Weekend Reading: Howie Roseman’s Second Chance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here’s a collection of the best Eagles-related material to keep you satiated on this football-less Sunday.

From FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo, Howie Roseman survived the Chip Kelly era. Now he plans on getting things right in his second go-round.

Though he’s working with interim head of personnel Tom Donohoe and will soon have a permanent football guru helping him select players, Roseman survived unlike many in this business who receive a demotion. He is the Eagles’ de facto GM and quickly got back to work by signing five players to contract extensions in recent weeks.

The 40-year-old Roseman, who worked his way up from Eagles intern in 2000 to GM in 2010, told reporters his situation as an example of how “we all go through adversity. I’m up here as an example of that over the last year.” And while he will have to win over a fan base that wants to see better results than his initial stint as GM, he believes the team is better prepared for success.

The reason for that confidence is he used last year as a sabbatical of sorts to pick the brains of GMs, team presidents and other franchise leaders in all sports last year — about 15 in all. He gathered info on how to be better at his job should he get another crack at running a front office.

Maybe he wasn’t so sure he’d put it all to work so quickly. Nonetheless, it’s time to see if his studies paid off.

What does Colin Kaepernick‘s desire for a change of scenery mean for the Eagles’ quarterback picture? ESPN’s Phil Sheridan explores.

The catch here is that the Eagles would have to trade for Kaepernick. Having just made a one-sided deal for [Sam] Bradford a year ago, they may not want to invest more resources in the quarterback position.

But Kaepernick did take the Niners to the Super Bowl just three years ago. He has won four more playoff games than Bradford has played in. And Kaepernick is exactly five days older than Bradford, so there is no reason to believe he can’t regain the form that took him to back-to-back NFC title games.

The irony, of course, is that many people thought Kaepernick would have been a great fit for Kelly when the Eagles were considering quarterback options. Now Kelly is in San Francisco, and Kaepernick apparently wants out.

But Pederson can certainly work with a mobile quarterback. He did with Michael Vick in Philadelphia and Alex Smith in Kansas City. He backed up Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb, two QBs who could move pretty well.

ESPN football mastermind Bill Barnwell says this year’s crop of free agent quarterbacks is one of the best in recent memory.

A classic example of what happens when one team falls in love with the wrong quarterback popped up in Philadelphia last year, when Chip Kelly decided that Sam Bradford was his quarterback of the future and dealt Nick Foles and meaningful draft assets (amounting to roughly the 36th overall pick, per Chase Stuart’s draft value chart) to acquire the former first overall pick from St. Louis.

Bradford failed to develop in Philadelphia, posting the league’s third-worst Total QBR (41.8) while continuing to struggle throwing downfield. Bradford is the inverse of Cousins, a player whose only statistical strength is his propensity for avoiding interceptions, and even that’s driven by how short his typical pass travels in the air. Over his career, Bradford’s typical throw has gone 7.4 yards in the air; the only regular quarterback who has thrown shorter passes over that timespan is Alex Smith.

And yet, teams who are desperate for a quarterback would kill for the chance to acquire Bradford at the expense of cycling through the [Brian] Hoyers of the world. Bradford’s ceiling as a quarterback, given his accuracy and arm strength, is far higher than it would be for Hoyer. There have been stretches where Bradford looked as though he could be the man — he carried a pretty middling Rams offense as a rookie, played well during an abbreviated seven-game stretch in 2013 before his first ACL tear, and was a league-average quarterback during the last month of the 2015 campaign.

Does Sam Bradford even want to be back in Philadelphia next year? Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe plays devil’s advocate and explores why he might not.

The money seems to be the key. Despite the Eagles’ resigning a bunch of players, the fact the negotiations with Bradford are dragging on suggest it’s about what Bradford is asking for, pure and simple. Is he worth $20 million? Probably not, but the Eagles might have to pay it if they want to pair the most stable quarterback available with a much improved defense under Jim Schwartz.

Fans and sports talk radio hosts are already incensed at simply the idea that Bradford could fetch a lucrative contract. If the team re-signs Bradford to anything close to $20 million, they will be livid and hold it against him every time he throws an incomplete pass or fails to convert a third down. Boy, that sounds like a situation Bradford would want to be in.

So while the Eagles might ultimately work out a deal with Bradford let’s not assume that Bradford has some responsibility to the city of Philadelphia to cut down his asking price for the honor of returning.

Over at MMQB, Peter King writes on the difficulty of finding top-notch offensive tackles early in the draft, and figuring out how to go about it.

What you saw Wade Phillips and the Broncos do in the post-season was key on the matchups he felt were huge edges for his defense. Can there be any argument that Von Miller versus Carolina right tackle Mike Remmers was the downfall of Carolina in the Super Bowl—and Miller using speed mostly but also power and inside moves? And can there be any argument that Phillips found more than just Miller to wreak havoc on the Patriots in the AFC title game, when the most plodding New England tackles (such as Marcus Cannon) were continually exposed by speed?

In the NFL today, the pass-rushers are ahead of the edge protectors. Teams will be trying to turn that around in the draft this year. My advice: Look for power-forward tackles, the Jonathan Ogden types, instead of the mashers. Because the game has turned into stopping the speed on the defensive edge. That’s how Denver won the Super Bowl. Problem is, the draft hasn’t stopped this edge speed yet, and as the combine kicks off in Indianapolis, the most important factor for the [Laremy] Tunsil-led tackle prospects is whether they can keep the speed on the edge and out of the backfield.