A great football operation has a plan for the present and boldly anticipates the future. The Eagles, before they vacated the NovaCare Complex on Thursday afternoon at the conclusion of the mandatory minicamp, announced a restructuring of the football operations department.
The plan defines specific roles within the department and promotes the careers of key members of the front office who have worked hard to earn the their new opportunities.
"Our goal is to win with consistency and constantly compete for championships. When that happens you lose good people," said Howie Roseman, who also gets a new title – Executive Vice President/General Manager. Roseman's role and responsibilities won't change on a daily basis as he continues to build an organization that thrives on internal development.
"We saw it last year when the coaching staff lost Coach (Frank) Reich (who became the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts) and Coach (John) DeFilippo (who became the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings). We knew it was only a matter of time before this circumstance was going happen again.
"Joe Douglas did such an outstanding job for us and has such an outstanding reputation around the league that we knew we had to be prepared and we knew that we had to have a succession plan."
Upon Douglas' recent departure, Roseman immediately sought to promote members of the current personnel department in order to complement the entire football operations staff.
Roseman promoted Andy Weidl from director of player personnel to vice president of player personnel. Said Roseman of Weidl: "Andy was raised in a great scouting community with the Steelers, Saints, and Ravens and then came to Philadelphia at the same time that we hired Joe. He's grown from assistant director of player personnel to director of player personnel and really deserves an opportunity to run the scouting department on a day-to-day basis as the vice president of player personnel. We're excited about Andy."
Andrew Berry, who was hired just prior to the 2019 NFL Draft as the vice president of football operations, will continue to play a major role: "We knew when we hired him that he would be a big part of what we're doing moving forward and giving him this opportunity working across football operations and personnel, player development, he's got experience in analytics. He's a vital part of our collaborative approach to building our football team," said Roseman. "He has such a versatile résumé. He was a vice president of player personnel (with the Cleveland Browns) so he's run a personnel department, he's run a pro scouting department, he's run a college scouting department. He's put together an analytics group and now he's got a chance to see what we're doing."
Brandon Brown moves from assistant director of pro scouting to director of pro scouting and Roseman spoke highly of Brown and his impact with the Eagles: "Brandon is ready for this opportunity as our pro personnel director and he is going to put his own spin on that department. He is a tremendous evaluator, he's extremely organized, he's a great communicator. He has a very bright future in this organization and in this league."
Ian Cunningham has been promoted from director of college scouting to assistant director of player personnel. "He is a guy that we hired from the Ravens and I remember talking to Ozzie Newsome (former Ravens general manager) and he said that Ian was one of the guys who had the most potential of anyone he had been with in that organization for a long time," Roseman said of Cunningham. "He's got a great way of visualizing a player when he's evaluating guys, he's got very strong opinions, very strong beliefs about what players are, and he believes in building a team the same way that we do. We're really excited for him to take this next step."
The changes are exciting for Roseman and the Eagles. Roseman knew there would be a day that Douglas, highly touted around the league following the Eagles' Super Bowl victory in the 2017 season, would have a chance to leave Philadelphia. Douglas did that last week, agreeing to join the Jets as their general manager.
Roseman was ready to move some valuable pieces around in a deep and talented Eagles personnel department.
"We want everyone here to see that there's room for growth, that there is room for continued titles and promotions based on us winning and good things happening for the organization," Roseman said. "We want the people in this organization to know that they have opportunities to grow within the areas of their expertise and expand their repertoire of knowledge while helping us win football games."