Leaps of faith became a running theme for the Eagles this offseason as the team head in a new direction under the guidance of Howie Roseman. The birds seemed more willing than most to take chances on players who have “character issues”, injury concerns or other problems that have hurt their development.
The theme ran deep into the draft and even deeper into the signing of the sixteen undrafted rookie free agents. The Eagles then tried out 26 more players during last week’s rookie camp..a few of whom certainly fit the same mould.
The Eagles were obviously confident that in drafting players with very high ceilings at such a low risk, they could refine the sharp edges and develop a roster of players who are young, versatile and extremely talented. How are they going to do that? A strong Coaching staff is certainly one way, but the Eagles are already making subtle moves to ease the transition into the NFL for their latest intake of rookies.
— Derek Boyko (@derek_boyko) May 19, 2016
As Eagles PR representative Derek Boyko tweeted a couple of days ago, Playbook Inc’s Gerry Matalon spoke with the Eagles with regards to media relations. Matalon brings with him a very strong reputation and some of the NFL’s biggest media personalities were quick to endorse his work.
— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) May 21, 2016
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) May 21, 2016
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) May 21, 2016
So why is this significant for the Eagles? It’s just coaching on how to handle the media and build successful media careers after your time as a player…right?
Well, yes. But with such a strong reputation after working with the likes of Tim Tebow, Bob Knight, Scott Van Pelt and Suzy Kolber during his extensive time as ESPN’s Talent Executive, Matalon brings with him close to 30 years of experience in the field and an ability to nurture talent within the industry as well as teach players skills that will help them both on and off the field.
Philadelphia is a huge media market city..and needless to say, the media is extremely tough. It’s intense, it’s gritty, it can be manipulativeWhether it’s giving the rookies some guidance on how to handle themselves in the NFL or even giving them the inspiration and information needed to create opportunities for themselves on the other side of the camera, that kind of tutoring is only going to add a level of maturity to a handful of players who will be looking to prove many wrong in 2016 and remove the “character concerns” cloud from above their heads.
— Gerry Matalon (@GerryMatalon) May 20, 2016
This may not seem like a groundbreaking development, it may not even sound like news to some. But the fact that he Eagles have sought out one of the best in the business to talk with the rookies and ensure their transition to the NFL is as smooth as possible when it comes to media relations, fully knowing that the media pressure is perhaps even higher than last year was an incredibly smart move.
Whether it’s showing players paths to careers in the media or just simply answering questions and calming some nerves, the presence of Gerry Matalon is something that cannot be underestimated. The Eagles know what they’re doing..and if it’s maturing the young players that’s a prominent aim, they’re certainly heading down the right path.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Bowling Green State University