The Very First Question That Needs To Be Answered

I am pretty sure that everyone in Eagles nation, even the ones who are drunk on Eagles Green Kool Aid and wearing their Eagles tinted sunglasses, agree that Big Red is certainly gone as soon as the season officially ends. This year was his mulligan, and since he was incapable of fixing the issues that undermined last year's team, he actually made the team a bigger disappointment with their weekly displays of football ineptitude. In short, he's gone.

Change is coming, that much is certain. However, before that change starts, I think the very first thing that Lurie needs to determine is if Roseman stays or goes, and the biggest factor in that decision (to me at least) is how much input Howie has had in the drafts since 2010, and why the 2012 draft is seemingly heads and shoulders better than the 2 previous ones.

As everyone knows, Howie was signed to an extension (4 or 5 years) earlier in this year. When Lurie has spoken about Howie, he has gushed about how excited he is that Howie is a part of the organization and refers to him as an "up and coming executive."

If you believe that, then it would seemingly be a foregone conclusion that Lurie sees him as part of the solution and that he would be involved in trying to fix this mess. At the same time, it is completely possible that the extension that Howie signed was "standard protocol in the GM business" and means nothing as far as surviving Lurie's house cleaning at the end of the year.

For me, the factor that should decide if Howie stays or goes is his track record over the last 3 drafts. And I don't mean the players that were ultimately selected, I mean which players he recommended we draft and how his player evaluation has stacked up to the actual production each player has provided.

I thought of this when I was reading Tommy's article this morning (which can be found here) when he referred to the 2012 draft as being "his (Howie's) best draft yet." I disagree with these last 3 drafts being completely put on Howie's shoulders.

It is reported that Andy has the ultimate say on personnel. He makes the final decision. To judge Howie based on who Andy picked is unfair. What I want to know is which players over the last 3 drafts have been recommended by Howie. Who did he think we should pick versus who actually got picked?

Let's use the Graham pick (ahead of JPP) as an example. If Howie had recommended JPP over Graham and was overruled, then I would say that he evaluated the talent appropriately. The fact that we picked Graham isn't on Howie, it's on Big Red. If he was on the Graham bandwagon, then he missed the boat on that decision and it should absolutely be factored in evaluating Howie's talent evaluation skills.

It is beyond obvious that the 2012 class has surpassed the previous 2 classes, and by a wide margin. Why? What changed? Did Big Red give Howie's recommendations more consideration and started drafting the guys he wanted? Did the opposite happen, Big Red took back the final say for 2012 and Howie's input was minimized from what it was in 2010 and 2011?

After being declared the FA winners the last 2 years, it is crystal clear that we need to rebuild this team through the draft. Bringing in FA's have not led to the success that we all thought it would. We need to replicate the apparent success of the 2012 draft in 2013 and beyond, or I fear that this organization and team are destined for a long run of football sucktittude. Lurie needs to figure this out before he does anything else this off-season.

Thanks, Redd.

PS - I have noticed a lot of FP's that are mock off-season related. It's natural that we are looking forward to the future when the present stinks worse than a pig rolling around in cow shit. My question is, should we do a community driven Eternal Thread where we take the inevitable off-season changes, one by one, and develop what we think should happen. I forget who did it, but we had a 53 part roster development FP that happened in the off-season and we voted on each of the 53 we wanted on the roster one by one. It was a fun exercise. For this one, for example, the 1st question could be; should Howie stay or go, and if he stays, what should his responsibilities consist of? After that, we would address who the new HC and staff would be. After that, who should be cut. After that, are there any FA's that we should sign. Then who we should draft. And so forth and so on. If enough folks show interest, then I will put together a rough outline in a FP for going through the off-season and we can slowly start deciding what we think Lurie should do. If nothing else, we could have a lot of interesting discussion.

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