Five things we learned about the Eagles in today’s press conference

Eagles GM Howie Roseman sat down with right-hand man Andy Weidl and Nick Sirianni to answer questions from Philadelphia media on Wednesday. There was a lot to come from those discussions and chances are that some of it slipped through the cracks. Here are the five things we learned from today’s presser.

Chemistry

While there was pressure on Doug Pederson and his staff towards the end of last season, I don’t think anybody expected such an abrupt u-turn. With an entirely new coaching staff and a very young quarterback, there was bound to be a few teething problems early on. The Eagles could ill afford to have too many of these however given that the current landscape doesn’t involve normal pro days or the NFL combine. Synchronicity between the coaching staff and front office is absolutely pivotal and was reassuringly a large talking point tday.

“When Coach Sirianni got here with his staff we got together with our scouts on a Zoom call, and they went over and laid out with great clarity their offense, their defense, what they’re about, and we got everybody in sync, got everybody on the same page.”

“It comes back to knowing what you’re looking at and knowing what you’re looking for. Coach Sirianni, Coach Gannon, Coach Steichen [offensive coordinator hane Steichen] and their staff, did a really good job of laying that out for us with clarity.”

Andy Weidl

“Because we didn’t have the combine like we normally do, we were going to bring the combine to Philly. Our coaches did an unbelievable job of taking all the guys that we would have interviewed at the combine in Indianapolis and would have had here in Philadelphia and interviewing all of those guys.”

Howie Roseman

I actually got an idea of what I felt about offensive players, even a bigger view of my thoughts of offensive players. As I’m watching corners, receivers are sticking out or not sticking out. As I’m watching defensive ends, O-linemen are sticking out or not sticking out. 

Nick Sirianni

Even going back to last year, there were so many stories that hinted at a very clear disconnect between what the front office wanted and what the coaching staff wanted. With an emphasis placed by the scouting team and front office on getting to know and understand what this youthful coaching staff wants to build, it at least sounds like for the first time in a long time, that both areas of the franchise might be on the same page.

An heir for Jason Kelce?

Howie Roseman was asked about two offensive linemen projected to go on the fringe of the top 10. Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker were the two names in question, with the topic being their versatility and where the Eagles envision them lining up. The Eagles GM had an interesting response, firstly dancing around how he saw their exact fit, and then discussing one man in particular.

“In terms of Isaac, Isaac gives us tremendous flexibility to take the best player at either of those two spots, because he does have the ability to be a good starting center. Obviously, we’ve seen him play guard. 

So, having a guy like that allows us to not force either of those two positions. “

Howie Roseman

Isaac Seumalo has played center before, but the experiment plummeted like a Rock in the Ocean. There does appear to be a clock counting down the final few seasons of one of the best centers to ever play the game in Jason Kelce and the Eagles have been oddly conservative in finding a replacement, especially for a team so committed to the trenches. Is this because they may already have the answer?

Jalen Hurts QB1?

The Eagles have been very noncommittal when it comes to Jalen Hurts this offseason. Howie Roseman was asked about the trading of the sixth overall pick and how it pertained to Jalen Hurts.

‘We knew that three quarterbacks were going to be off the board in the first three picks.’ Roseman responded. So it allowed us to hone in on the guys available at 12. We’re gonna evaluate every player and nothing is off the table.’

Howie Roseman

Nick Sirianni was then pushed for a response specifically on what the trade meant for Jalen Hurts.

‘To name a starter at this particular time, we’ve been working with these guys for two days.” Sirianni said. ‘My biggest thing is competition. It’s my second core value. Competition is a huge thing and we’re going to have competition at every position.’

Nick Sirianni

While this may sound concerning, it’s simply smart at this point. The Eagles don’t want to reveal their hand ahead of the Draft and we all know that Nick Sirianni is a high-energy guy who wants his players to earn everything...including wins in Rock, Paper Scissors. He wouldn’t want to gift anyone anything on a silver platter.

The move back

The Eagles turned the heads of just about everyone when moving back from the 6th overall pick a few weeks ago, acquiring a 2021 first-rounder in the process. The reasoning may have been simple to understand, but Roseman further clarified it on Wednesday.

“The reason we traded back from 6 to 12 was because flexibility creates opportunity. And for us, having an extra first-round pick, when you go back and look at things that are hard to acquire, that is one of the hardest things to acquire is a team’s first-round pick in the following year and to move back six spots.”

If you move back, it’s because you feel like you have a bunch of guys that are the same value, and you’d be really happy getting one and getting the extra volume from that pick. If you move up, it’s because your board kind of drops off at that point. And if you select it’s because you feel like it’s the last player in that sort of range. 

Howie Roseman

All shapes and sizes

There has been a lot of discussion today regarding Alabama wideout D’Vonta Smith and his very lean frame. It may be absolutely fair to speculate on what that means for his NFL production, but at the same time, it’s important to be balanced. Roseman and Sirianni both did a great job of showing the other side of the coin today.

“I think the first part is good players come in all shapes and sizes, and so we’re not going to discriminate based on any of those things.”

Howie Roseman


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Like Howie said, every player comes in different shapes, different sizes, different speeds. They’re all different. It’s about finding like okay, this guy has speed, we’ll use him this way. This guy has power, we’ll use him this way. This guy has — right, and it’s explaining that to the scouts. And just, again, it’s the same thing.

It’s just a matter of can that guy do what you want, that person to do on the outside. Really when you say X, it’s can he win one-on-one match-ups consistently. 

So it’s just who can do that. Who can win the one-on-one match-up consistently so the quarterback can take the ball, go one, two, three, four, five, hitch throw, ball’s out, everybody is better in front of him because of it. He’s better because it’s one-on-one out there, and that guy looks different all across the league. 

It looks different across the league. 

[Former Steelers and Buccaneers WR] Antonio Brown has been that X; [Falcons WR] Julio Jones has been that X; [Browns WR] Odell Beckham has been that X. All these guys come in different shapes and sizes. Can you do what I just said, can you win consistently one-on-one

Bottom line: Don’t write Smith off just yet…

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire

 

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