Very rarely is there downtime in the NFL life of Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman. The 24/7 challenge keeps Roseman buzzing, with the task of making the Eagles better every step of every day. We're just over one week away from the start of the 2022 regular season and Roseman is at it again.
He's taking 20 minutes away from his office at the NovaCare Complex to sit with me for an interview for the Eagles Insider Podcast, which dropped on Thursday, and for a moment Roseman is stepping back to take a look at all that has happened since the '21 season ended.
"We know this," Roseman said. "Any time you get content, you get your butt kicked. I don't know that we ever feel that we have a position that is 'good enough.' I feel like we're a better football team, I feel we're a better culture than the team that ended last year and that's a great credit to our football ops staff – the whole building because everybody plays a part – and to our coaching staff. It's hard work. That doesn't guarantee anything. That doesn't guarantee any wins.
"We have to keep looking for ways to improve."
The signings prior to free agency. Jumping into free agency and signing linebackers Haason Reddick and Kyzir White. Trading with New Orleans to give up a first-round draft pick this year for multiple picks in the future, including a No. 1 in 2023. The impact weekend of the NFL Draft, which included trading for Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown and selecting five players who made the 53-man roster and who have shown the Eagles what they wanted to see in the summer. The post-draft signings, three of whom are on the 53. Adding cornerback James Bradberry in free agency. Trading this week for defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
You look at the roster – what it was after the loss at Tampa Bay and what is now – and you have to be impressed. And you know the Eagles, by the way, have additional draft capital in the next few years. The present is promising. The future is bright.
"We're not in a position where we feel like all of our chips are in the middle of the table," Roseman said. "We feel like we're trying to have sustained success here and the way you do that is you kind of balance the short term and the long term. Whenever I feel like, 'Are we doing too much in the short term?' it makes me feel good to look at my board and go, 'Alright, we've got multiple first-round picks (in 2023). We have multiple second-round picks (in 2024). We have a couple of extra mid-round picks,' because we're going to need that talent. We're going to need that cheap labor. I have a lot of confidence in our process to pick players in the draft. I know it hasn't been perfect, but I know we're getting better there and we're going to continue to get better."
The point with Roseman and the Eagles is that they don't stop until they get it right, and in an offseason of activity, he has addressed every position. Every point. A couple of hours after our conversation, the Eagles were awarded off of waivers running back Trey Sermon, a second-year player whom the Eagles liked very much in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sermon was an incredibly productive running back in college at Oklahoma and at Ohio State and the 49ers valued him so much they used a third-round draft selection on him. Sermon becomes the fourth running back on the 53-man roster and we will see if he fits a need behind Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell. Certainly, the level of competition increased there.
And at the same time, the Eagles added La'Mical Perine to the practice squad, joining Kennedy Brooks there. A fourth-round draft pick in 2020, Perine played two seasons with the Jets and had some shining moments. Both Sermon and Perine are in the 215-pound range, giving the Eagles some size options.
In a matter of a few days, the Eagles addressed their defensive backfield and their running back positions, giving this roster more depth and more talent and more possibilities.
But you know how it is, right? There is no time to relax. The regular season opens on September 11 in Detroit against a Lions team that is hungry to take its next step starting in Week 1. They remember the Eagles' win last season. They want to turn the tables.
It's on, all the way.
"I am so excited for the season. I am so excited for our guys to go compete," Roseman said. "I love the competition. I'm proud of the team that we've put together – again, I'm not saying we're perfect. We haven't won a game, but I can't wait to see those guys and our coaches in action. I know how the season is going to go. I know there are going to be some really great times. I know there are going to be moments that all of us are kind of concerned about.
"I think we're all going to stick together. We need our fans in this. We need our fans really bad because we have the best home-field advantage in the National Football League … we're all in it together. Our fans, our players, our coaches. Let's have a great year."
The Eagles announced the initial 53-man roster after Tuesday's 4 PM final cutdown.