Ten Takeaways From Howie Roseman

Vinny CurryYesterday, we took a look at what Howie Roseman had to say about Danny Watkins. But the Eagles’ GM touched on a variety of other topics during a session with reporters at the NovaCare Complex.

Here are 10 items that stood out.

1. The Eagles only have three outside linebackers on the roster: Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. Barwin is the only true 3-4 OLB among that group. Chip Kelly and Roseman parted ways with Chris McCoy, Everette Brown and Travis Long. When asked for his thoughts on the Eagles’ depth at that spot, Roseman provided an interesting response.

“We look at a guy like Vinny Curry, and you talk about a guy who can rush the passer,” Roseman said. “If he stood up, he can set the edge. He can do some of the things that the outside linebacker does.”

Curry bulked up in the offseason and has been practicing all summer at defensive end.

“And then when you talk about a Casey Matthews possibly if you got in a bind in a game, he could play outside,” Roseman said. “When Chip talked about the versatility of the back of the roster, we didn’t want to duplicate a lot of skills. So that’s what made some of the choices at the back of the roster, maybe some guys who played well in the preseason but maybe they were duplicating the skills that some of the guys we had. Did it make sense to keep them or try to find guys that did some different things?”

The guess here is that the Eagles will be looking for outside linebacker help from other teams.

2. I mentioned Cole above. Roseman might have offered a hint about how the veteran will be used in the regular season.

“A lot of times, what you see in preseason is working on not only the things they do well, but also the weaknesses to get a sense of what guys can really do,” he said. “As you know, things change during the regular season.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Cole was on the field for 41 passing downs in the preseason, and he dropped back into coverage 39 percent of the time. Given that he didn’t exactly look comfortable doing so, perhaps Roseman is suggesting Cole will be more of a pass-rusher in the regular season. We’ll find out shortly.

3. As for the roster overall, expect the team to be active in the next few days.

“We’ll continue to look for ways to upgrade this team,” Roseman said. “So, as we sit here, it’s a constant evaluation. It’s a constant evaluation of the back of the roster. If we have opportunities to continue to add some young players that we think will help our team, if we get that opportunity, we’re gonna look at it.

“We’re prepared. We have a draft board set up. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on guys that we thought would be on the bubble. And so we’ve just gotta see who’s really out there.”

4. One area to keep an eye on is cornerback. The Eagles went heavy with six: Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes and Jordan Poyer.

“You want to put your coach in position to win games here in the early part of the year,” Roseman said. “You’ve got a couple guys who are coming back from some injuries and haven’t played in a little bit. And then you talked about Poyer. And Poyer was affected by not having the offseason. You saw that he kept coming on, not only in games, but in practice. He’s instinctive, he’s tough, he’s physical, he’s got size to him. So we just felt like he was a guy we wanted to grow with and have here. Obviously, you look at the numbers there and you see six corners and there’s some uncertainty just because you’ve got to have availability at that spot.”

Marsh and Hughes both suffered hand injuries in the preseason, but Roseman said they’re “not long-term injuries at all.” He indicated that the team expects both guys back “shortly.”

5. The Eagles have nine players on the roster left from the 2010 and 2011 drafts: Curtis Marsh, Casey Matthews, Alex Henery, Julian Vandervelde, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, Nate Allen, Riley Cooper and Kurt Coleman.

The projected starters from that group are Kelce, possibly Allen and Cooper, who is only filling in because Jeremy Maclin went down.

Asked if those two drafts set the franchise back, Roseman said: “I think that’s probably a fair question. When you have drafts that don’t work out, you’ve gotta find those players somewhere else. Like I said when we started this, the big part taking from that is that we are forced to look and figure out the ways to do things and the way we have done things over a long period of time, and then where our team was and evolve from that. And I think that’s the positive to be taken out of it.”

6. The Eagles provided a bit of a surprise at wide receiver, cutting Russell Shepard and Greg Salas, while keeping Jeff Maehl.

“Tough decisions at the wide receiver spot,” Roseman said. “When we traded for Jeff, we knew that he was a guy who could play inside or out. He was a safety in high school when Coach recruited him. And so you knew that he would bring something to special teams as well.

“And then when you talk about the roster, I think it’s an evolving process too. How it looks today, to tell you that it’s gonna look like that in Week 10, we’re gonna be constantly on the lookout. We’re trying to build this team, and we’re trying to get players that we think can be here for a long time. We’re open to things that we think could make us better.”

Translation: Maehl might not be here in a few days. The Eagles could add a back-of-the-roster wide receiver from another team.

7. While there was plenty of talk about the 2010 and 2011 drafts, Roseman did suggest that he thinks the Eagles found some good core players in 2012, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

“When you talk about Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks, I don’t see any reason why those guys shouldn’t be big-time players in this league,” he said. “Between what’s in their body, physically, you’re talking about guys who have the traits to do it. And then they work really hard. And then there’s nothing I’ve seen out here or on the field during games that says they shouldn’t take this step from first- or second-year guys to really be core members of our defense for a long time.”

8. The Eagles have three undrafted free agents from this class on the roster: offensive lineman Matt Tobin, defensive lineman Damion Square and linebacker Jake Knott.

Roseman said it was evident as soon as the pads went on that Square was a violent technician who had a good chance to stick.

He also praised Tobin’s versatility.

“He’s probably a four-position backup if you put him on gameday active,” Roseman said. “And I’m not so sure that he couldn’t play center too.”

He added that Knott would have definitely been drafted if not for the shoulder problems.

“You go through the draft-day decisions and Jake was a guy that we were really considering taking in all three of those seventh-round picks,” Roseman said. “We feel very fortunate to get him. His character and football intelligence, he’s a good player.”

9. The Eagles went with Emil Igwenagu over Clay Harbor for the final tight end spot. The reason?

“We were looking for different skill sets in the back of the roster,” Roseman said. “So some of the conversations we had about the fourth outside linebacker applies at this moment to the tight end spot. And we didn’t feel like there was another guy on the roster who was as good as a point of attack blocker. He’s a physical guy. We also felt like those other three guys were good receiving threats.”

10. Roseman made a good point about why it’s tough to trade near the cut-down deadline.

“The problem is it’s very rare to find someone to offer you a player and to not think that player’s gonna get cut,” he said. “When you’re in March and April, you know that there’s a long time so people are gonna hang on to them and maybe they’re telling the truth: ‘Hey, I’ll hang on to him if I don’t get what I’m looking for.’ But this time of the year, everyone’s basically calling each other’s bluff.”

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  • Will

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB5-yJM3vJc Howie please call Mike Singletary and beg him to build you a formidable Defense….

  • RC5000

    ugh these kinds of articles can be brutal. all pretty obvious stuff. accurate and better than most of these horrible Philly beat writers. no crap Sherlock: You needed to translate something ? WE KNOW. bottom of depth chart/roster and ps guys MAY or MAY not change.

    Translation: Maehl might not be here in a few days. The Eagles could add a back-of-the-roster wide receiver from another team.

    • RIP illa

      As I was reading his quotes from yesterday and this article today…all I was thinking is that that’s a whole lot of talking w/o saying nothing.

  • Eaglehaslanded

    Tandon Doss isworth a look at WR.

    • Media Mike

      Baltimore stinks at WR, so I’d be worried about a guy they cut.

      • Eaglehaslanded

        He can’t be any worse than our fourth wideout. I like him as a kick returner Plus he has goodsize at 6’2″ 205.

        • Token

          Hes not better than Damaris Johnson.

          • Eaglehaslanded

            I agree, forgot about Damaris. I’m not high on Jeff Maehl though. I guess it really don’t matter when talking about 5th on the depth chart.

          • Media Mike

            Maehl might not be here either, but I’d be more looking at Denver’s WR cuts or something along those lines.

  • Fly High

    Here are my guesses for what might happen in next couple of days – I think the Eagles may add 2 safeties, a CB, an Outside LB, a WR, and maybe a RB. I think the most likely cuts as they get those new guys are Hughes and Marsh, Coleman, Matthews, and maybe Maehl or Tobin, although I think Maehl could stick and contribute also.
    I don’t know every team in the league, and I am sure there will be some pickups I never heard of, but the drops that I could see the eagles going for would be, S Winston Guy and CB Ron Parker from Seattle, maybe a more veteran CB who can rotate in p Marcus Trufant, Drayotn Florence, or even Chase Minnifiled. I also noted OLB Kenny Rowe, another Oregon product, I wonder about WR Chris Harper, also a Seattle drop.

  • Fly High

    My guesses for practice squad ,if they are not picked up, Dixon, Shepard, Bamiro, Tobin, if he gets dropped from roster, Kruger, Brown, McCoy

    • Crazymike663

      Kruger is on I.R. so he will not be on the P.S.

  • Michael Myers

    At the NFL combine Jeff Maehl had a strong performance. He measured in at 6’1″ and 190 lbs and had a slower than average 40-time of 4.62 seconds. However, in the measures of quickness – 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle, and 3-cone drill – Maehl finished 2nd, 1st, and 1st respectively.[6] Maehl’s 6.42 second 3-cone drill was not only the fastest in this year’s draft, but the fastest it has been run in 6 years

    • Token

      The guy has to go prove hes a player, or else it just looks like Chip playing favorites.
      Im hoping hes a reliable guy that can work the short to intermediate routes over the middle.

    • RIP illa

      We know the Maehl combine story already. But in all honesty he looks like a 5th WR at best. Plenty of. Other young players w/ size and who may not be as quick but are actual downfield threats, and have just as much potential…if not more, to actually be a 2nd or 3rd WR. But maybe Maehl will prove us all wrong and become a great # 2 or 3.

      • theycallmerob

        I see where you’re coming from, but I believe you’re looking at this from a different viewpoint than Kelly. What’s the likelihood a 5th WR will produce anything? Maehl is around for ST, and being a character/glue guy. Kelly does not seem to be about “potential”, but rather gain as much production from those active 46 as he can. He knows exactly what Maehl brings to the table.

        • Media Mike

          And if Maehl is “off the table” when a better WR becomes available, don’t be shocked.

          • theycallmerob

            Absolutely. I’m merely stating that in response to “why is Maehl even on the 53 at all, over Salas/Shepard”? I hope to baby jeebus we find some guys these next few days; first to go are Coleman, one of the CBs (Marsh/Hughes), Mathews, and Maehl.

          • OregonEagle

            Maehl isn’t going anywhere for the time being. They traded to bring him in and give him a look. They looked and kept him over Salas and Shepard. Salas is on the PS so anybody who comes available would have to be better than him. There are bigger problems to take care of the #5 WR

        • RIP illa

          You said nothing wrong. And trust I’m not against Maehl. Although I still do think we need someone better in case DJax goes down and to actually push Coop. But Maehl over Salas doesn’t bother me that much. It’s the underlining issue of having quality depth and how we as a team never seem to be able to find that guy who can actually rise from his position. Brown being the exception of course.

      • BIGJES

        uhm exactly he is a 5th WR , where is all this 2nd and 3rd Wr talent available?

        • RIP illa

          Wow. You thought you said something profound didn’t you! LMBO! Haven’t hecked the waiver wire in awhile but here’s 2 for you. Chris Harper and Da’Rick Rogers!

          And yes I’m very well aware of their problems also…hence the word POTENTIAL!!!

    • BIGJES

      yeah i mentioned that earlier, also he shined in Kelly’s offense in his senior year.
      Had a great game i believe 9 catches against Jets. Grant it against guys who probably won’t make a team,but that was who was out there.

  • RIP illa

    I don’t know what to make of Howie right now. Loved how he would make moves, seemingly, out of nowhere (big or small).

    He sat under and learned from Banner for years, so he knows how to work the cap. Say what you want about Banner, but that man was a genius when it came to putting the team in the best cap situation no matter who he brought in. I’ll never forgive him for the Dawk shrewdness though. But then, in what can only be seen as an attempt to distance himself from all things of the past, he goes and makes absurd “loyalty” contracts w/ players who have plateaued, if not in decline. Cole, Celek, Herremans.

    I don’t blame him for the 2011 FA pickups, and no one should! They were great moves at the time and the right moves. They just didn’t work out. Every fan that lords that over him are either hypocrites, liars, or should give me tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, cause they obviously can/could predict the future.

    The big thing is the drafts…He takes no responsibility for them and Lurie completely absolves him (which I don’t believe either on of them) even though he was the GM!!! If true or not, as to whether he had nothing to do w/ them or did, both scenario’s are completely unacceptable for a GM. And you would think a leader, which a GM is buy all means, would not completely run from responsibility and hide under Lurie’s skirt (which btw, is made of crisp $100 bills)!

    And now he’s going ulta-conservative with his approach to FA and the draft. Yet still there are some similarities from years past, ie, gaping holes at certain positions, the Chip Oregon connection, like the Andy BYU connection, head scratching picks…etc!

    His “GM speak” and his comments on defense are really worrisome. Hopefully he can finally make this work. He’s already been here for 3 yrs as GM and everyone is expecting, realistically, that it can take 2-3 yrs to turn this team around. Are we, as fans, supposed to put up w/ a GM for 5-6 yrs that can’t have this team contending for a title?

  • Max Lightfoot

    Absolutely none of Howie Baby’s takeaways matter one damn bit to me until I see the Eags play Washington with my own eyeballs – FWIW.

    • Media Mike

      I’m not predicting a win for that game. I think we get beat somewhere around 42-31, 38-27, that type of thing.
      My only real hope is that we end the season for either Garcon or RG3 so I can make fragile jokes at Skins fans.

      • Max Lightfoot

        I think our Eags have a chance, because I’m not convinced that RGIII is all that mobile just yet – neither is Dr. James Andrews:

        http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/8/17/4631882/robert-griffin-iii-dr-james-andrews-recommendation-redskins

        Sounds about right that Shanahan would start him against the surgeon’s advice, but I guess any coach who needs immediate wins would do the same. I don’t wish him harm, but I think RGIII would do well to think about his long-term future. I think we split with the Deadskins this year – we get outscored this time but beat them at home.

      • BIGJES

        rooting for a player to be injured ? your a winner

        • Media Mike

          Grow up. Like the “body bag game” isn’t one of the most revered moments in football history when we forced every Skins QB to die and Brian Mitchell had to finish the game?

          • BIGJES

            grow up? cause wishing injury on another person is mature?

          • Media Mike

            I don’t wish injury on you walking down the street and I’d help to make sure you were ok if I saw you injure yourself. Football isn’t life, it is a combat event between two teams. Rooting for injury on a player for the other team is fine.

          • BIGJES

            I get that,but i would take more pleasure beating a team against there best players

          • BIGJES

            Oh,and thanx for the help

          • Media Mike

            Ha ha. You’re welcome. I’m a humanitarian outside of sports events.

          • Media Mike

            I’m pragmatic and will enjoy seeing beating given out in any aspect necessary.

          • Dan

            Its a game, get a life.

    • Bill MOogan

      Agree…Howie Roseman doesn’t know a football player from a basketball player, much less who’s good and who isn’t..My guess is that his total experience in football consists of watching games on Sunday and playing fantasy football. THh Eagles are going nowhere until they get football people in the front office as opposed to toadies like Roseman

  • BIGJES

    funny thing about the ’10 and ’11 drafts ,these were when the the powers that be decided to trade higher quality picks for quantity picks on the back end . how did that work out????