He has taken a fast track to the position of general manager for this football team, and yet Howie Roseman has done it the old-fashioned way, too. Roseman has worked his way up in football administration -- mastering the business side of the league, establishing relationships with agents, building a portfolio in player evalautions, running a college draft and working on the pro side of player grades, too.
He knows the business of the NFL's football business, and now he is in place to head up the Eagles' personnel department. Roseman replaces Tom Heckert, now in Cleveland, and he brings a tremendous amount of energy, insight and aggressivess to the position.
What changes for the Eagles with Roseman in charge? We'll see about that. The proof is in the success the Eagles have moving forward with Roseman overseeing the personnel side of things. He has a great working relationship with head coach/executive vice president of football operations Andy Reid and certainly has proven himself internally over the years.
Roseman knows the fans and the media have questions about him. He is, largely, an unknown quantity outside the organization. For those who have worked with him, Roseman has already impressed with his aggressive, confident, positive attitude. He approaches every project with a "How can we get this done?" attitude rather than a "No way it works" mentality.
In 2000, Roseman joined the Eagles as a salary cap analyst and team counsel. He had greater dreams and goals, of course, and kept his eyes open, worked harder than the guy next to him and watched film, graded players and then turned in his grades to validate his eye for talent. Along the way in the rowdy waters of the NFL's ocean, Roseman became an expert in the salary cap, in player personnel matters, in dealing and forging productive relationships with agents.
For the last two seasons, Roseman served as the team's vice president of player personnel. He worked with Heckert and with Reid and with all of the scouts on both the pro and college sides to further his depth of knowledge of talent evaluation and personnel matters.
And now, he is the man.
And now, we all want him to help take the Eagles to the highest level. Roseman oversaw the 2009 draft and was instrumental in organizing the 2008 draft, so he knows the ins and outs of the draft process. He certainly was part of free agency in years past talking to agents and understanding the landscape of a changing situation.
But all of what Roseman has done in the past only prepares him for what he faces now. The Eagles have a good situation, with a stable roster chock full of young and talented players. They have six draft picks in the opening four rounds of April's draft. They have assets to work with -- players who could be traded, funds to spend in free agency, a clear direction on what is needed to improve, support from the front office -- and Roseman, working with Reid and the scouting department and coaching staff, have to make sure it all fits into place for 2010 and beyond.
It isn't fair to judge Roseman on anything other than what he does next. He is going to be aggressive, I promise you that. He is going to think unconventionally at times, because that is the nature of men who have approached this job in a non-traditional way. Roseman is do what got him here in the first place -- work hard, keep an open mind and take chances if he sees the opportunity to do so.
The Eagles considered possibilities other than Roseman, of course. They felt, ultimately, that the structure was in place already and that the right candidate for the job was Roseman. He is not someone who played in the league for 15 years and then coached and then worked his way into the administrative side. No, this is not that kind of move. This is a move that moves Roseman into a general manager's spot because he earned it his way, the right way, by working his way up through the ranks and learning the nuances of the game from the inside out.