HOWIE ROSEMAN: Long couple of days. Really excited about the additions to this football team on both sides of the ball. I want to thank our staffs – coaching staff, personnel, administrative staff, everyone coming together here to make this weekend possible. It may take a few years for us to figure out exactly what we did this weekend, but we're excited about the additions that we made. We just finished up with the undrafted process, which is always a little hectic, and I know it's Saturday night and everyone wants to get home, so questions?
Q. You went four offense first and then four defense. Was that part of the deliberate plan going into this draft?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, it wasn't a deliberate plan that we were going to try to even it out. It's just kind of the way the board fell, then when we got later in the draft, Doug and I would go left, [Eagles defensive coordinator] Jim [Schwartz] would kind of pull us to the right side of the board and try to get some defensive players. But we certainly went in looking at the depth of the draft and thinking where it was. We thought that there would be an opportunity to add a defensive tackle because of the depth at defensive tackle in this draft. I think 25 went where normally 17 went. That may be a number someone threw at me. I can get you guys the right number. But I think when you look back at it, that was probably one area going in that we thought we'd have an opportunity to address. But other than that, we had some good opportunities. Again, not picking in the second round, in the fourth round, it's unique for us not picking again after two until we picked at 79.
Q. How challenging was it preparing for this draft given the circumstances of late December and January when you came in, [former Eagles V.P. of player personnel Ed] Marynowitz leaves, a lot of catch-up? Was it tough, and did you feel you had as good a grasp going into this draft on the players?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, our staff, we have a really good staff. They were working hard throughout. Guys I had worked with before, Doug had worked with a lot of those guys before, a larger staff than what we're used to having. So we had guys really double back on a lot of players. We were able to really kind of keep the main thing the main thing on guys and really focus in on guys on our board, and so I think that the one thing you look at it as it's a lot of time and you talk to other people in the league and how engaged they get and what time of the year they get. We don't think that was a factor. The biggest factor to us was not having as many picks in the early going as we used to, so we felt like later in the draft taking shots on guys in the seventh round, really having the best undrafted process we've ever had, became a priority to us. We're excited about that, and we may have done it a little bit in terms of taking guys that we thought maybe had a chance to really have a role and had athletic tools but needed to be developed.
Q. Doug, what's your stance on players with character concerns or some type of red flags in their background?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, listen, the past is the past. History is history. That's why they call it history. And you've got to really dive into each person individually. Like Howie I mentioned, the personnel side and the scouts that are out there every day, they're the ones that are diving into the background of these players. You know, we just coach them up once we get here, and we explain to them exactly how business is run here. Obviously it starts with myself, and then the assistant coaches can help in that process. But we know the guys for the most part could be flawed in their past, but again, coach them up and put them in the right direction.
Q. What was [seventh-round draft pick] Jalen Mills' answer to his assault charge?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think for us when we talked to him, we got a chance to talk to him at the Senior Bowl, again at the NFL Combine. He gave us his version of the events. We investigated it like we do everything, and he's got to prove himself as he gets here. We were satisfied with the investigation that was done down there in Baton Rouge and with [LSU]. We think we know what kind of kid this is, but again, he gets here, and he's going to have to prove it here. We forget sometimes these guys are college kids and things happen. We were comfortable enough with the set of circumstances that we were described that we thought that it was worthwhile to give him a second chance here.
Q. A lot of people had projected him quite a bit higher. Is that why he lasted so long do you think?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: It's hard to figure out what everyone else has, but when you watched him, you got a chance to watch him at the Senior Bowl, he had a really good week at the Senior Bowl, obviously playing at LSU, a high level of competition, and then going into the Combine, you talked to people down at LSU and what kind of kid they thought he was. But again, we're not here to say that we're not condoning any sort of that behavior, but for us, we got comfortable with the kid, and they're going to have to prove it here.
Q. Do you feel like taking those guys in the later rounds who had had those character concerns that are red flags, do you feel you got better value because of that, that maybe they dropped a little bit?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, there's no question. Players are going to have to look at their actions to see why they didn't go where they felt like they should have in the draft, and it's very clear that teams are looking at that. We see that in the first round. We see that in the second round. We see that throughout the draft. When you make questionable decisions in your life, it's affecting you going forward, and it's costing these guys a lot of money. What we hope is that the players are good people and that they just made mistakes like we all do, and we develop them, and going forward this is just part of their history and something they learn from.
Q. You brought three in today that had some sort of issues in their past. Is this a change of philosophy for you? Beforehand, [former Eagles head coach] Andy [Reid], [former Eagles president] Joe [Banner], you guys, you typically didn't draft guys with red flags.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I'd say we did give guys second chances, when you talk about [former Eagles QB] Mike Vick, certainly a guy that we gave a second chance to. Bringing [former Eagles WR Terrell Owens] here, who had some things. [Former Eagles WR] DeSean [Jackson] coming out, people felt like he had some character concerns, and so we just feel like when we look back, we have to get really comfortable with that. Again, we rely on our personnel staff who are there and touching the player all the time to get that information. That's the primary responsibility of the area guys and the scouts, and then we meet with them and we make a decision. At some point the amount of resources you're putting into a guy, you weigh kind of the risk-reward in those situations. But we don't feel like we brought any bad people in here. We feel like some of them may have made mistakes, but they're not bad people.
Q. Why was [seventh-round pick] Alex McCalister kicked off the team?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think when you talk to Alex, being at Florida, being able to talk to people who were around that program and him, without getting into specifics, it was a different circumstance than other ones we're talking about here. It wasn't legal. But again, he is a kid that he just -- he's needed to grow up a little bit, but he's not a bad person, not a bad kid, and certainly physically talented and understands. He's a guy who thought, he's 6'6", he's 250 pounds, he has 36-inch arms, tremendous get-off, he certainly didn't think that he would be there in the seventh round. I think it's a huge wake-up call for these guys to understand that you made one mistake, the second one, now this is your job and this is your livelihood, and to be frank it's all of our livelihoods.
Q. This draft is always going to be known as the [first-round draft pick] Carson Wentz draft regardless. Is it hard not to get caught up in the gravitational pull of that? That there will be other things that people will remember this draft for?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think for all of us, that's going to be the reality of the situation, that we made an aggressive move to go get Carson. But we felt very focused going into today about the job that we had to do and how we had hit on some guys, whether it was in the fifth round, whether it was in the sixth round, in the seventh round or undrafted. We got a couple more picks in the seventh round because we want to just increase our odds. We understand that when you look at the probabilities of the fifth round, the sixth round and the seventh round they're not great, so we wanted to take more guys that we felt good about. We got aggressive in free agency. The coaches did a great job recruiting players and helping us, and so for us, it was just kind of a different mindset than normal, where normally you're going in and your first-round pick certainly has to be good, and your second and thirds, and then you go fourth through seventh, and you're hoping. For us we have to come out of this fifth, sixth, seventh and free agency with contributors at some level, and whether that's day one or two years from now, to build the depth of this team.
Q. It still seems like linebacker is a number where you're very light at, especially given the injury history of the starters. What's the plan at that position?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, we discussed that position a lot. We added a guy in [Eagles seventh-round draft pick] Joe Walker, physically talented guy, JuCo Player of the Year before he went to Oregon, 6'2", 240, runs a 4.59, long arms, so we're excited to get him. After the draft we're encouraged that we may have added some guys that we had on our draft board that we were thinking about drafting, and then we've got to monitor it. It's a position -- we can't answer a lot of problems, especially with the lack of picks that we had in the draft. But we took some shots on some guys that we think have some talent, we'll bring them in there, and our guys will always be open here to see if we can upgrade at any spot.
Q. You mentioned the importance of the undrafted guys. Did you take any different approach to recruit those guys this year?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Aggressive. We were extremely aggressive.
Q. More so than before?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I would say more so than ever before.
Q. Like with money?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think just in terms of the opportunity, because of the lack of picks. It was much easier for us to go about it and say, 'Hey, look, we didn't have a two, we didn't have a four, we didn't have a lot of picks in this draft.'
Q. Make your case to the agents?
DOUG PEDERSON: We made our case to the agents and the players, and we've been doing that for a couple weeks. Coach gave us a list of assignments on that, too, and everyone was in it together, and I'm sure they're upstairs right now celebrating to be done with it.
Q. Where does [fifth-round draft pick Wendell] Smallwood fit in, and is he someone who can be a day one contributor in the backfield?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he's a tremendous running back, someone that I liked and really was hoping to get. Obviously it worked out. But he's a guy that's going to have to come in and learn the system, number one. He's obviously going to be in a backup position, backup situation going in, but with his skill set, I think there's an opportunity there for him, and I'm not going to count anything out because we had a couple of young backs in Kansas City that obviously did a nice job for us, first-year players. Sky's the limit. It just depends on how hard they want to come in and push for that spot. The door is open for that opportunity.
Q. Doug, what's your game plan with [QB] Sam [Bradford] out? The draft is over. I know you guys reiterated you weren't going to trade him, but the Broncos obviously drafted a guy, Paxton Lynch. Do you have to reach out to him again? Do you expect to hear from him or have you heard from him?
DOUG PEDERSON: In regards to Sam, obviously he's still on the roster. We mentioned before, he's not going anywhere. He's our guy, and we just look forward to the day that he comes back. It's unfortunate the situation, but at the same time, it's also a voluntary process, as you know. You can't do much about that. You know, the minute he comes back, we catch him up and we just keep going forward.
Q. Isn't he losing valuable time in learning your offense?
DOUG PEDERSON: Anybody that's not in any of the 32 off-season programs is losing valuable time at that club, so anybody that's not in the off-season program, yes, would lose the time.
Q. Any further contact with him?
DOUG PEDERSON: I have not.
Q. You've said that he's the starter, but with him losing that valuable time, does that ever become in jeopardy, of him losing his starter status if he doesn't know the offense?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I think it depends on how and when he does come back and how fast we can catch him up and put him back in that situation and see where he's at at that time. Again, nobody makes the team in April. We're not making any roster adjustments and letting people go. It's all about evaluation, and he's in that evaluation process. But as I've said in the past, he was one and [Eagles QB] Chase [Daniels] is two, and we're moving on from there.
Q. How about [Eagles DT] Fletcher Cox. What's the latest with him?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I don't think there's anything to report on Fletch. I'd say the same thing we've said, that he's a huge part of our football team going forward. Our intention is to keep him here for the long term. Our intention is to try to figure out a number that everyone is comfortable with. It's going to be an aggressive number. But in terms of specifics of that, you know, that's between us and his agents.
Q. But what gets him to report to the off-season program, a new contract?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I can't speak for that, but certainly whenever he comes back we're excited to see him, and again, he will be an Eagle for a long time.
Q. Did you have any interest in [Temple LB Tyler] Matakevich?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, he's a good football player. Obviously we got a chance to watch him locally live. [Temple head] coach [Matt] Rhule is a big booster of his. We know him well. We spoke to him a couple times today. Happy for him. He got an opportunity in Pittsburgh, and good football player. I think he was in consideration for us when we were looking at linebackers here.
Q. You circled back on the third-round pick [G Isaac Seumalo] just to make sure you felt comfortable where you guys took him. Did you circle back on Wentz with some of the teams that you thought may have moved up to No. 2 like the Cowboys or 49ers. Did you find out that those teams were poised to take him?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, again, I think it goes back to you get a lot of dialogue with people throughout the league, friends throughout the league when you pick a player, and obviously when you're talking about guys this high, people like the player, but I think that we go back to our experiences of when you try to get cute on guys and what happens, and when you're talking about a franchise quarterback here that we went up and tried to get a guy that hopefully isn't just here for this moment but he's here for a long time. We went to it and understood that there was a big risk of losing him if we tried to get behind it, not knowing if teams would want to trade back, who was really out there lurking, because you never know. We go back to when the Jaguars took [QB] Blake Bortles, nobody knew that we liked Blake Bortles. So all we know is there's a lot of love for this player throughout the league. It's a hard-to-find position, and I think if we were sitting here and tried to get cute and didn't end up getting him, it would be something we would regret for a long time.
Q. You don't think he would have fallen to No. 8?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: That's what I'm saying, but obviously there's no guarantee for anything.
Q. Did anybody during the draft process call at any point to try to see if you were interested in trading Bradford again?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know, my position would be any of the conversations we have with agents or players -- coach is much nicer than I am. He talks about it. But for us, I think if we have conversations with agents or players, we keep it between them, and obviously we've been pretty clear about how we feel about Sam, and when he comes here, we'll just move forward.
Q. You guys have put off hiring a personnel guy until after the draft. When do you plan on resuming that search?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think in terms of search, in terms of research, we have that research, and there's a bunch of guys that we met with that we're excited about. Now in terms of timing, I think the first thing we need to do is get a second just to take a step back. I mean, we just need a minute here. This has been a quick run. We'll regroup early next week and go forward on everything that we have to do here.
Q. You said before the draft that you felt pretty good about the offensive line and you had two more guys here this week. Is that the position where you felt you made the most progress since you've taken over?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, it's an area that obviously coming and looking at the roster and the depth of that position overall felt like we could help ourselves through free agency and obviously the draft process. I feel very good with the opportunity that we had in this draft to pick up a couple young, good players that can come in and give us some help. The number one thing with the offensive line in my opinion is having depth at that spot, and we did that through this draft.