Howie Roseman spoke with thousands of Eagles fans earlier this week on a Fan Forum conference call where fans had an opportunity to ask the first-year general manager about the state of the team heading into the start of training camp. Here's are some highlights from the conversation.
On how the 2010 team right now is better than the one that finished the 2009 campaign: "We think we've made a lot of improvements on both sides of the ball. We went in with a checklist this offseason. We tried to do everything we could to improve this football team. We're excited about some of the results."
On getting to see Kevin Kolb as the starting quarterback: "A lot of times when you get a young quarterback, you get him right out of college and you evaluate him based on what he did in college then you throw him right into the action. Here, we've had the opportunity to watch Kevin over the last three years. See how he interacted with his teammates. See his leadership on and off the field, how he works with them then he goes and plays two games and is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 300 yards so now he demonstrates that ability and we're very excited to see what he can do over the course of a season with a full training camp getting all of the reps with this talent around him."
On the youth on the offensive side of the football: "The National Football League is a game of talent. These guys have all demonstrated ability. These guys are young and you have a chance to keep the core of your football team for a long time, that's exciting."
On the pass/run ratio: "I think the success of our offense in the past few years and the playcalling has been really phenomenal. We've been subject to an offensive explosion where the total points we've scored in the last few years are the most in the history of this franchise. That's exciting if we can keep doing that sort of thing. That's our philosophy. We like to throw the football. We think that gives you a chance to make big plays. Big plays in the passing game lead to scoring points."
On how the offensive philosophy around the NFL has changed since you entered the league: "There's a premium placed on big plays. There's a premium placed on the passing game both in terms of rushing the passer and protecting the quarterback because that's the way you score. There are a lot of high scoring teams. You see the teams that have won the Super Bowl over the past couple of years; they could put points on the board in a hurry. You have to be able to score points in this league to win."
On whether this team can score points with Kolb: "No question."
On Sean McDermott, who enters his second year as defensive coordinator: "He's going to do a great job. Obviously, Jim Johnson was one of the best defensive minds ever in the National Football League. Sean's got great energy. He's a sharp guy. He's a great communicator and we're very excited to have him."
On the defense-focused draft: "We got lucky because we had 13 picks in a draft that was probably the best defensive draft in the last few years. That allowed us to not focus on defense just because we perceived some needs there, but because the best players are on the defensive side of the ball. We went into this draft and we got some young players that we think can come in immediately and contribute."
On who enters training camp as the starter at right cornerback: "Ellis Hobbs is going to get an opportunity to play right cornerback for us. It will be a great competition and the best guys at the end of the day will play."
On where Macho Harris fits: "He's going to start off training camp at the right corner slot and compete for reps at that position. We're excited to see Macho take a jump from his rookie year to his second year."
On expecting the young players on defense to contribute immediately: "I think we're lucky that all of these players played at big-time programs and competed at the highest level. In this game, in the NFL these days, you're seeing that young players have to contribute early."
On how the defense matches up with the Cowboys, specifically Miles Austin and Jason Witten: "We had an opportunity to add some linebackers that we feel very comfortable with here who we think will really help our pass coverage. And the same thing, we've improved our safety depth. We've got some young guys here who've shown that they can cover tight ends. We watched the tape before the draft and saw their ability to cover tight ends. Obviously, we have to play it out but we're excited about the possibility."
On the team's biggest weakness: "When you have this many new players coming together and jelling together, it takes time, especially when it's one side of the ball, the defensive side of the ball. That's what training camp is for. That's why we'll be there a little bit longer."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:55 p.m., July 21