FanPost

How the Eagles' front office has become exactly like the "old" Phillies' front office

Loyalty is a wonderful human trait.

Loyalty binds people together. Built on trust and, many times, deep friendships, loyalty is one of the greatest human attributes there is.

If someone calls you loyal, the vast majority of the time, it's a compliment.

But it's not always a great thing. Sometimes, loyalty can get in the way of good decision making. Loyalty can cloud a person's judgment, preventing that person from seeing flaws in another person that everyone else can see.

Loyalty is good. Blind loyalty is not.

It's a lesson the Phillies have finally learned. When John Middleton, now the clear spokesman for the Phils' ownership group, turned the presidency of the team over to Pat Gillick from an ailing Dave Montgomery back in 2014, it became clear that the team's long-standing adherence to loyalty was being adjusted.

No longer would people be able to keep jobs in that organization strictly out of loyalty. Bill Giles and Montgomery, while they did some good things in their time as team presidents, were not terribly anxious to introduce the team to the way the business of baseball was conducted in the 21st century. They were still stuck ignoring analytics, signing veteran players to bad contracts, conducting horrific drafts and generally excusing bad decisions.

Have you not noticed a similar pattern between Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and the team's off-again, on-again general manager Howie Roseman?

Last year, Lurie removed Roseman as the head of football operations and turned the reigns of the team over to Chip Kelly. Say what you want about Kelly's stewardship of the team, but one thing was clear at the time. Chip was in charge and Roseman was marginalized.

Roseman had lost his job. But for some reason, Lurie kept him on, not wanting to fire his friend. Instead, he relocated Roseman to a portion of the Nova Care Complex that was only recently unearthed by archaeologists.

It was a nice thing to do. But ultimately, it resulted in the upheaval we see in the Birds' front office structure.

Now, with Kelly out, Howie's back. And it's clear he will have major input into the construction of the roster going forward. It's also clear that any person who wants to be the next head coach of the Eagles better understand they are going to have to work with Roseman.

Why does Roseman deserve such loyalty from Lurie? Aside from personal reasons, what has Howie done in his years in charge to warrant getting control back like this?

It's not completely clear who was in charge of the three NFL drafts with Kelly as coach, but if Roseman has most of the say in the first two, they weren't good. Roseman was at the helm of the disastrous "Dream Team" season of 2011. From 2010-2014, the Eagles did have three winning seasons, and made the playoffs twice, but had no playoff wins.

If he was so good, wouldn't he have won his power struggle with Chip? And if he was so valued, why was he fired in the first place?

He wasn't good enough to keep the job, and yet now, Roseman has it again. And his presence could conceivably convince a coach who would otherwise want to be in Philadelphia not to pursue the job.

Lurie kept Roseman around out of blind loyalty. And Roseman is being given a second chance out of blind loyalty.

Don't get me wrong. Loyalty is a great thing. I would like to think that my family and friends would be loyal to me, as I hope I am loyal to them.

But in business, particularly the business of sports, there has to be a time when loyalty has to give way to pragmatism.

The Eagles' current front office situation feels a whole lot like the way the "old" Phillies used to do things, with middling-to-poor results.