Eagles Wake-Up Call: Howie Roseman Notes
Howie Roseman isn’t available to talk to the media much, and when he is, he doesn’t always provide the most clarity with his answers. Regardless, it’s always valuable to hear from the guy whom Jeffrey Lurie is trusting to run the show.
We touched on Roseman’s explanation of the Eric Rowe trade yesterday and how he may have a different draft strategy this year, but here are some final notes on the most important topics Roseman touched on during his conversation with reporters:
—On how Doug Pederson performed in his rookie season:
“You talk about facing adversity. Head coach comes in and our right tackle [Lane Johnson] is suspended for 10 games; our starting quarterback [Sam Bradford] is traded eight days before the start of the regular season. And the way the players responded, certainly towards the end of the season, you could see how the players felt about him. I’m just looking forward to him getting better and continuing to grow like all of us in our jobs.”
—On how he would evaluate his own performance over the last year:
“It starts with the quarterback position, and I was very vocal internally about the need to have a long-term answer at that position, and felt like it was the most important thing we could possibly do. I sit up here really excited about the future of this franchise, but knowing that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. We didn’t have the same amount of resources that we are used to. We didn’t have a second-round pick. We had a lot of guys becoming free agents over a two-year period of time. I’m excited about the work our scouting staff did in the draft without a second and fourth-round pick, but again, we have a lot of work to do.”
—On how Carson Wentz performed in his rookie season:
“Carson missed the final three preseason games [and] missed a month of training camp. He was notified he was the starting quarterback eight days before the start of the season. [With] his competitive fire, his intangible skill set, his physical skill set, we couldn’t be more excited about the things that he brings to the table and see what he’s going to do with a full offseason and opportunity to grow here in year two.”
—On how he would evaluate the five-year, $46.25 million contract extension he gave Vinny Curry, who played just 43 percent of the defense’s snaps this season:
“When we sat down again last year and looked at the foreseeable future and the opportunities for guys on our roster to be free agents, we felt like it was like a layered cake. We needed to add to the talent base, not start subtracting [from] it. … In terms of Vinny, Vinny continued to get better in the scheme. He’s moved around a lot. He’s been in a lot of different schemes. We think he’s going to continue to get better. We’re really excited that he’s on this football team.”
—On if Connor Barwin and Bennie Logan will be back next year:
“Both tremendous players and tremendous people. [We are] really fortunate to have both those guys on our team. You’d like to have everyone back and I think that’s our situation here. Certainly want to build along the lines in the d-line.”
—On how tough it is to replace Chip Kelly as the de facto general manager:
“You’re just dealing with the reality of the situation. I could say sitting up here last year, it was challenging. It was a challenging situation and it starts with the quarterback position. We didn’t have a starting quarterback under contract; he was a free agent. We were picking 13th with no (second-round pick). And we sat down and we said if we can come out of this offseason and sit here next season at this time and feel like we had a permanent answer at that position, we’re going in the right direction. And so I know it’s tough to boil it down to that, but that was how important we thought it was in that situation to get it. And part of that was the analysis that there was a graying of the quarterback position in the National Football League. We had done a preliminary analysis of what was coming out going forward and we just felt like it was a unique moment to be able to move up.”
—On college players skipping bowl games and declaring for the draft to avoid injury:
“You have to look at each case, situation by situation. Certainly respect the player’s decision. When you get a chance to sit down with them, I’ll ask them their perspective, because obviously we can’t do that at this time.”
—On balancing being patient and building for the future while also improving year to year:
“When you go back and look at 2008 when we were in the [NFC] Championship Game and 2009 and 2010, 10-6 isn’t good enough to get home-field advantage; to compete for a championship. It’s a huge edge to have that bye. So we have to build the team with that in mind. I think some of the things that we’ve done over the past few years have been to get to 10-6 and that’s not good enough.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Roseman said it was tough to rebuild the team after what Chip Kelly did during his tenure, writes Zach Berman of the Inquirer.
“I was very vocal internally about the need to have a long-term answer at [quarterback], and felt like it was the most important thing we could possibly do,” Roseman said. “I sit up here really excited about the future of this franchise, but knowing that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. We didn’t have the same amount of resources that we are used to.”
That last admission was another part of Roseman’s message in his season-ending news conference Wednesday. Roseman acknowledged the quagmire he inherited, offering not-so-subtle references to Chip Kelly’s one year in charge of personnel decisions and Roseman’s exile.
There were repeated references to instability at quarterback, no second-round pick, and messy contract situations. Roseman even noted how the Eagles used to lead the NFL in 20-plus-yard plays and that he doesn’t “have a DeLorean time machine to go back in time and get some of those guys back” – an allusion to a period when DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy wore Eagles uniforms.
“I could say sitting up here last year, it was challenging,” Roseman said. “It was a challenging situation and it starts with the quarterback position. We didn’t have a starting quarterback under contract; he was a free agent. We were picking 13th with no [second-rounder]. And we sat down and we said if we can come out of this offseason and sit here next season at this time and feel like we had a permanent answer at that position, we’re going in the right direction.”
CSNPhilly.com’s Reuben Frank says Roseman wants to build for a Super Bowl run.
From 2001 through 2004, the Eagles reached four straight NFC Championship Games, and those teams won 11, 12, 12, 13 games. Three of them earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home-field throughout. In 2001 and 2008, they reached the NFC Championship Game via the wild-card route.
The Eagles lost all those NFC title games other than 2004, but six of the 15 postseason wins the Eagles have recorded since 1960 came during their three consecutive years as a No. 1 seed.
So Roseman’s message is that you have to build for greatness, not just to get into the tournament.
“When you look at it, there are certain things that it’s almost impossible to win a championship without,” Roseman said. “And I think when I look back at some of the mistakes I made, they were about just trying to get into the playoffs and believing that once you get into the playoffs maybe you have a chance every year because it’s a shorter field and you can just get hot.
“But really when you look at the Super Bowl championships, over the last decade, really since the Super Bowl was in effect, they all have a franchise quarterback.”
We’ll take a look at how much it may cost for the Eagles to bring back Bennie Logan and DeSean Jackson.
Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post.