Eagles Wake-Up Call: No Rocking the Boat

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

MOBILE, Ala. – Howie Roseman was asked this week whether he talks to current Eagles about draft prospects they might have played with in college.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “You want to know their mindset. You want to make sure that you’re bringing guys in that are gonna fit into your culture. Right now we have a good culture, and that’s a fun part of it. You want to make sure that you continue that and you don’t bring anybody who’s gonna rock the boat.”

In some ways, Roseman’s response was telling. The Eagles feel like they have a good thing going. They know there is plenty of work to do, but they’re thrilled with the foundation that was put into place in Year 1 of the Chip Kelly era. As they look to upgrade talent in the coming months, it’s important to them that the culture-building aspect doesn’t get put on the back-burner.

Interviews are one of the most overlooked aspects of the pre-draft process. A lot of the focus will be on heights, weights and 40 times. But Kelly wants to know if a guy will buy in and fit into the culture at the NovaCare Complex. During last year’s draft, he specifically mentioned Bennie Logan and Matt Barkley as two guys who wowed him during the interview process.

Each night this week in Mobile, Eagles coaches had an opportunity to sit down and chat with prospects.

“It’s such a team sport,” Roseman said. “You’re talking about 53 guys coming together. When you think about where all these guys come from, it’s different backgrounds, different cities, and you’ve gotta fit them all in. I think that’s why being a head coach in the National Football League is such a tough job. It’s our job to make sure that we’re not bringing in outsiders who rock the boat too much.”

Kelly echoed that sentiment earlier this month.

“There’s a lot of really good athletes out there that don’t maximize their abilities because of maybe an intangible quality,” Kelly said. “What’s their passion for the game? How much are they willing to learn? How much are they willing to sacrifice? Not what are they willing to give, sometimes what are they willing to give up?”

Those are the questions Kelly, Roseman and company will try to get answers on in the months ahead.


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Jeffrey Lurie stopped by the Senior Bowl. From the Daily News’ Les Bowen:

Yesterday, Lurie further expanded his horizons with his first visit to Mobile and Senior Bowl practice. Though high winds ripped loose a sail-like NFL Network sun shield, nearly sending it careening into Mike Mayock and company while they were on the air, the weather in Mobile was decidedly better than in Philadelphia.

“Just wanted to get away from the snowstorm,” Lurie joked. Later he explained that he and wife Tina Lai were headed to a business meeting in Florida and decided to stop by Mobile, watch practice and take the scouts and coaches to dinner.

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com likes what he’s seen from Auburn’s Dee Ford:

The best player on the field today was Auburn DE Dee Ford. He was unblockable around the edge with his speed rush, and once he had opposing tackles leaning too far outside, he was beating them inside as well. There was one play in which he beat the LT around the corner, but the QB got the ball out quickly to the opposite side of the field. Ford just kept right on trucking after the football, and caught the play from behind.


Back on the ground in Philadelphia, but still plenty more to get to from my time in Mobile.

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