What seemed like an inevitability, became a reality on Friday evening. Former Eagles Vice President of player personnel Joe Douglas climbed the next rung on the front office ladder, reaching the very top and becoming a General Manager. He signed a six-year contract with the New York Jets, leaving the Eagles with a sizeable hole to fill.
Howie Roseman spoke glowingly of Douglas throughout their time working together and it’s easy to see why.
Douglas and pro director of scouting Andy Weidl, helped completely change the way the Eagles evaluate talent, as well as setting the draft board for Roseman to pick from. Something Roseman alluded to after the 2017 Draft.
“Part of bringing him (Joe) in here, is trying to change what we’ve done and trying to get better.” GM Howie Roseman said during the Draft process. “It started with using a different grading scale and getting us all acclimated with the way he talks about players and how he grades players. As we go through the free agent board and the draft board, we trust in Joe and his ability to put that together.”
The Eagles of course keep Howie Roseman, but underestimating Douglas’ impact would be naive. Interestingly, the Eagles may already have the perfect replacement waiting in the wings after bringing him in as an understudy to Douglas back in February.
That man is Andrew Berry. A man who most recently spent three years working with the Cleveland Browns and was hired by the team in 2016 at Age-29, which is very young for a ‘Vice President of Player Personnel’ role. The same role he took on with the Eagles upon being hired.
During that time, the Browns obviously experienced the lowest of lows amidst some recently exceptional highs and much of that is to do with the dramatic roster turnaround that the former Harvard cornerback oversaw.
Prior to his role in Cleveland, he was a Pro Scouting Director in Indianapolis after working his way up from a scouting assistant, which he earned in 2009. Berry was cherry-picked by Bill Polian for that first scouting role…which certainly says a lot. Spending six years with the Colts, Berry rapidly rose up the ladder, in-line with the franchise. During his time with the team, the Colts won four AFC South championships and made a Super Bowl appearance. After being poached by the Browns, former GM Sashi Brown had this to say:
“Andrew understands what it takes to build a winning team and the individual traits that are essential in looking at each player that make up that team,” Brown said in a statement, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “Andrew’s strategic and relentless approach to improving his craft and this team will positively impact our short and long-term opportunities.”
Whether it’s the drafting of Baker Mayfield or a draft class that one year before, left fans purring just as much, it’s safe to say that the Harvard grad has a nose for talent and isn’t afraid to double down on the prospects he truly believes in.
Berry played a huge role in transforming the Browns from a zero-win team in 2017, back into one of the league’s sleeping giants, amassing seven victories one year later and surprising everyone. The trade for Jarvis Landry, and the drafting of Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb, all feature on his impressive resume of talent evaluation.
As a young front office member that has received praise from the highest places, Berry now has the experience, resume, and reputation, to come in and pick up where Douglas left off.
Roseman has been in Berry’s shoes as a young, overlooked staffer that’s had to claw his way to the top. Not only that, but Berry brings the same forward-thinking innovation to the table. We know that the Birds are placing an increased focus on the world of analytics and even after Sashi Brown was fired in Cleveland, analytics carried major weight, a lot of that was down to Berry’s input. That influence played a large role in the selection of PFF darling Baker Mayfield and it’s already bleeding over into Philadelphia.
Whether or not Berry receives the promotion just months after arriving, remains to be seen, but the Eagles may not have to look far for Joe Douglas’ successor.
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