Eagles Wake-Up Call: Douglas, Weidl And the Flacco Connection
Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl each have some notable names attached to their resumes. Douglas, who is expected to be announced as the Eagles’ new personnel head soon, is credited with scouting players like Ray Rice, Lardarius Webb and Pernell McPhee. Weidl — reported to be reuniting with Douglas in Philly — is tied to guys like Haloti Ngata, Tyrod Taylor and Torrey Smith.
One of their biggest hauls, though, proved to be a joint venture.
Shortly after the Ravens’ Super Bowl win over the Niners in February 2013, Peter King told the story of two Baltimore scouts who made a fateful trip to Newark, Delaware back in 2007 to take a look at Joe Flacco.
The Ravens were one troubled franchise, and it was becoming abundantly clear that struggling quarterbacks Kyle Boller and Troy Smith were not the answer, and that Steve McNair could not stay healthy. The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger riddled Baltimore for five touchdown passes in a 38–7 rout in Pittsburgh that evening, and Ravens scouts were put on notice. G.M. Ozzie Newsome’s tacit order: Find us a quarterback.
Five days later, two of those scouts, Joe Douglas, who covers the East Coast, and Andy Weidl from out west, went to look in on a senior quarterback at Delaware as he played against Richmond. There were seven scouts there that cold day, and when Joe Flacco threw a pick-six just before halftime, five of them left. The Ravens’ duo stuck around.
“The other scouts thought he was too stiff, too slow,” Douglas recalled on Sunday night, soaking up the Super Bowl win.
“A Dan McGwire,” Weidl said, referring to Mark’s brother, a 6′ 8″ QB out of lower-level San Diego State who was drafted with the 16th pick in 1991 and washed out. “But we were on the field before the game watching [Flacco] warm up, and we loved him. The ball just whizzed. We thought, This guy’s got an AFC North arm—a bad-weather arm. When I saw Joe, I saw Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer….”
“And he brings Delaware back in the second half,” Douglas said. “They lose in five overtimes, but he’s unbelievable [224 passing yards after halftime], and we’re really happy the scouts left.”
Douglas continued to serve as an area scout until 2012 when the Ravens promoted him to national scout. Last May, he left Baltimore to take a job as the Bears’ college scouting director.
“Everybody loves and respects the guy,” said Baltimore Senior Personnel Assistant George Kokinis around the time of the move, via the team’s website. “You never hear a bad word about Joe even though he’s under the radar. He never puts himself out there for as good a scout as he is.”
That respect has been evident since word of his move to the Eagles got out.
The Eagles hit a HR by hiring Joe Douglas. They followed that up with another HR by adding Andy Weidl. 2 of NFLs top evaluators.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 9, 2016
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeBR) May 6, 2016
Weidl, too, appears to be held in pretty high regard. A former o-lineman at Villanova, the Pittsburgh native has been serving as Baltimore’s East-regional scout since 2013. He will reportedly be Douglas’ “right-hand man” with the Eagles.
The Ravens are known for their scouting-staff stability under Ozzie Newsome; in that respect, netting a pair of former Baltimore personnel men is kind of a feat in itself. The Eagles, in contrast, have had quite a bit of turnover in that department — particularly with Howie Roseman in charge. Whether it’s any different this time around is to be determined, but for the moment credit Roseman for landing a duo with pedigree and a proven eye for talent.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Josh examines the prospects of tight end Trey Burton making the switch to fullback.
“Bradford loses his job to Chase Daniel — the new coach’s handpicked backup, by Thanksgiving.” What They’re Saying.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
David Murphy takes on the ‘All Super Bowls are won by franchise quarterbacks’ way of thinking:
If Carson Wentz turns out to be a franchise QB, the Eagles made the right move. If Tebow turned out to be a franchise QB, if Johnny Manziel turned out to be a franchise QB, if Robert Griffin turned out to be a franchise QB…maybe thinking it in those terms makes you uncomfortable, but such is life. But let’s not even think in those terms, because, again, those terms are seductively simple. The reality is, many QBs fall somewhere in the middle of the Tebows and the Lucks, and the belief that you can’t win a Super Bowl with one of those guys is a loser’s mentality. Part of the problem is we throw around the term “Franchise QB” as if the term defines itself, and, when you press people hard enough, you usually discover that they define the term as “QB capable of winning a Super Bowl.” Which is funny, because those same people then turn around and argue that a team needs a franchise QB in order to win a Super Bowl. If you define a franchise QB as any QB that has won a Super Bowl, then, yeah, you need a franchise QB to win a Super Bowl. The reality is that Joe Flacco’s numbers are not reflective of a guy who was anything other than an average quarterback on a good team who had a very good four-week stretch. In fact, his numbers aren’t a whole lot different from Sam Bradford’s. I know, I know, the only numbers that matter are wins. Flacco’s a winner. And if we define great QBs as QBs who win, then, yeah, a team needs a great QB to win. Problem is, we just watched a team win a Super Bowl with a quarterback who was definitively not great. In fact, Peyton Manning was so obviously less great than he was in years in which he failed to win the Super Bowl that his last act as a Hall of Fame QB might’ve been to destroy the notion that you need a Hall of Fame QB to win a Super Bowl. Of course, a Hall of Fame QB helps. But in the past 15 years we’ve seen Colin Kaepernick, Jake Delhomme, Brad Johnson, Rich Gannon, Flacco, Donovan McNabb, all go to the Super Bowl. Manning won two. Rodgers won one. Marino won none. Elway won both of his once he was over the hill.
Ross Tucker sees a problem with the assumption that Sam Bradford will be gone next year.
Not buying “trade Bradford after season” talk. If he plays well enough someone wants to trade for his $17M in ’17 Eagles likely keep him.
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) May 10, 2016
Rookie camp starts Friday.