Since his promotion to the role of General Manager at the beginning of this year, Howie Roseman has made a big impact with the Eagles. Not even counting his pre-season roster finagling, Roseman has made three key additions to the team's roster during the past few months that many overlooked at the time: fullback Owen Schmitt, halfback Jerome Harrison and safety Colt Anderson. Now, as the season winds down, Roseman's true genius is coming to light. In fact, as Andy Reid was speaking with the press earlier today, he was asked about the three aforementioned players and took time out to praise Roseman for his work thus far:
I think it’s a great tribute to Howie and the work that he and his staff have done of giving the coaches an opportunity to coach good football players, and that’s not an easy thing to do on his end."
So, let's take a closer look at how these three are doing in their abbreviated time with the Eagles.
Continued after the jump...
Owen Schmitt: After Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver went down with a gruesome knee injury in week one, the team looked to have lost a key cog in its backfield. Eldra Buckley and Mike Bell quickly proved that they weren't the answers at fullback and rookie Charles Scott had been shipped out before the season even started. Suddenly, in came Owen Schmitt from off the street, slipping into Marty Mornhinweg's offense virtually seamlessly. As Andy Reid mentioned earlier today:
Owen’s done a heck of a job. Now, one advantage Owen had was he was in Coach [Mike] Holmgren’s system in Seattle, so the terminology wasn’t completely foreign to him. But at the same time, you’ve got to come in and you’ve got to establish yourself and get the respect of the players. And he did that, right from the first week. He had some big catches in the first week, and big blocks in the first week. So, he’s been able to maintain and done a nice job.
Schmitt has certainly been a factor in the passing game. As of last night's matchup, Schmitt will have 17 receptions for 131 yards and a win-sealing touchdown against the Texans this season. Not bad for a fullback. Just to give you an idea of how he compares as a receiver, Leonard Weaver's season total from 2009 was 15 receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Jerome Harrison: While Harrison hasn't seen much action since being swapped in what must have been a "do me a favor" trade with Cleveland, he certainly got the chance to establish himself as a productive part of the offense by week 10. Against a broken Redskins defense, Harrison was able to flash his speed as he rumbled his way to a 50-yard touchdown. Harrison finished the night with 109 yards off of 11 rushing attempts, but has been relatively quiet since. However, Andy Reid has no plans for keeping the five-year veteran on the bench:
We try to find spots to work him in. We’re switching personnel groups so much and he’s definitely worthy of playing more. It’s not anything from his effort or ability. It’s just hard at times to take McCoy off the field when he’s in the swing of things and doing as well as he’s doing. But it seems like every time Harrison gets in, he does a good job. And we need him. We need him to spot McCoy.
Colt Anderson: Scooped up off of the Vikings practice squad in early November, Anderson was a virtual nobody looking to shore up a very thin depth at safety. In just four games as an Eagle, he has already nicely replaced Dimitri Patterson as the gunner on punt returns and accounted for nine special teams tackles. He plays with the intensity and speed needed of a special teams ace and, with a solid finish to the season, could solidify his place as an Eagle for seasons to come.
...and more?: On November 23rd, the Eagles signed cornerback Brandon Hughes off of the Giants practice squad to replace the injured-reserve bound Ellis Hobbs. Hughes has yet to play a game as an Eagle, but there's a good chance that Roseman's streak of finding diamonds in the rough will continue