It's been a whirlwind month for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. It was New Year's Eve, in fact, when Roseman and the Eagles said goodbye to longtime head coach Andy Reid and moved forward in search of a new future for the franchise. After an extended search process that lasted just over two weeks, the Eagles announced the hire of Chip Kelly as the team's new head coach. Immediately, Roseman changed course from finding a new head coach to helping Kelly fill out his new staff, all while keeping tabs on the pre-draft process and preparing for everything else that will go into the offseason ahead.
Last week, Roseman and Kelly flew to Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, where they got an up-close look at some of the players who will be on the team's radar in the coming months. There, Roseman explained how, with the help of his personnel staff, he and Kelly are able to prepare for April's NFL Draft and the football decisions to come over the next few months.
"We talk about it being a people business and in Philadelphia we really mean that," Roseman told PhiladelphiaEagles.com. "We want to have the best staff. Our personnel staff has done a great job of being able to get the players in front of us that they feel really strongly about. They'll continue to make sure that we see the guys that fit our specific scheme that coach Kelly puts into place, and then we're ready to go. What they've done a great job of is making sure that they define guys in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense. On offense the same thing, define offensive linemen as power offensive linemen, zone-scheme offensive linemen. They've done that so that we can quickly go through the reports and figure out who fits whatever scheme we decide to run.
"I think the misconception is that when you bring a new coach, you have to overhaul your whole roster. For us, we do think we have a lot of pieces in place. That doesn't mean we can't add to them, but we'll try to figure out the guys that are really good players and try to keep them and put them in positions to succeed."
Roseman added that the first time he was able to review draft prospects with Kelly was during the flight to Mobile. Kelly, though, already has some familiarity with many draft-eligible prospects, both from recruiting them out of high school and playing against them in college. The new head coach’s first task is examining what exactly he has on the current Eagles roster. Actually, in his examination of the Eagles, Kelly, billed as a "program builder," will look beyond just the talent on the field.
"He talks about asking, 'Why?' a lot," Roseman said. "So why do we do things? He could agree with it, but he wants us to go even further and decide if it is the best way to do it. That's in every area. That's in my area, that's with the training staff, that's in the strength and conditioning program. That's exciting."
In his introductory press conference, Kelly spoke often about maintaining immediate focus or "winning the day." That translates well to the goals of the rest of the organization, Roseman said.
"It's a beautiful thing because we've had a lot of days running together here, so winning one day keeps us in place," he said. "I think, for us, it's about that. It's about what we can do to get better, whether it's us as a personnel staff, whether it's as a coaching staff, whether it's as a training staff, whether it's as a strength and conditioning staff, whether it's PhiladelphiaEagles.com."
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