Howie Roseman: Joe Douglas 'has full rein to set the draft board'

Howie Roseman: Joe Douglas 'has full rein to set the draft board'

It’s unlikely most Eagles fans could pick vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas out of a lineup, but Douglas might be the single most important person inside the NovaCare Complex.
If Howie Roseman lets him.
The Eagles hired Douglas in May to head up their personnel department, but his success hinges on his working relationship with Roseman. So far, so good, it appears.
Douglas has been with the Eagles for nearly nine months and Roseman on Wednesday said the team is already feeling his impact.
“[Douglas has] a way of looking and evaluating players that is different than what we’ve done in the past and, quite frankly, we needed that,” Roseman said at his end-of-season press conference Wednesday morning. “He has full rein to set the draft board. He’s involved in every discussion we have about building this team. And I think we’ll start seeing dividends.”
Just because Douglas is the person who will set the draft board, it doesn’t mean he’s the person who will decide who they draft. Roseman, as his boss and as the highest-ranking person in Eagles football operations, still has final say.
“It’s a collaborative effort when we talk about who we’re picking,” Roseman said, “and at the end of the day, the responsibility is mine.”
While Roseman still has final say and is still the ruler of the empire, Douglas’ role in the organization is huge and shouldn't be understated. Not only will he set the team’s draft board, he’ll also be charged with assembling the team’s free-agent board.
Since he was hired, Douglas has been playing catch-up as he tried to divide his time between learning the Eagles’ roster, watching college football and the NFL. After a few weeks, he developed a rhythm that he was able to use for the rest of the year. Now, things are about to really ramp up in the pre-draft and pre-free agency process.
Douglas spent 2015-16 season as the Bears’ director of college scouting. Before that, he was with the Baltimore Ravens from 2000-2015 in various roles, most recently as a national scout. In Baltimore, he worked under renowned and revered general manager Ozzie Newsome. For the Eagles, Douglas was the answer to a lengthy search for a personnel head after Roseman was reinstated as the team’s de facto GM around this time a year ago.  
“I think when we look at the success the Ravens had, and certainly they won two world championships since the start of the century, what they’re looking for and the traits they’re looking for in particular positions, fits the way this city is built too,” Roseman said. “We want to find whatever ways there are to improve this team and to improve the quality of players on this team. And I’m really confident that we have the people in our scouting staff to do that.”
As far of the specifics of the traits Douglas looks for in certain positions, Roseman declined to divulge them. Instead, he evaded the question by saying the two of them look back at the types of players the Eagles had when they went to five conference championships and the types of players the Ravens had when they were winning Super Bowls.
In any case, with Douglas in house, it seems like there will be a departure from the thinking of the past in Philadelphia, at least in some cases.
In addition to having a new personnel head in Douglas, the Eagles also have a relatively new head coach in Doug Pederson, who was kind of thrown into the pre-draft and free-agent evaluation process last year. Recently, Pederson said he was too busy implementing an offense to really get involved in the personnel side last year. He’s interested to see if that will change this offseason.
“[Pederson] asks a lot of questions about things that we’re doing. We ask for his input,” Roseman said. “We funnel down the information for him and his staff. But we need to know what they need. We need to know what it looks like for them at each position. They do a great job of giving us that insight, starting with Doug and then funneling down to the rest of his staff.”
According to Roseman, he and Douglas meet several times per day. Douglas isn’t alone in his job, though. One of the first things he did after being hired was bring in Andy Weidl to be his assistant director of player personnel. Douglas and Weidl worked together for many years with the Ravens. The two of them will be charged with leading the Eagles' offseason.
“Our job, and really my job, is to help make decisions,” Roseman said. “I think that’s something I can help with, with the experience I’ve had, good and bad. And really excited for him to put his own spin on it and I think that’s already started.”
Maybe Douglas will eventually make a difference. If Roseman lets him.

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Just two days after we learned the NFL’s plan to cut the 2020 preseason in half, the NFL Players Association is reportedly recommending that the league cancel the entire preseason. 

The NFLPA’s board of representatives voted unanimously on the recommendation, according to ESPN. 

On Wednesday, ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL was cutting the preseason in half because of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping Weeks 2 and 3 but eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. Other reports indicated that those preseason games would be pushed back later into August. 

If the Eagles end up playing the original Weeks 2 and 3 of their preseason schedule, they will face the Dolphins on the road and the Patriots at home. They were originally scheduled to be at Indianapolis in Week 1 and at home against the Jets in Week 4, but those games have already been canceled. 

The NFL is still planning for training camps to begin on July 28 with rookies and select vets allowed to report earlier. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason that his team will need the entire five-to-six-week training camp to get ready for the 2020 season, especially after missing the entire spring workout schedule because of the pandemic. 

The Eagles are scheduled to begin their 2020 regular season in Washington on Sept. 13. 

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Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

He said he would never do it.

"We'll never change the name of the team," Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. Never. You can use caps."

Now, amid an increased national focus on racism and social justice and mounting pressure from million-dollar sponsors, his tune has suddenly changed.

The Redskins' owner said in a statement Friday that the franchise will review the team's name, seen by many as racist and offensive to Native Americans and others.

Protests against the Redskins' name and logo have been ongoing for decades, but when companies like FedEx and Nike join those protests, things can change very quickly.

Considering the growing pressure now on the franchise, it would be surprising at this point if the franchise elects not to change its name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has consistently supported Snyder's decision to keep the team name, released a statement saying only, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

FedEx, which paid $205 million for the naming rights for the Redskins' stadium in 1998, asked the Redskins earlier Friday to change the team name. And Nike, the NFL's official uniform supplier, on Thursday removed all Redskins gear from its website while continuing to allow customers to order merchandise from all 31 other teams.

In the statement released by the team, Snyder said: "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."

First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, a former Eagles assistant coach and one of three Latin American head coaches in NFL history, indicated in the statement that he favors a name change.

"This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military."

The team's current name dates back 87 years.

The NFL Boston Braves franchise was founded in 1932 and one year later moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the baseball franchise of the same name. To avoid confusion, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to Redskins. The franchise moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.

Marshall, who owned the franchise until his death in 1969, refused to allow black players on the roster until 1962, which made the team the last in the NFL to integrate. 

Not until U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy threatened to rescind the team's lease at city-owned RFK Stadium did Marshall finally allow the team's roster to be integrated.

Last month, team officials removed Marshall's name from the Redskins Ring of Honor at FedEx Field, and a statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium by city officials after it was vandalized.

Protests against sports teams and logos perpetuating stereotypes of Native Americans and their culture have grown more widespread in recent years but have been held for decades.

In 1991 — nearly 30 years ago — there were organized protests against the Atlanta Braves and Redskins over their team names and logos, according to an Associated Press story. The story quoted Clyde Bellecourt, director of a group called the American Indian Movement, which organized protests outside Braves and Redskins games.

"It's a racist term," Bellecourt told the AP in October of 1991. "We're not thin-skinned, this just makes a mockery of uses a people and of our culture."

And now, it looks like the franchise is finally going to do something about it.

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