HomeDa Birds NewsGM Howie Doubles-Down on Eagles Roster-Building Plan

GM Howie Doubles-Down on Eagles Roster-Building Plan

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PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman isn’t running from the team’s late-season collapse but he’s also not planning on an overcorrection tied to a smaller sample size when it comes to his roster-building philosophy.

“I think we’ve always kind of had our own spin on roster building,” Roseman said during his end-of-season press conference, alongside embattled head coach Nick Sirianni. “I think at the same time I’ve talked a lot about if you keep following things as opposed to being at the head of the curve, then you’re kind of getting the leftovers. You have to be ahead of it.

“I think when we’ve had our best teams, we’ve been ahead of it.”

Entering Championship Weekend, the two No. 1 seeds – Baltimore and San Francisco – have had the luxury of exceptional linebacking play this season, a position that has been devalued in Philadelphia, a sentiment many Roseman critics believe the GM has taken too far.

 
 
Howie Roseman still believes in his roster-building philosophy.

John McMullen/Eagles Today

Roseman addressed that specifically after allowing T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White to walk in free agency in favor of betting on unproven second-year player Nakobe Dean, who had a lost season due to two separate foot injuries and cobbling things together from there with veterans Zach Cunningham and Nick Morrow.

“I feel like we’ve had a long history of success here building the team a certain way, and I think maybe there are some preconceived notions that at the linebacker position, that we don’t care who we play at linebacker,” Roseman said before defending himself. “Again, our two Super Bowl teams over the last six years, the linebacker play was good from those guys.”

The problem with that defense is that the Eagles had the talented Jordan Hicks and veteran Nigel Bradham in 2017 and when the former was injured they still had Mychal Kendricks to turn to while Edwards and White were so durable that rarely left the field in 2022. This season, the eggs were all put in the Dean basket and when that went south, Philadelphia was left scrambling.

“I think if anything, it’s my belief in the players that we have, the young players that we have,” Roseman said. “I have a lot of belief, and I know Coach does, as well, in Nakobe Dean. I believe in the player. I believe in the person.

“We lost two linebackers at that spot, two good players from our Super Bowl team, and we had Nakobe waiting in the wings. We drafted him for that role. Obviously, it didn’t work out perfectly for him this year. That doesn’t change the belief we have in the player.”

Related: Eagles Epiphany: Sirianni in Reprove Mode for Elephant in Room

At the bare minimum, Roseman has to have more of a contingency plan at the more undervalued positions moving forward but don’t expect the roster-building philosophy as a whole to shift drastically.

“I think in roster building, you’re not going to be perfect,” Roseman admitted. “You’re going to make mistakes. I think that you can look at the four teams playing right now, and I promise you we can go over a couple things they’d like to have back. That’s part of it.

“The most important thing we’ve got to do is have a vision for how we want it to look. We’ve got to have a process that we want to have. Sometimes you can have a vision, have a process, and the result is not what you want. So you’ve got to make sure that you’re not overreacting to a result that maybe just kind of was an aberration in the moment, and then you’ve got to look at maybe is the process, right?”

Roseman believes the larger sample size in Philadelphia has proven his process is right.

“To me, we’re at a point here where the only thing that matters is winning,” he said. “That’s the only thing that matters is for us to put out a product on the field that gives us the best chance to win a championship every year, and I know we can do that because we’ve done it, and we’ll continue to work as hard as we possibly can to continue to grow and learn from any adversity we have and do whatever we can to overcome that.”

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