On Wednesday morning, general manager Howie Roseman participated in a panel discussion at the Rothman Institute's "The Impact of Sports" conference to discuss the decision-making process as one of the leading sports executives in the City of Philadelphia.
Following the talk, which was held at Lincoln Financial Field, Roseman fielded questions from reporters regarding a number of Eagles-related topics. Check out some of Roseman's answers below:
On the Eagles' cap management philosophy: "The hardest part of our jobs is balancing short term vs. long term. When you look at the cap, the cap is flat going forward. When we look at our cap situation next year, two years out, we don't have any sort of flexibility. If we don't push any money forward, we're in the hole.
"Obviously, we don't know everything about who exactly is going to be on our team, what we're going to need it for. If there was an opportunity to add someone that we thought was part of our core group, we would do that. At the same time, we want to be smart about it and we want to be in a position at some point here to get back competing every year. To do that, you need money."
On whether veteran free agents could still be added to the roster: "Every day we're in meetings as a personnel staff discussing the players who are on the street. If we thought there was someone who could make a difference, who could upgrade what we have - there are good players out there, but we also want to see our young players develop. That's part of our responsibility is drafting and developing our players and then hopefully, having enough cap room, having enough space to go in and extend those guys at some point and whether that's this year or next year targeting those guys to make sure they are here for a long time."
On Chip Kelly's training sessions: "It was consistent with what you see at the University of Oregon. You went there, watch practice and I've had the opportunity to go out there a bunch of times to see how they practice so for me, personally, it's kind of what I expected. It's a lot of energy. The most important thing that we have is buy-in from our players. You see how hard they're working, how hard they're training. I think the reason for optimism is because they're buying in."
On what he's seen from the players during the OTAs: "A lot of energy. Very fast pace. I think that the players are really getting into the pace of play on both sides of the ball. You want to be careful not to evaluate too much, get too far ahead of ourselves until the pads come on, but for where we are now things look like (the way) they should look."
On Damaris Johnson: "We were so excited to get Damaris as a free agent. Looking back at the process, we probably should have drafted him. We were so excited through the fall. We took a chance that he wouldn't be there and that certainly if we didn't get him we would be upset. You're talking about a young player. We look for our guys from the first to the second year to make a jump and to find out more about them because they have the full offseason with our coaches, to be in the weight room. For him, he's going to look good obviously in shorts. He's got exceptional quickness. He's got long speed. The big thing for him is continuing to develop his strength when the pads come on."
On Chip Kelly asking players like Jason Avant and Clay Harbor to learn defensive positions: "From our perspective, it's exciting. We talk about this and coach talks to us about what he's thinking. That provides more versatility and when you have 46 men on a roster and someone goes down, you're in trouble a lot of times. It's hard to find nickel corners. It's hard to find a guy who can play outside linebacker, play on special teams. Obviously, we don't have all of the information on these guys we're talking about, but just having those guys take the reps and we've been to the Super Bowl. We've played against (former Patriots wide receiver) Troy Brown as their nickel corner. You got a guy in Jason Avant, who has an incredible feel for the position. He's certainly physical and tough. You see that when he's on special teams. It's just exciting. It's fun stuff.
"(Kelly's) just making sure we're in a situation that someone's ready to go. When you do it now, it's not in the season - when you're gameplanning, it's Week 8, you have a nickel corner go down, Jason, take some reps. This is the time to do it."
On the likelihood that the 2014 NFL Draft will be held in May instead of the typical last weekend of April: "We were talking about it this morning. This would be our week coming off the draft. It's a difference for us in how we prepare and at the same time whatever works for the league, we're in favor of. We'll support."
On the impact of how Chip Kelly's training methods give players more individual reps: "It's a lot more time watching practice tape then you normally do at this time of year. It's a lot of reps and you're getting an opportunity to see guys in different situations that maybe you wouldn't normally see until Training Camp. We just have to caution ourselves that these guys are still in shorts. When the pads come on, things will change, but just seeing them run around, really, scouting is a study of movement because a lot of times you're watching college teams or NFL teams and you don't know exactly what they're being asked to do. We're watching their movement and trying to figure out if that fits what we're trying to do."
On whether the team is taking a wait-and-see approach to offering long-term extensions because of the new coaching staff: "That's the unknown when you hire a new staff and you change schemes is that you think players can fit. You've seen the term players are good fits, but until you see them in action it's hard to exactly know. One of the things that's hard for us and you've seen some of it this offseason, we've had players that were good players in a different scheme that we've invested in and it's not going to turnover.
"For me, that's different because we've been with one head coach, but when you talk with people around the league, they tell you, 'When you change coaches, when you change schemes, there are going to be good players who fall by the wayside,' and that's hard for the general manager because you know it's a good player. You know in a different scheme he's going to be a good player, but at the same time you know it's not a good fit for you."
On the addition of Felix Jones and why he didn't reach his potential in Dallas: "I think he'd tell you the injuries, the nagging injuries in his career. Every time he started to get going, something kind of brought him back. I know as an opponent playing the Cowboys, you were worried about Felix Jones. We're hoping that that's a guy who can come here and get a second chance and become the player. At the same time, we like our running backs. We like our young running backs and we're excited by those guys as well. We weren't out there actively looking for a runner, but we just thought it was a good situation."
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