Saturday, December 20, 2014

Roseman: Some Eagles will 'fall by the wayside' because of scheme

Howie Roseman indicated that not everyone would adapt well enough to stay in Chip Kelly's new scheme.

Roseman: Some Eagles will 'fall by the wayside' because of scheme

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Eagles GM Howie Roseman was on a panel, along with representatives from Philadelphia's three other professional sports teams, at the Rothman Institute's symposium on "The Impact of Sports," but was kind enough to stop and talk to a few a reporters about some Eagles and NFL issues.

Roseman was asked about whether the changes in scheme would delay the Eagles wanting to extend the contracts for certain starters that are entering the final years of their deals (i.e. wide receiver Jeremy Maclin), and while he didn't directly address Maclin's situation, I did find his answer interesting. Roseman admitted that there will be certain valuable Eagles in seasons past that will "fall by the wayside."

He didn't mention any names, but I wouldn't surprised if he was thinking of former defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, who are being asked to play outside linebacker.

"That's the unknown when you hire a new staff and change schemes is that you think certain players can fit ... but until you see them in action it's hard to exactly know," Roseman said. "One of the things that's hard for us, and you've seen some of it this offseason, is we've had players that were good players in different schemes and that we've invested in, and it's not going to turnover.

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"For me, that's different because we've been with one head coach. But when you talk to people around the league, they tell you, when you change coaches, when you change schemes there are going to be good players that fall by the wayside."

Here's a sampling of some of the issues Roseman's addressed:

-- On the reasoning behind the Eagles having approximately $20 million in salary cap space: "The hardest part of our jobs is balancing short term vs. long term, and when you look at the cap it's flat going forward. So when we look at our cap situation next year and two years out, we don't have any sort of flexibility if we don't push any money forward and we're in the hole."

-- There are still some big names still out there in free agency. Could the Eagles add a veteran in the next few weeks?: "Every day we're meeting as a personnel staff and discussing the players that are on the street. If we thought there was someone who could make a difference, who upgraded what we had, and there are good players out there, but we want to see our young players develop."

-- On his impressions of Chip Kelly's practices thus far: "It's consistent with what you see at the University of Oregon, when you went there and you watched practice, and I had the opportunity to go up there a bunch of times and see how they practice. For me personally, it's what I kind of expected."

-- What does he make of players like Jason Avant and Clay Harbor taking practice snaps on defense: "From our perspective, that's exciting. When we talk about this, and coach talks to us about what he's thinking, that provides more versatility. And when you have 46 men on a [game day] roster and someone goes down, you're in trouble a lot of times. It's hard to find nickel corners, it's hard to find a guy that can play outside linebacker, play on special teams. Obviously, we don't have all the information on these guys we're talking about, but just having those guys take the reps. We played in the Super Bowl and we played against Troy Brown as [the Patriot's] nickel corner."

-- Impressions of the NFL announcing that the draft will be held next year on May 14-16: "This would be our week coming off the draft. It's a difference for us and how we prepare, and at the same time, whatever works for the league we're in favor of and support. It won't change our process."

-- How does the increased number of practice reps the Eagles get with Kelly help with his evaluations: "It's a lot more time watching practice tape than you normally do this time of year. It's a lot of reps and you're getting an opportunity to see guys in different situations that maybe normally you wouldn't see till training camp. And so, we just got to caution ourselves that these guys are still in shorts."

-- Why sign Felix Jones: "I know as an opponent playing the Dallas Cowboys, you were worried about Felix Jones. And so, we're hoping that's a guy that come here and get a second chance and become the player. At the same time, we like our running backs, we like our young running backs."

-- Why did you release undrafted rookie running back Miquel Maysonet before he really got on the field: "When we signed Felix and brought him in here, and brought [Matthew] Tucker in as well later in the free agency period after the draft, it wasn't the same situation."

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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