What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Chip owners meetings

Photo: USA Today Sports.

This year’s owners meetings provided the Philadelphia media with the first opportunity to question Chip Kelly since his firing in December of last year, and also opened up Doug Pederson to an hour of questions.

Here is the latest on what we learned at the coaches breakfasts, as well as the owners meetings as a whole. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Leftovers From the Owners Meetings

Jeffrey Lurie and Chip Kelly at the press conference announcing Kelly's hiring. (Jeff Fusco)

Jeffrey Lurie and Chip Kelly at the press conference announcing Kelly’s hiring. (Jeff Fusco)

A few takeaways from three days at the owners meetings:

— Strolling down one of the grand hallways at the opulent Boca Raton Resort & Club following Tuesday’s media session with Jeffrey Lurie, we ran into Chip Kelly and said a quick hello. Parted ways, walked a few more paces and bumped into Howie Roseman. A couple more, and there was Don Smolenski. One after the other after the other. The whole gang, back together again.

Not really. Read more »

Chip Opens Up About Faulty Front-Office Structure

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

BOCA RATON, FL — Chip Kelly‘s hour-long session with reporters at the owners meetings Wednesday helped shine a light on the level of dysfunction that existed in the Eagles’ front office last season.

Kelly said he never really saw Howie Roseman after the power shift that gave the head coach control and pushed Roseman out of the personnel department. Further, they did not talk directly, per Kelly, and instead used Ed Marynowitz as an intermediary.

Is that a way a front office should work? Shouldn’t there be communication between a cap guy and a personnel guy?

Kelly waited a beat and then replied, “Yeah, you would think.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Lurie On Changing Times

Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

BOCA RATON, FL — Jeffrey Lurie was surely aware of the criticism, and even if he somehow eluded it, reporters directly asked him about it yesterday at the NFL’s annual meeting.

If your plan all along was to give Howie Roseman back the power he once had, why not be transparent about it from the start, say the new personnel executive wouldn’t be hired until after the draft and re-assign Roseman the General Manager title?

“In today’s NFL, I don’t know what the words ‘general’ and ‘manager’ mean,” Lurie responded. “So we’re trying to be a little more specific and say ‘football operations,’ because when you’re managing football operations, it’s no longer about watching tape, figuring out who to draft and that kind of stuff. It’s extraordinary collaborative. It’s information intensive.” Read more »

Lurie On QBs And Accountability

USATSI_PEDERSON-LURIE-940X540

BOCA RATON, FL — The intent all along, Jeffrey Lurie said, was to have Howie Roseman calling the shots this offseason. And though they were open to hiring a personnel head earlier in the offseason, the “plan was always sometime in May to make that final decision.”

Reasons for lack of transparency on these subjects earlier in the offseason can be debated, but nevertheless, the truth that had been apparent for some time was finally verbalized by the owner: Roseman is in charge.

“Yes, without question,” responded Lurie, when asked if Roseman will be held accountable for the moves made this offseason. “And he’ll be accountable for how well the player personnel department does in the future because that’s an important hire going forward. It’s not just one person, it’s a department, but he’ll be responsible for the quality of that department.”

One thing that has been harder to pin down is how Lurie has held himself accountable for his handling of the organization over the last several months and years. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Another Chance For Lurie

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

BOCA RATON, FL — Today is presumably the day where “accountability will be 100 percent acknowledged” by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

The last time Lurie spoke, he refrained from clearly defining Howie Roseman‘s role and level of authority, saying that he did not want to telegraph the team’s intentions given the “competitive nature” of their search for a new personnel head. That search, as we know, set off on a path to nowhere. Even if it had netted someone, it was evident that the new hire would have answered to Roseman and not the other way around. The candidates were aware of this. There was no real need for evasiveness, other than perhaps to kick the issue down the road where the PR hit might be less severe.

To that end, mission accomplished. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Chip’s Big Move

Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota. (USA Today Sports)

Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota. (USA Today Sports)

In case you missed it, Fox Sports NFL insider Peter Shrager recently revealed the details of an Eagles trade that would have landed Marcus Mariota during last years NFL draft. Shrager was on Colin Cowherd’s radio show with the report.

“Last year the Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans — and I know this — a 2015 first-round pick, a 2015 second-round pick, a 2016 first-round pick, they said ‘take any of our quarterbacks’ — that’s Bradford, that’s Sanchez, that’s whoever — [and] take anyone on our defense; we want that No. 2 pick.”

As with any big move — even theoretical — the world of sports opinion was quick to support or decry the unsuccessful offer. Read more »

Roseman Talks About His Time Away

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Howie Roseman talked to Peter King of MMQB about his year away from the personnel game as a result of Chip Kelly‘s power play. Turns out, he spent much of that time studying other professional sports operations in hopes of gleaning information that would help him the second time around.

On Friday, Roseman told me that in his time away from a position of influence with the Eagles last year, he learned about the business of sport and the cultivation and development of players from franchise-runners in the NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL and the English Premier League. That’s right. He said that his time at a British sports seminar last November gave him a chance to learn a lot from some of the power teams in world soccer—Chelsea, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City—about the importance of character in team-building, and about the skills needed to meld players speaking different languages from different cultures with a team of totally different people.

“That was so valuable,” Roseman said, because player development in sports is of universal importance. “And talking to people in basketball, hockey and baseball helped a lot too. I believe experience is a great teacher. All experiences. In the middle of your career, you can’t often take the time or use the energy to take a step back and really learn about your business. But sometimes that’s the best thing for you in business—to take a step back and learn. I was given that opportunity, and Jeffrey [Lurie, the Eagles’ owner] wanted me to learn as much as I could, and for that I’m grateful. So when this opportunity came up now, I was able to hit the ground running. I’d been thinking about so much of the stuff about building a team.”

Read more »

Weekend Reading: Grading Eagles Free Agency

Rodney McLeod. (USA Today Sports)

Rodney McLeod. (USA Today Sports)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Here are some links to pass along following the first wave of free agency:

Bill Barnwell of ESPN sounds lukewarm on the Rodney McLeod signing, giving the Eagles a C+ for the move.

McLeod was previously part of St. Louis’ relatively anonymous secondary, which is suddenly blowing up to become the most expensive unit in league history (albeit scattered to the wind). The lesser of St. Louis’ two safeties alongside playmaker T.J. McDonald, McLeod was the beneficiary of a great pass rush, spending less time in coverage than the vast majority of his counterparts. The Eagles hope to continue that with Jim Schwartz around.

I’d be skeptical of defensive backs from the Rams for the same reasons I was hesitant with Janoris Jenkins. But McLeod has the speed for cover for mistakes at cornerback — you may remember him laying out Emmanuel Sanders with a legal hit in 2014 — and given that the Eagles are currently booked to start Eric Rowe and Leodis McKelvin, there are going to be mistakes at cornerback. At five years and $37.5 million, it’s a lot to spend on a safety, especially given the fact that Philly already gave Malcolm Jenkins a four-year, $35 million deal this offseason. The Eagles are set to spend as much on safeties as anybody else in the league over the next three years, and they’re doing it without a transcendent star like Earl Thomas. It remains to be seen whether that’s a smart idea. At the very least, it’s a better plan than hoarding resources on running backs.

Read more »

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