Roseman: ‘I Had No Idea’ What The Future Held
There was a point in time, during the past year, when Howie Roseman admits he didn’t know what his future held.
Roseman, then 39, had been removed by owner Jeffrey Lurie from his position as the Eagles’ general manager after the 2014 season, a step backward into a nebulous position within the organization.
“I had no idea what was going to go,” Roseman said Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time since Chip Kelly took over personnel control during that offseason.
His back to a white wall, Roseman spoke at length about his year away from personnel decisions, what he learned, and how he dealt with the demotion, which could have derailed his career, both with the Eagles and in the league as a whole.
Roseman began by wishing Kelly, who will be introduced tomorrow as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, luck going forward.
When Kelly squeezed him out of the personnel decisions, Roseman said, all he could do was “kind of move forward here.”
Roseman, who spoke Tuesday with a waver in his voice and stared at the ground for a few answers, said he viewed the year off as a chance to step back, work on some things, and get some perspective on where he was at and the things he needed to work on.
“I looked at people who have been successful in this field, and have had an opportunity to kind of look at it and gain perspective and certainly not have any issues of them, and to be positive and try to learn and get better. That’s how I took the year.”
The criticism of Roseman in the media, cacophonous at times during the past year, reached a fever pitch when the Eagles failed to reach the postseason in 2014.
One of the most criticized moves during his five-year tenure as the team’s general manager, was the selection of linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Smith has barely sniffed defensive playing time during the first two years of his career, and is widely viewed as a failed draft pick.
“I’ll take responsibility for everything that happened when I was the general manager here,” Roseman said, when asked if he was responsible for the doomed pick. “I’m happy to take responsibility for all that.”
But was he responsible for that particular selection?
“Yes,” Roseman admitted, when pressed further.
When the change was made after the 2014 season, rather than putting his “head in the sand” and telling himself people were wrong about him, Roseman said he had to take the decision “to heart.”
“I think it goes back to what was really important to me,” Roseman said, “and that was the relationships, so, how can I build better relationships.
“I felt like I had to look into myself and figure out a way to make people know I cared about them and make time for relationships,” he continued. “Sometimes when you’re in your job, when you’re in a busy job, you kind of overlook some of those things, and I felt that that wasn’t the right thing to do.
“I thought that was the most important thing because I care about a lot of people here. They’re family to me. So for people not to know how you feel, whether that’s your friends or your family, that’s hurtful to me.”
Over the past year, Roseman said, most people in public were supportive of him and the team. He said the year was harder on his family than it was on him.
“There’s no question it’s hard on your family,” he said. “It’s much harder on your family than it is on you, because you signed up for this. This is the job you had.
“There’s no question about it, that a big part of this year was about spending time with [his family]. I know people who have kids, or are in the process of having kids, understand that that’s what you hurt the most for.
“We’re big boys and girls in this. We understand that, with responsibility, comes accountability, comes criticism, but in this world that we’re in now, it’s hard to keep your kids away from it. That’s a hard thing; it’s a hard thing to explain to your children about what’s going on.”
As far as where he believes he stands as a talent evaluator right now, with the team starting a search for a new head of personnel, Roseman acknowledged he made mistakes during his time as general manager.
“I think you have to look at the mistakes that you’ve had, and understand why those were mistakes,” Roseman said. “Obviously the successes that you have, you kind of try to learn from everything. I think that’s everything you can do in this, is you can learn from things. It’s part of the growing process.”