Ed Marynowitz is the choice for the Eagles' Vice President of Player Personnel role after an extensive external search, and he and head coach Chip Kelly now form the leadership for a football program looking to go from "good" to great."
It's a structure that is very similar to what the Patriots do. Bill Belichick is the head coach and he has built an enviable football program, and Nick Caserio is the Director of Player Personnel, the behind-the-scenes grinder who organizes the scouting department and personnel side of the business, while working in tandem with Belichick, who has the final say.
That's the way it's expected to work here. Kelly has the final say on personnel, and he and Marynwitz will collaborate on strategies to acquire and develop personnel. It is their vision that guides the Eagles moving forward.
This is what Chip Kelly wanted: A personnel executive who shares the same vision to push the Eagles forward, and it just so happens that the best candidate among those interviewed is Marynowitz, and now the Eagles have a seamless transition and can rapidly build their offseason game plan.
What do we know about Marynowitz? Very sharp and energetic and highly regarded in the business. He directed the recruiting program at Alabama and worked with head coach Nick Saban to help resurrect that program and bring in the players who won back-to-back national championships in 2009 and 2011. Marynowitz has been with the Eagles since 2012, first as the assistant director of pro scouting and then as the assistant director of player personnel.
"This is a great opportunity for Ed and I think Philadelphia made an excellent decision in terms of expanding his role and responsibilities in the organization," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "Ed did an outstanding job for us when he was here and made a great contribution to our program as director of player personnel. The thing I was most impressed with was how much he wanted to learn in the area of player evaluation and his knowledge in that area really expanded during his time at Alabama. We're very happy for Ed and his family and wish him the best in this new position."
Marynowitz is one of those young men in the NFL who has the "arrow-up" designation, and after making sure that he made a strong external list of potential personnel candidates and met with those on that list, Kelly stayed in house. It allows this process to be seamless, as Kelly and Marynowitz have been on the same page for two full seasons, and it gives the Eagles a running start with the personnel department transition complete.
The task ahead is significant and exciting and, geez, can we get to March 10 and the start of free agency already to see how the plan begins to unfold? The Eagles won 10 games in 2014 and missed the playoffs, dropping three of their final four games in December to lose their grip in the NFC East. There are many building blocks on this roster and there are a lot of reasons to think the Eagles can get right in the thick of things among the NFC's elite teams in the very near future, but pieces need to be added and the team has to handle key moments better than it did in '14.
What does the team do to perform better offensively in the red zone? How can the Eagles minimize the turnover issues that were so damaging in 2014? In what ways can the defense make improvement, particularly the pass defense against those "X" plays that caused so many troubles last season? Are there impact moves that can be made to take this team to the next level?
There are also contractual issues that need to be resolved, headed by the pending unrestricted free agency of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is coming off his 85-catch season.
I'm going to bluprint this out for you, just to manage some expectations: It's expected to be awfully quiet between now and March 10. You're going to read a lot of rumors and "reports" as the unofficial NFL "fantasy football" season ramps up, but none of that hot-stove chitter-chatter will come from the Eagles.
Let's make this clear so that there are no questions: Kelly is the one who has the final call and he's the one who will explain the decision-making process to the media and the fans.
An important announcement was made on Thursday, that Marynowitz receives his promotion and Kelly has his personnel executive with whom to attack the offseason and continue the process of taking the Eagles back to the top of the NFC and the NFL.