Who has final say on the Eagles’ 53-man roster – Chip Kelly or Howie Roseman?
Typically, it is the head coach. But Roseman has considerably more power in football matters than he did under Andy Reid. That being said, Albert Breer of the NFL Network wrote last month, citing two NFL sources, that Kelly would have final say.
And yet, when Roseman was asked who will have the last word on which players make the team, he danced around the question on Monday.
“We didn’t get into any of the decision making here,” the Eagles general manager said. “We do that together. We spend a lot of time together as a staff, we spent a lot of time together, Chip and I. … It’s OK to have debate and discussions and we go together as one.”
Roseman chose to focus on the collegial relationship he has with Kelly, which is understandable. It’s likely the two will agree on most things. But there will be disagreements, as Roseman suggested, and someone has to have ultimate say.
One NFL source familiar with the Eagles thinking recently said that Roseman would have more say in free agency and the draft, while Kelly would be responsible for trimming the roster down to its final 53 players.
While Reid had final say on all football matters with the Eagles, he did not make every decision. He had to delegate. So there were plenty of both good and bad decisions that weren’t of his doing, although he shouldered both praise and criticism for the moves.
The Eagles are taking a different approach to assigning responsibility for player evaluation with the new regime. It’s not like the Phillies, where GM Ruben Amaro is charged with getting the players and manager Charlie Manuel primarily coaches them.
Kelly has great say in player evaluation and acquisition. The draft had his fingerprints – long players, several of whom he played against at Oregon – all over it.
He’s already adjusted how the 90-man roster is built, per Roseman. Reid used to craft the training camp team so that he would have enough borderline roster players at each position for the early practices when only rookies and selected veterans reported.
Kelly will have only 30 players for his first two practices.
“We thought it was important to get the best players on the 90-man roster and work with what we have here as opposed to just trying to fill the roster and make sure we have better practices in the first couple of days,” Roseman said.
So the Eagles won’t be able to have 11-on-11 on even 7-on-7 sessions at today and tomorrow’s practices. There will be more instruction and individual drills, Roseman said.
“We’re trying to find the right mix,” said Roseman, who would fiddle with the roster under Reid as much as any GM. “I think that’s going to take some time. There will probably be a lot more flexibility than maybe we’ve had in the last couple of years about trying to find the right fits, maybe get us some players in and out like you seen us have in the last couple of months.”