Tag Archives: Howie Roseman

Philadelphia’s NFC East To Lose

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In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles finished in last place in the NFC East. However that was very deceiving being that the Eagles had a record of 7-9. Philadelphia won their last two games of 2016 which were victories over the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys who were each postseason bound. The Eagles used the momentum from finishing strong in 2016 to carry over to the current season and the results have been extremely positive. After six games Philadelphia is 5-1 which includes them being 2-0 within the NFC East. And just like each of the last four times in which Philly finished in the basement of the NFC East for the previous season, they’ve once again rebounded in a big way.

In 2015, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided to dismiss Chip Kelly as the team’s head coach and in the process he decided to get his organization back to the basics. Lurie’s first order of business was to once again make Howie Roseman the Eagles general manager. Roseman had a good working relationship with former Eagles head coach Andy Reid as this duo help Philadelphia win the NFC Championship in 2004. Reid is currently the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Eagles sought out one of his proteges in Doug Pederson to be their next head coach.

Doug Pederson

Pederson had previously been an offensive assistant under Reid with the Eagles and he was brought back to the organization last year in order to get the ship righted.

Like most head coaches who take over a team, Pederson wanted to draft a quarterback to mold, and Philadelphia would trade up to the second overall spot in the 2016 National Football League Draft to select quarterback Carson Wentz.

Collegiately for the North Dakota State Bison, Wentz showed that he had the ability to operate a pro-style offense which included him being a member of five Football Championship Subdivision winners. Wentz was also a two-time FCS Championship Game Most Outstanding Player as this helped to make him a hot commodity as his National Football League career was set to begin.

Carson Wentz

Pederson didn’t waste any time as he named Wentz as the starting quarterback in Week 1 for the 2016 National Football League season, and the youngster was able to respond by helping Philly begin the campaign with a record of 3-0. Wentz would make all 16 starts as a rookie as he threw 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. But most importantly Wentz was never fazed as Philadelphia had found their next franchise quarterback.

Wentz has continued to assert himself this season as he has 13 touchdowns to just 3 picks. Wentz also has a pair of comeback victories under his belt which is due to his poise. At 6’5″. 237 lbs., Wentz is deceptively fast and agile for his size. Wentz has good scrambling ability which he uses to get out of the pocket when the play breaks down as this coincides with him not forcing the football down the field.

Wentz’s strong start is the perfect illustration to the commitment of Lurie, Roseman, and Pederson in regards to putting him in the best possible place to succeed. In a slew of key moves during the off-season the Eagles signed running back LeGarrette Blount, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and defensive end Chris Long. All three players bring a veteran presence, while Long and Blount each helped the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl last year.

LeGarrette Blount

Last year the Eagles were 11th in the National Football League in rushing, but so far this season they are second with Blount leading the way as he is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Jeffery has the potential to gain 1,000 yards receiving, while his presence takes some of the attention away from tight end Zach Ertz who is currently Philadelphia’s best pass catcher. And in the case of Long, he might not be the pass rusher that he was during his prime which was spent with the St. Louis Rams, but he is a professional in every since of the word which resonates with the team.

It has not taken the Eagles that long to buy into what Pederson has been selling as he has been a breath of fresh air from Kelly. In the nearly three years that Kelly was the Eagles, the locker room became fractured with most of the team turning against their head coach. Now the Eagles are back to having fun while they have an emerging leader in Wentz to go with Long, strong safety Malcolm Jenkins, and left tackle Jason Peters as leadership is always key for a team that is eyeing a championship.

And after the Eagles came into 2017 expected to have to slug it out with the Cowboys as well as the Giants for the top spot in the division, things are clearing up for Philadelphia faster than than the traffic on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The Giants have yet to win a game this season and after they lost three wide receivers for the season last Sunday, you can stick a fork in them. The Cowboys who were 13-3 last season are just 2-3 so far in 2017. Dallas has been unable to stop the run on defense, while things took a twist for them as the National Football League was able to reinstate their six-game suspension on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot which changes the tenor of the season for them. The Washington Redskins shouldn’t be much of a factor in the NFC East either, and with the Eagles having already defeating them this season, they really have a leg up.

So now that the Eagles are on cruise control within the NFC East, they can look at the bigger picture which is potentially securing a first-round bye in the playoffs. Philadelphia’s 28-23 road win over the Carolina Panthers has to do well for their psych as the Panthers themselves are one of the top teams in the NFC.

Pederson is looking to join his former boss in Reid who was able to get the Eagles to the playoffs in just his second second with the team. But will Pederson be able to do something that Reid was unable to do which is to get the Eagles a Super Bowl Championship?

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All The Right Moves

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Jeffrey Lurie

After three years with Chip Kelly running the show as the head coach and de facto general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, team owner Jeffrey Lurie knew that it was time to make a change. Last December when it became evident that Kelly had lost the Eagles locker room as he tried to run the team as if the players were in college as opposed to being professionals, Lurie fired him with one game left in the 2015 National Football League season. Lurie then decided to get back to basics which meant that Howie Roseman would once again be running things as the Eagles general manager. Roseman had served as the Eagles general manager from 2010-2014 until a power struggle between he and Kelly led to him changing roles within the organization. However with Kelly being fired, Roseman is once again Lurie’s right hand man. Roseman’s first order of business would be to hire former Eagles quarterback and assistant coach Doug Pederson to be the team’s new head coach and together these two men have been working together over the past few weeks to remove the stench that was left behind in Philadelphia from Kelly’s tenure.

When Kelly was fired, he didn’t leave Roseman and Pederson a championship team to work with and thus the Eagles are now in rebuilding mode.

DeMarco Murray

Last year the Eagles signed running back DeMarco Murray to a five-year deal that was worth $42 million. Murray’s signing with the Eagles came on the heels of Kelly trading running back LeSean McCoy who was the franchise’s all-time leading rusher to the Buffalo Bills. Murray is a downhill runner who’s style was never a match for Kelly’s spread offense system as he was a fish out of water who was brought to Philadelphia simply to be kept away from his former employer in the Dallas Cowboys. And as Roseman along with Pederson are starting over from scratch, they shipped Murray to the Tennessee Titans while the clubs will also swap fourth-round picks in next month’s National Football League Draft.

In exchange for sending McCoy to the Bills last year, the Eagles received linebacker Kiko Alonso who was brought to Philadelphia due to his familiarity with Kelly from their time together at the University of Oregon when Kelly was the head football coach there. Another one of Kelly’s moves last off-season was to sign cornerback Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million contract. Maxwell received that hefty payday due to the potential that he had shown while playing for the Seattle Seahawks alongside a trio of All-Pros in the Seahawks secondary in cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, and free safety Earl Thomas. Maxwell was unable to live up to his contract with the Eagles last season as he didn’t bring Sherman, Thomas, or Chancellor to Philadelphia with him. And now Maxwell, along with Alonso will have a new home in 2016 as they were traded by the Eagles to the Miami Dolphins. As well as shedding salary, the Eagles will also swap first-round picks with the Dolphins as Philadelphia will be picking eighth overall as opposed to 13th.

Two years ago quarterback Mark Sanchez was signed by the Eagles with the intention of him being a backup. Sanchez had a prior life to joining the Eagles as he helped the New York Jets reach a pair of AFC Championship Games, but he was never able to rekindle that magic in Philadelphia. And after two years with the Eagles, Sanchez was traded last week to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a conditional pick in next year’s draft.

Sam Bradford

This off-season the Eagles did re-sign quarterback Sam Bradford to a two-year deal that is worth $35 million. Bradford has a base salary for the upcoming season of $7 million which is team friendly; especially for a guy that has not proven that he can stay healthy or be a franchise quarterback in the National Football League which includes his time with the St. Louis Rams. And Bradford’s contract along with his inconsistent play means that the Eagles don’t have to commit to him long-term which gives the team the opening to go into full rebuilding mode as that could lead to Philadelphia drafting a quarterback next month.

There will be quarterbacks that have a first-round tag attached to them in the 2016 National Football League Draft such as North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, California quarterback Jared Goff, and Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. And as of right now there is a pretty good chance that the Eagles will select a quarterback in the first round being that their second round pick in now property of the Los Angeles Rams.

Doug Pederson

Pederson who was a disciple of former Eagles and current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid wants to get the ball rolling with a new quarterback, but it doesn’t mean that he has to start him right away in the mode of his former employer. In 1999, Reid’s first ever draft selection as the Eagles head coach was used on quarterback Donovan McNabb which was not initially popular among the fans in Philadelphia. As a rookie, McNabb only started six games, but by 2001, the Eagles would reach their first of four consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship Games. By re-signing Bradford, it now gives the Eagles that buffer to select a quarterback early while allowing him to sit back and assess the game from the sideline for a bit.

Make no mistake about it that the Eagles weren’t going to win anytime soon with the likes of Murray, Alonso, Maxwell, or Sanchez on the roster and it was extremely wise for Roseman to ship them out of town while getting some draft picks back in return. ¬†And although that the folks in Philadelphia want to see the Eagles be able to immediately compete in the NFC East, Roseman and Pederson’s moves are not are not about the short-term as they are attempting to set this team up to compete for the long-term which hearkens back to Reid’s time with the club.

The NFC East hasn’t been a dominant division for quite some time and if the Eagles can lay the proper groundwork at next month’s National Football League Draft, they could set themselves up to run roughshod over the division just like they did from 2000-2010 when they made nine playoff appearances while winning the division on six occasions.

When Lurie fired Reid in 2012, he cited the need for a change and he believed that Kelly had fresh ideas that would take the Eagles to the next level. But as it became evident that this wouldn’t be the case, Lurie went back to the basics with Roseman and Pederson which could put the Eagles on the fast track to success; especially if they’re able to handle their business at next month’s National Football League Draft.

Source: Overthecap.com

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