Howie Roseman met the media today to discuss the ghosts of Eagles past, present and future. After a 7-9 season, there was plenty to talk about. But one of the main topics of discussion was how the Eagles plan to build around quarterback Carson Wentz and cement the teams future legitimacy. There’s one man at the core of that blueprint..and it isn’t Howie Roseman.
The Eagles hired Joe Douglas as their new Head of Personnel earlier this year. It’s a position that was prioritized by the Eagles in the early stages of the offseason before pausing the search until after the Draft. Former Ravens Scout Andy Weidl followed Douglas to the City of Brotherly Love, where they wasted no time in building a foundation.
When asked about the hiring of Douglas, Roseman had the following to say:
“Bringing Joe Douglas here, with his insight and his leadership, his ability to lead the draft room and his ability to put the free agent board together, we think is going to be a huge addition to this staff.” He’s already added valuable input into what he’s looking for in players and what he’s looking to bring to this team”
“The first thing he did was bring in Andy Weidl.” Roseman told the media. “He’s got tremendous presence. He’s got a way of looking at and evaluating players that’s different than what we’ve done in the past, and we needed that…he has full reins over the draft board.”
That’s a big statement to make. But given the Eagles lack of consistency in hitting on early picks in the draft in recent years, it was perhaps a necessary one was Roseman stated. If the direction is changing however, which road are they now veering toward?
Douglas spent fifteen years with the Baltimore Ravens, first as an area scout where his work influenced the decision to draft Joe Flacco and then as a National Scout in 2012. He held this position for three years before moving to Chicago to become the Bears’ head of College Scouting in 2015. It was here where Douglas learned under Bears G.M Ryan Pace.
There is a reason why Douglas has such glowing praise from various NFL Executives. A “really strong communicator” who can “pull an entire staff together.” Douglas was sought after by the Browns not too long before signing with the Eagles..and it’s easy to see why. With fifteen years experience in a Franchise that could arguably be labelled as a foreshadowing of what the Eagles wish to become, Douglas could one day be heir to the GM throne, after being touted as a future General Manager by many.
During his time in Baltimore, Douglas played a huge role in bringing the likes of the following players to his team:
QB Joe Flacco
G Ben Grubbs
LB Pernell McPhee
LB C.J. Mosley
CB Lardarius Webb
G Marshal Yanda
LB Albert McClellan
WR Marlon Brown
LB Dannell Ellerbe,
LB Jameel McClain
K Justin Tucker
It’s not just the caliber of players scouted by Douglas and Weidl that have excited the Eagles brass.
“The Ravens have won two world championships since the start of this century.” Roseman was keen to point out, as well as establishing that he meets with Douglas several times a day.
But even though Douglas appears to have taken a huge burden from Howie Roseman, accountability still rings loud in the Ears of the Eagles Vice President Of Football Operations.
“It’s a collaborative effort when we’re talking about who we’re picking, but the responsibility is mine”
It’s not yet known just what kind of approach the Eagles will take. But when you look at the moves when it came down to the Waiver wire at the start of the season, the addition of both Bryce Treggs and Kamu Grugier-Hill, who developed into an impactful special teamer, it’s clear to see the early wheels in motion.
The Eagles scouting structure has been completely overturned during the last few months and as a result, the team are now moving in an entirely new direction. One of continuity, growth, development and financially sensical moves..which are three things the Birds absolutely need to achieve if they are to ever reach the heights of a Super Bowl again.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports