Barkley pick — which Kelly himself admits he didn’t expect to make — speaks some broader truth about the planned direction of the offense may be reading too much into it.

Meanwhile, the 2013 edition of the Eagles cheerleaders swimsuit calendar will be photographed in New Jersey to support revitalization efforts of the shore after Hurricane Sandy. All net proceeds from the shoot will be donated to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which has raised over $32 million from more than 22,900 donors. More details to come, but the shoot will take place between May 6 and May 9.

COMING UP

Still plenty to dissect from the draft.

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