Do the Eagles have a Howie Roseman problem or is it overblown?

#47

Ugh I guess I have to write out his name.

Nate Gerry, as everyone knows, was a safety at Nebraska. At that position, Gerry had 273 tackles in four seasons, along with 13 interceptions, and two sacks. After the Eagles drafted him, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller gave an interesting scouting report, denoting his limitations.

Even former players, big ones, were skeptical of the Gerry selection:

Brian Dawkins [who spent 2016-2017 as Executive of football operations for player development] wasn’t a big fan of Gerry when they took him in the draft. ‘They took that kid and want to put him at linebacker. I just don’t see it.’

Ron Jaworski also gave his two cents on Gerry on the latest Inside the Birds with Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan:

You can’t just ignore the LB corps in today’s NFL. Nathan Gerry has just been getting crushed. … He’s not a good cover LB. He’s just not. If I had a big camera in the end zone, I would’ve seen a big smile on Ben’s face [in regards to when he saw Gerry’s positioning]. You can see the CB [NRC] yelling at him to back up, back up.

If a vast majority of analysts, players, and coaches are questioning the ability of Gerry to play linebacker, then why is he still starting?

With the run defense struggling this year, while having essentially the same defensive line group (additions of Hargrave and Jackson), it begs the question: Why is it different than the top rush defense last year?

The Eagles are allowing 114.2 rushing yards per game this season, up from 90.1 in 2019, and 96.9 in 2018. The reason?

Run defense was good last year with pretty much the same linebackers, but Bradham was there [12 games] and KGH [10 games]. Run defense this year suffering because LBs are supposed to make it right if DL gets blown up. LBs can’t cover TEs, at some point you need to invest. The misdirections are killing the team because the LBs aren’t good.

You can question the impact of Bradham last year and/or KGH, but they also had a healthy T.J. Edwards, and also Malcolm Jenkins helping in that regard.

Just how much did Jim Schwartz try to improve his LB prior to the season? Well..

So to go back to the “So if Schwartz isn’t in charge of who plays at linebacker, who does?” question above, do we have our answer?

Note: this does NOT excuse Schwartz for playing #47 as much as he is.

Yes I know I said that earlier. Just needs to be said again.

The Draft

I asked my source how the drafts usually work with Howie Roseman. The answer was damning:

Howie does all the talking in draft meetings, would be aided by Joe Douglas and Andrew Berry. Doug’s preferences barely considered.

With how the draft went this year, can we assume this was the case with Andy Weidl?

Maybe this year was the year they took Doug into account, with Reagor being the first pick. But Hurts in the second? Over players that can immediately help the team? More from my source:

A pick in the first round and second round should be a player that can contribute immediately. Should’ve gone wide receiver or linebacker in 2nd. Maybe go Queen in first and WR in second. Get someone who can help from day one, not a player who is standing on the sideline. Three years of “developmental” player: Mailata, Miller, Hurts/Taylor.

Of course, Mailata is helping right now, but it took a few years. Shareef Miller was known as a “developmental” player in the draft, but didn’t do enough to stick around. Right now, we see Hurts as a gadget player and Taylor has yet to register a defensive stat in five games.

It also appears as though Howie doesn’t know when to cut losses with a failed pick:

Personnel guys around the league mention how you need to know when to cut your losses and know when you drafted a guy that doesn’t fit. Arcega-Whiteside can’t separate, he can’t run. He’s still there though.

Coaches

Over the course of a few weeks, we saw Doug’s demeanor in Zoom calls turn from “throwing player/coach under bus” to being confident. On the contrary, we saw Jim’s demeanor go from “this is on me” to “I don’t make those decisions.” These differences made people assume that Jim and Doug don’t have the greatest relationship. However:

Any media portrayal of a rift between Jim and Doug is wrong, they have a great relationship. However, Doug doesn’t have any say-so on his staff. He didn’t want those assistants fired last year. Howie made those decisions.

If you remember, Doug said “yes, both those guys will be back” in regards to Mike Groh and Carson Walch. A day later, Doug is releasing a statement about making a change at those coaching positions.

During Doug’s tenure, the team goes from Fletcher Cox’s college DL coach, to his assistant, to a coach that has never coached defensive line before.

On Howie Roseman & his relationship with the coaches:

Grigson/Pagano-like

The Colts famously went through a very bad relationship between their GM and their head coach. Things look like they’re trending in that direction.

On if the coaches will be let go first or if Howie will be let go first, if a move is made:

Coaches will probably go before Howie. Somebody’s gotta be the scapegoat.

Many reporters have speculated that Howie is the safe one over Doug, Jim, or any of the coaches.

But let’s look at Jeffery Lurie’s comments prior to the 2017 draft on Howie’s promotion:

“One of the main things Howie Roseman and I discussed when he was going to be in the football operations role was he had to have a top-notch player personnel department,” Lurie said. “Or we were going to find somebody that could find a great player personnel department. That was his responsibility.”

Has Howie done enough in that regard to keep his role? Recent developments and team performance give plenty of evidence that he has not fulfilled that description.

There you have it. All that I was told about the ugly situation going on in the building. Of course, you will choose on your own whether to believe it or not. We are providing you with what we were told, we’ll see if this all comes to light soon.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire

One thought on “Do the Eagles have a Howie Roseman problem or is it overblown?

  1. Great write up, really damning stuff which I suspect is fairly accurate. Ive been on the sack Schwartz bandwagon for a while now but am prepared to give him a break IF he makes changes at LB very shortly, work with what he’s got instead of just rolling out Gerry every week to keep making the same mistakes every week, change things up for christ sake.

    One issue many reporters dont seem to cover – the Eagles Cap position which very shortly will cause the team a great deal of pain. That can has been kicked down the road for too long now & some big names will have to be offloaded to help deal with it I suspect.

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