What Is Blind Trust In Regards To The Eagles?
A few years ago, Jason Kelce reminded us, the Eagles and Chip Kelly pushed Howie Roseman into a broom closet. The Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Philadelphia Eagles was essentially demoted, in favor of giving former head coach Kelly full control of player personnel decisions. While some questioned this move, others saw how well it worked in places like New England, and put blind trust in Kelly to make the right decisions. In January 2015, the Eagles announced they gave Kelly control of all football-related decisions. We gave the former coach our blind trust because as a fan base, we assumed he knew what he was doing, and the Eagles would not have trusted him with this responsibility if he didn’t.
What Chip Kelly Did To Break That Trust
There are a few horrible moves that Kelly made that stand out beyond the others. These include releasing DeSean Jackson, losing Jeremy Maclin to free agency, trading LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso, trading Nick Foles and two draft picks for Sam Bradford and one draft pick, signing Mark Sanchez, signing DeMarco Murray, signing Miles Austin (bet you forgot about that one!), and my personal favorite, signing Byron Maxwell to a 6-year $61 million deal.
These are just a few of the worst decisions. There are many more. However, we as a fan base put our trust in our coaches. So much, in fact, a very commonly used phrased throughout the year was “Trust In Chip”. We put our blind trust in Kelly, and looking back we see how that worked out.
Are We Doing That To Ourselves Again?
Executive VP Roseman has the reigns again and he proved that immediately after Kelly was fired. Fans were hesitant when he chose to hire Doug Pederson as the head coach, but maybe that was a carryover from the trust issues Kelly had just caused. He brought in weapons like Alshon Jeffrey, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Tim Jernigan, Chris Long, Ronald Darby and Patrick Robinson. He drafted Derek Barnett in the 1st round and added Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas to beef up the defense. Ultimately, these are the players that led us to a Super Bowl championship. We saw our front office making moves, but the championship solidified that the moves paid off.
This means that we should trust Roseman in everything he does, right? Not so fast. The Eagles won the Super Bowl with talent, resilience, grit, determination, and most importantly, by the culture in the locker room and the environment the players created as a team. Controversy and high tensions will not win a championship. This leads us to the main question; are these moves that Roseman has made so far this offseason in tune with the priorities of the Eagles locker room?
The 2018 Free Agency
This morning, while on 94.1 WIP with Angelo Cataldi, the Eagles executive VP said when the Super Bowl was over, he woke up the next morning and had the realization that he was six weeks behind every other team, he had 14 free agents, and he needed to get to work immediately. Of their 14 free agents, the Eagles have agreed to terms with 2, Darren Sproles and Nigel Bradham. They signed veteran players LB Corey Nelson, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Paul Worrilow, TE Richard Rogers, and WR Mike Wallace. All of these were good signings. The questions lie with the trades.
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Trades Made In 2018
The first big question was in trading for Michael Bennett. Bennett is a great player with a reputation for causing problems in the locker room. Going back to the main factors that helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl, the locker room culture was the top reason.
The next question stemmed from the Torrey Smith trade for Daryl Worley. The Eagles could not afford Smith’s cap hit. Therefore, he would either be cut or traded. It appeared to be a great trade, but you had to wonder why the Panthers were so willing to give up a good, young corner for an aging wide receiver in the back end of his career. Arrests of both players have taken place since the trades. It is not the first time either player has caused controversy. Worley had an incident while at West Virginia and Bennett had an encounter with police in Las Vegas last year.
Worley was cut immediately by the Eagles while still in police custody. Bennett still remains on the roster, with his locker placed next to Fletcher Cox. The last disturbance the Eagles had was Nigel Bradham’s two arrests back in 2016. Since then, the players have not caused any distractions or brought any unwanted attention to the organization. Although these guys have been dominant players, is Roseman sacrificing the culture piece for “better” talent?
Do We Continue To Trust Howie?
Roseman also said this morning while on WIP that he knows some people think that the Eagles “just had a nice run” and “got lucky.” He explained that the Eagles still have more to prove and want to prove these doubters wrong. While listening to this I do have to wonder, is Roseman just trying to prove a point now?
As fans, we need to open our eyes and see the moves as what they are. Yes, our executive VP was responsible for locking the roster and providing weapons to be successful. But, we have seen teams with weapons like this before – think “Dream Team 2012” – that didn’t have the culture, work ethic, or chemistry that this Eagles team had.
It’s obvious that Carson Wentz and Nick Foles both had excellent chemistry with Trey Burton. However, according to Burton, the Eagles made no effort to keep him here. The 3-headed monster of running backs – Blount, Clement, and Ajayi – sustained a close relationship as well. Now, Blount is a Detroit Lion. It makes me wonder if Roseman is now going over the top and doing too much.
Is our executive VP of Football operations more focused on player talent than keeping the “We All We Got, We All We Need” culture alive? Player talent is important, yes, but I truly believe the reason the Eagles were able to win all season and the Super Bowl is due to their culture and the chemistry within the team. They proved chemistry, culture, and belief in each other helps overcome adversity.
Should We Put Our Blind Trust In Howie Roseman?
As fans blinded by the shine of the Lombardi Trophy, we are no longer looking at the facts of the offseason moves. Alternatively, we are putting our blind trust in Roseman. Instead of analyzing them with scrutiny, we automatically praise Roseman because of last year’s results. This is a new season, and he needs to keep in line with the factors that led to the Super Bowl win.
Featured Image: philliesfan136 via Flickr