He doesn’t even have a bio.
Tom Donahoe has spent nearly 30 years running NFL scouting departments, and he’s been with the Eagles for over seven years now. He’s a legend in the scouting community.
Yet when you try to click his name on the Eagles’ on-line front office directory, you can’t.
When you click every other notable front office staffer’s name on the team's web site, it leads to their bio.
Tom’s doesn’t click. Nothing happens. There’s no link. There's no bio.
This speaks volumes about Donahoe.
He doesn’t want attention. He doesn’t want credit. He doesn’t want accolades. He just wants to quietly do his job and stay safely hidden, deep in the shadows.
And he’s been doing that for the Eagles since 2012.
A little background: Donahoe spent 1991 through 1999 as the Steelers’ general manager, a span where they won four straight AFC Central titles, went to the playoffs six straight times and reached three AFC title games and a Super Bowl.
After a power struggle with Bill Cowher left him briefly unemployed, he landed with the Bills, where he served as general manager until 2005.
Donahoe joined the Eagles’ front office as a “senior advisor” before the 2012 season and survived Andy Reid’s firing and the Chip Kelly Era, earning a promotion to senior director of player personnel on Dec. 29, 2015 — the same day Kelly was fired and Howie Roseman’s power was restored.
In the years since, he has been a crucial yet hidden voice in the Eagles' front office.
Donahoe is rarely seen. He’s been made available by the team for one interview — in the NovaCare Complex cafeteria in April of 2015, along with all the team’s scouts — and he was entertaining and insightful, regaling the media with stories of his career, including the role he played in converting Jason Peters from an undrafted tight end into a Hall of Fame offensive lineman while both were in Buffalo.
That was four years ago. For the most part, you don’t hear about Donahoe. You don’t read about him. But make no mistake about it. He is a huge part of this franchise.
Donaohoe is a valued sounding board for Roseman, and a trusted adviser for owner Jeff Lurie.
Donahoe grew up in the South Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh and played football at South Hills Catholic, where one of his teammates was George Weidl.
George Weidl's sons? They would be Andy and Casey, who are both now key members of the Eagles’ scouting department. Andy last week was promoted to vice president of player personnel, with Joe Douglas becoming Jets GM, and Casey was just promoted to director of scouting operations.
Donahoe evaluated film for Roseman and Douglas when they were building a Super Bowl roster. He was on Lurie's search committee that recommended Pederson. He’s single-handedly responsible for two of the team’s highly regarded young scouting administrators.
Donahoe’s fingerprints are all over this franchise.
Donahoe is so uninterested in promoting himself or taking credit for the success the Eagles have had under his watch that he won’t even let his picture be taken for his bio.
Go to Google Images and search for a picture of Donahoe. You can’t find one. At least nothing recent.
But I feel likes that’s exactly what you need at the heart of your scouting department, at the heart of your front office.
Donahoe is not in this business to get promoted or to gain notoriety. He’s doing this for the right reason. He likes to win.
Donaohoe won his first Super Bowl with the Eagles 16 months ago, and I’m just guessing here but I’ll bet he doesn’t wear his ring.
He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He’s about doing whatever he can do to support Lurie, Roseman and now Andy Weidl, his high school teammate’s kid.
Douglas was the same way. Howie’s the same way. Weidl is the same way.
That’s how you build a winning culture. A championship culture.
When you have a group of people working together that way – disinterested in who gets the credit, working solely with team goals in mind, operating without ego – you have a chance to do some pretty special things.
The best part of all this? If I made a mistake in this piece, nobody would ever know.
Because how do you look something up in a guy’s bio if he doesn’t have one?
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