joe douglas

The ultimate vindication for Howie the Creator

The ultimate vindication for Howie the Creator

MINNEAPOLIS — You know how cool it was watching the Eagles win the Super Bowl? 

Now imagine you put the team together. 

Imagine that the team you watched on Sunday was crafted by your own two hands. Nearly every player picked by you for one reason or another. The pressure and the reward. 

That's what it had to be like for Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. Once stripped of his personnel power and banished to the supply closet, Roseman returned with a vengeance, even more bold than he was before, and he put together the team that won Super Bowl LII. 

He drafted Carson Wentz. He traded Sam Bradford. He traded for Tim Jernigan and Jay Ajayi. He signed LeGarrette Blount and Alshon Jeffery and Chris Long and Patrick Robinson and Stefen Wisniewski. And he brought back Nick Foles. He helped hire Doug Pederson and Joe Douglas. He drafted Derek Barnett. 

Roseman put this team together. And then he watched it do something all the others in franchise history couldn't. 

"That's my job. I'm just trying to do my job," Roseman said late on Sunday night. "That's it. Try to do my job, try to do it the best I can. I've got a great staff that helps me. We've got a great coach and great players. It's not about Howie Roseman. It's about the Philadelphia Eagles being Super Bowl champs!"

As Roseman walked through the hallway that led away from the Eagles' locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Lombardi Trophy was still being passed around for photos, he said he hadn't really thought that deeply about watching his creation. 

On Sunday night, Roseman just wanted to soak it all in. 

Roseman, 42, started with the Eagles as an intern in 2000 and slowly worked his way up from there. He was relentless in his pursuit to become an NFL general manager and got there with the Eagles in 2010. He lasted through 2014, when Chip Kelly won a power struggle briefly. 

For a year, Roseman waited in the shadows and eventually outlasted Kelly, who was fired. Roseman then brought in personnel man Joe Douglas, one of the conditions of his reinstatement to power, and started making moves to put together the roster that won Super Bowl LII. 

"It's great," Roseman said, before stopping briefly to make sure the busses weren't about to leave for the party without him. "Happy for the City of Philadelphia, happier for our organization. It hasn't even started yet, man. We got to celebrate with all of us here, but can't wait to do it with all of our families, can't wait to do it with our friends. And I can't wait to do it down Broad Street."

The most impressive thing about the team that Roseman built was that it was built to last through injuries that would have devastated other teams. Sure, coaching had a lot to do with it, but Roseman provided Pederson the players to get it done. 

Last week, owner Jeff Lurie admitted that winning a Super Bowl with this group of players would be even more special because of the adversity they've faced. 

"It's hard to win a world championship," Roseman said. "Everything has to go right. And not everything went right for us. But when you think about it, the city of Philadelphia hasn't had a world championship in 60 years. Is it going to be easy? No! Nothing in life that's worthwhile is easy. And this (Super Bowl) hat. We're world champions forever. This group is a special group."

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

AP Images

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

As the Eagles practiced on Thursday afternoon, just a few days before hosting the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stood next to owner Jeff Lurie and watched the team he created. 

Of the 53 members on the Eagles' roster heading into this championship game, 25 weren't on the active roster last season. Roseman had a very busy offseason, molding the Eagles into a Super Bowl contender. 

For his efforts, the 42-year-old Roseman, who began with the Eagles as an intern in 2000, has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. 

Roseman helped turn over a roster that went 7-9 last season into a team that went 13-3, earning the first-overall seed in the NFC. He built the team with enough depth to survive major injuries to Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis. 

Never afraid to make a trade, Roseman came back from his time away from football operations more aggressive than ever. He claims his year away from GM duties while Chip Kelly took over was both humbling and eye-opening. 

For this season, Roseman traded 25 spots in the third round to bring in veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, traded away Jordan Matthews and a pick to bring in cornerback Ronald Darby and pulled the trigger on a midseason move to bring in Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. 

In free agency, he signed Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack. He brought in several of those players on one-year prove-it deals, and for the most part, the team has gotten more than their money's worth out of them. 

He also helped hire VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to revamp the scouting department. That hire of a top personnel man was one of the conditions when Lurie reinstated Roseman to power following Kelly's dismissal. 

Roseman and Douglas spearheaded drafting a class that included Derek Barnett in the first round, an injured Sidney Jones in the second and some other contributors in the next five rounds. 

Aside from just bringing players in, Roseman has been able to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone in the league. It's been a strength of his since his arrival in Philly, so that should be no surprise. 

You could actually argue that Roseman's 2016 was more impressive. That's when he laid the groundwork for this playoff season by moving up and drafting Carson Wentz. But 2017 is when it all came together.

Eagles prevent Texans from interviewing rising front office star

Photo: Eagles

Eagles prevent Texans from interviewing rising front office star

The Eagles aren't losing Joe Douglas without a fight.

News of the Texans' interest in Douglas to fill their vacant general manager post came out Friday, but the Eagles aren't simply going to let their top personnel man walk. 

According to MMQB's Albert Breer, the Eagles have denied the Texans' initial request to interview Douglas for the opening.

The Eagles are able to deny the request for now because they're still in the playoffs. That will buy them some time, but because this vacant job comes with final say on roster decisions, they won't be able to block the Texans forever.

Douglas is already the Eagles' vice president of player personnel, but perhaps they could give him a fancy new title and a pay raise to try to keep him. They have to do whatever they can because Douglas has been with the Eagles since just May 2016 and has completely revamped their scouting department. Losing him would arguably be worse than losing one of their assistant coaches.

When Jeff Lurie reinstated Howie Roseman to power, it came on the condition Roseman find a top-notch personnel man to bring in. Roseman found Douglas and the two have seemingly been working well together. While Roseman is known for his contract work and ability to pull off trades, Douglas is a scouting man who excels in the draft.

The Texans reportedly want to move quickly to replace Rick Smith, who is stepping away from his post as GM to care for his wife Tiffany, who is suffering from breast cancer.

If the Texans do want to fill the spot soon, the Eagles' winning in the playoffs, it could go a long way in keeping Douglas in-house.