Howie Roseman is back on the other side of the Nova Care complex where the Philadelphia Eagles offices are located. Almost a year and half ago he was moved to the “non football” side by Chip Kelly.
In January of 2015, Chip Kelly petulantly stomped into Owner Jeffrey Lurie’s office and demanded control of the team. Many reports said Chip stated its me or Howie. This was on the heels of two straight 10 win seasons. Lurie thought he had struck gold with the hiring of Chip Kelly. He had compiled a 20-12 record in his first two years and many thought he did that with a below average defense.
Howie Roseman had been with the Eagles for 15 years at that point. He began his tenure with the Eagles as part of the salary cap counsel after interning with the New York Jets. From there, he became the director of football administration for three years. He was promoted to VP of football administration for two years. In 2008 he was named VP of player personnel. Finally in 2010, he reached his dream of becoming the general manager. Along the way, he was chosen for promotions over others and these decisions saw some leave the Eagles organization. Jeffrey Lurie even chose Howie over childhood friend Joe Banner who had led the team for many years, and led the team to success including its second Super Bowl appearance in team history.
In January of 2015, Chip backed Lurie into the corner. After years of Lurie choosing Howie over the alternatives, Lurie decided to hand the reigns over to Chip Kelly. Chip Kelly emerged from the power struggle on top and shipped Howie to the other side of the building. Chip wanted “football guys” in charge. In the presser, Chip stated that Howie was still with the organization but was now on the other side of the building and he had no idea what he was responsible for.
Chip made a plethora of moves. He acquired a new quarterback, traded Shady McCoy, released Desean Jackson, and brought 11 new faces in. After he thought he had Frank Gore in his stable, Gore backed out and Chip flying by the seat of his pants signed Demarco Murray. Murray never fit the system and that was apparent throughout. For someone who is so married to his system, he certainly couldn’t identify who would fit and who wouldn’t. And he certainly showed no pension to change his ways to put his players in positions that fit their strengths. This was made apparent when Murray pleaded to run with the quarterback under center. The handful of times Chip went away from the 8 plays he calls and put the quarterback under center Murray had success. But Kelly couldn’t help himself and went back to the “system”.
The season was a disaster under “football guys”. The Birds finished 7-9. They went 6-9 while Chip was the coach.
Kelly was fired one week prior to season end. Roseman was back in charge but the narrative that Roseman isn’t a “football guy” was floating around. Roseman had to undo the mess created by the “football guys” in charge. As free agency and the official football year have begun Roseman has slowly purged the roster of any guy brought in by the “football guys”.
As I listened to Roseman being called a disaster because of his experience, I decided to delve further around the league as to how many other non “football guys” were running teams. To my surprise, 18 of the 32 NFL teams have a general manager that is a non “football guy.” Of the remaining 14 teams only 6 are run by someone who took snaps in the NFL. The other 8 have general managers who played in college but never in the NFL.
Ironically, Chip was hired by San Francisco in which Trent Baalke is the GM- a non “football guy”.
As alluded to above, Roseman has been in a NFL organization since 1999. I will wait for news on when he will graduate to being considered a “football guy”. Better yet, I will ask the president of the “football guys” club Chip Kelly when he is back in college in 3 years.