Howie Roseman spent close to 17 minutes at his press conference earlier this afternoon explaining the reasons behind some of the decisions the team made to get to the 53-player maximum. Here are some of his answers here:
1. On the decision to go with eight offensive linemen: "We like offensive linemen. There's no question about it. We feel really good about our eight. From there, we felt like there were a lot of guys, a lot of young players that we had. You know, there's still the potential to bring some of them back. So we just try to balance that and kind of our grading of those guys and if they were kind of in the same range and feeling confident that we can get some of those guys back. But certainly different than we've done in the past."
2. On keeping two rookie running backs - Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement: "Yeah, I'd say Pump - you know, it's funny, because as you go through the whole offseason with him - and he's a guy that was getting first-string reps and everyone was talking about how excited they were on him. We spent a lot of time scouting this running back class, scouting him in particular, and he's got a body of work.
"Not only is it the preseason games, but it's every day at practice. It's every day through the offseason program. And we also know that it comes for people quick sometimes, and sometimes it takes a while for rookies.
"We're in a unique industry where there's really no patience. There's no other industry where you take a guy out of college and if they don't look exactly like you're hoping a month in, you just look to dump them. We want to develop our players. We trust our evaluations and our scouts, and we want to give guys time that we believe in. I think both Pump and Corey are along those lines."
3. On keeping rookie wide receiver Shelton Gibson: "When we drafted these guys, we knew that they were rookies and they were a work in progress. We knew that if Shelton went back to school and didn't come out early, he's probably drafted higher and that we were going to have to spend time to develop him and his skill set. And he does have a trait. He had more 50-yard receptions than anyone in college football last year. He can take the top off. Consistency for a rookie is, obviously, something that sometimes takes some time. But he works really hard. He has the traits we're looking for to develop into a player.
"Now, obviously, we're going to spend the time trying to develop that. I think it's important for us when we make these decisions, we're talking about the 46 (active roster on gameday), the 53, and then the 63 (with 10 practice squad players). We want to make sure our coaches have the best 46 guys that they need to go into Washington. And then from there, there are also guys that we want to develop. (There are guys) that we want to sit there a year from now and hope that they have taken another step. A guy like Marcus Johnson, who deserves a lot of credit for what happened with him developing in our offseason program and working with our guys.
"We want to take these guys and understand that they need some development. We're going to try to be patient with guys that we think have talent."
On Saturday, the Eagles announced their initial 53-man roster for the 2017 regular season.
4. On rookie linebacker Nathan Gerry not making the 53-man roster: "I think it's a credit to the other guys at that position. When you look at the guys that we kept beyond the three starters, Joe Walker had a good preseason. He's another guy coming off a knee injury. We were really bummed when he got hurt last year. He's got physical traits. It's hard to find Mike linebackers who is have shock, and he's able to do that.
"Then you look at Najee (Goode). Najee has versatility. He can back up really both the outside positions and play inside, and (he is) really a huge part of our special teams. It's important for us to be good on special teams.
"And then Kamu (Grugier-Hill), when we look at Kamu, we think he has a chance to be not only one of the better special teams players on our team, but in the league. That was a tough one. That was one of the last ones we did right there. We understand it's a transition for him and it's going to take some time. But it was just the nature of the numbers game."
5. On weighing the balance between potential and production: "I think it also goes back to how much time you're really giving these guys. And then what we think when we're drafting them. The conversation we had this morning is, when we drafted every single one of those guys, including some of the guys we let go, we're not just going, 'Hey, we just made that pick.' We're excited.
"And when we make the decision to pick them, we have conversations like, 'Hey, this guy may not be ready day one; this guy may need some time. Here are the things he may need to work on.' We try to balance that. But we are also going to make a concerted effort to try to develop them and spend the time, not just reading off cards on scout team, but really spending time with them and developing the person and the player and try to help them on some of the deficiencies that maybe they have."