Eagles Wake-Up Call: Roseman’s Tale
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports has started a podcast where he goes one-on-one with decision-makers in the league about how they worked their way up the ladder and the different experiences that have helped shape them.
This week’s subject was Howie Roseman, who spent nearly an hour talking about his path. He recounted his serendipitous run-in with Jack Elway on a plane when he was seven-years old that gave him the confidence to go after a career in football, to his dogged pursuit of said career and the many obstacles he faced. Roseman revealed that he chose to attend the University of Florida because he was “obsessed” with the passing game at the time and wanted to find a job with the Steve Spurrier-led Gators en route to the NFL.
“I did get in front of Spurrier but unfortunately, the only thing he was doing was hiring coaches to help. There was no personnel department, so I continued just trying to get my foot in the door. I sent so many letters to teams and I had rejection letters from floor to ceiling…
“When I came back to New York I went to Fordham Law School because the salary cap had just started. And I had actually gotten a call back from Mike Tannenbaum, who said, ‘I have five minutes and the reason I’m calling you is because I was looking through my resumes and every other resume was a thank you letter from letter from you [for] rejecting you again. I don’t have a job, I don’t have an opportunity but I have five minutes.’ And I said, ‘I really want to get into the NFL. Do you think if I went to law school and learned the cap that I’d get an opportunity?’ And he said, ‘Quite frankly, Howie, I think that’s probably your only way in at this point.'”
A running joke emerged between Tannenbaum and Joe Banner about this “crazy, stalkerish kind of guy who wouldn’t leave them alone.” Tannenbaum decided to interview Roseman for an internship position anyway, and Roseman ended up being a finalist for the job (which he ultimately did not get.)
“Mike called Joe and said, ‘Hey I interviewed the guy that we thought may be crazy, maybe need a restraining order [for],’ and Joe said, ‘Are you serious? Did you really do that?’ And Mike said, ‘Yeah, and if you need someone you should probably talk to him.'”
Roseman touched on his time in Philly, from his early days working out of the Vet to his rise to the top to his “exile” last year.
“When we restructured last year and I was put in a different role for the 2015 season, one of the things I asked Jeffrey [Lurie] was, if it was OK, I had always envisioned if I wasn’t going to be doing the same thing that I would do what a coach does when he takes a year away from it and they go visit the programs that they respect and appreciate and talk about all the things that take up their time — player personnel and analytics and sports science and relationships and team building — all the things that we spend our time on,” said Roseman.
“What an unbelievable experience. You think about it and you go, well, that year must have been tremendously hard and difficult, and I look back at it and it may have been one of the best years of my life because of the perspective. Because when you’re in the moment, you don’t get perspective. And then you certainly don’t get many second chances to come back into the same place with a lot of people you care about.”
The conversation shifted to the modern day. Roseman was asked what he would tell Eagles fans who wanted to know what to expect this year.
“I think the one thing that they’re going to get is a team that competes in the image of the city, and they’re going to be proud of that,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young players, we’ve got a bunch of good players and the arrow is definitely pointing up. We want to put on a product that can eventually get back to competing for championships every year. What the timeline on that is I don’t know, but I do know that we’ve got a great start in that direction, and the energy and enthusiasm that we’re getting from our players and coaches is outstanding. It’s a great first step as we’re kind of building blocks on top of blocks in this process of building a team.”
You can listen to the entire podcast here.
WHAT YOU MISSED
“We call what they’re doing here elephants on parade.” Rodney McLeod sits down with Josh to break down film.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Steven Ruiz of USA Today ranks all 32 NFL head coaches, and puts Doug Pederson at number 30 in front of Mike Mularkey and Dirk Koetter and just behind Ben McAdoo and Adam Gase.
We’re lumping all of the first-year coaches together, because no one really knows how they’ll fare as head coaches. Gase goes to the front of the line because of his successful runs in both Denver and Chicago. Ben McAdoo gets credit for turning the Giants into a West Coast outfit, which has revived Eli Manning’s career. Pederson did a fine job running Andy Reid’s offense in Kansas City, but he has yet to establish his own productive offense away from his mentor. Koetter did an excellent job with Jameis Winston last year, but his stints in Jacksonville and Atlanta did not go so well.
Allen Barbre remains as the starting left guard for now, writes Les Bowen, despite the added competition this offseason.
“Honestly, I wasn’t really worried about that,” Barbre said. “I feel like I played fairly decent, if you studied the film, or if you understood what went on. There was a lot of stuff that was tough on the o-line. It made it tough on us. But I feel like I can block anybody in the NFL. That’s my approach. I’ve got to be confident in my game. I can’t listen to what other people say about it. Just go with what I can control.”
Indeed, if you went just by how players looked last season, Kelce wouldn’t be here now, despite having made the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season. Barbre said he thinks teams figured out the Kelly regime’s zone-blocking scheme, and often knew what plays were coming. Sometimes he would go to make a block to find there were two defenders, and only one Barbre.
“We ran a lot of ‘true empty’ protection. That’s tough on the o-line, 5-on-5. I think teams maybe figured out some ways to scheme us,” Barbre said. “I liked the no-huddle, I thought there were good things about it, it put defenses in a crunch sometimes. I liked a lot of things that Chip did.”
Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day Weekend.