Eagles news and notes 1/28
In blocking DeFilippo, Lurie understood the importance of keeping the quarterback room intact and avoiding anything that could potentially disrupt Wentz's development. It should be noted, however, that the Raiders didn't stop DeFilippo from taking the Browns job after just one season with Carr.
And Carr did just fine after DeFilippo left.
But Lurie's block was not only extremely rare for an owner, but it potentially undermined Pederson. The only other coaching move the Eagles made this offseason was to fire wide receivers coach Greg Lewis and replace him with Mike Groh.
Roseman reiterated, when asked about Lewis, that Pederson has final say over his staff. But in light of the DeFilippo situation, could Lurie have forced the dismissal of the receivers coach? Again, everything is seemingly in play, especially as it relates to Wentz.
Lurie had sharp coaches in place during Donovan McNabb's early years - Andy Reid, of course, and Brad Childress. And Reid and team president Joe Banner surrounded him with a strong offensive line and running game. But there was the perception that the Eagles failed to win a Super Bowl, particularly from 2000 to 2003, because they lacked top-flight receivers.
Lurie, per sources familiar with his thinking, is prepared to give Wentz the skill-position players he lacks. It's little surprise that the Eagles know they need to upgrade at receiver and running back. Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said as much here. The question is to what lengths will they go?
Exclusive rights free agent
Roob: After playing just 16 snaps in the first five games, Watkins averaged 34 snaps per game the rest of the year in a variety of roles. Watkins, a fourth-round pick of the Eagles' back in 2014, did some good things this year and finished the season with 51 tackles, all but one in those last 11 games. He’s got some versatility and certainly never lacks effort. Whether he stays or goes depends on how thorough the Eagles’ secondary housecleaning is. I think the Eagles like Watkins. Gut feeling.
Dave: Being an exclusive rights free agent basically means the team can have you back for cheap and you can’t even talk to another team. That’s probably fine for Watkins, who isn’t coming off a great season as he still learns to play safety. He’s probably still a decent depth piece but will have to earn his way back onto the roster.
Roob: Watson, another undrafted free agent who got to play late in the season, got nine carries and even scored a touchdown in the season finale against the Cowboys’ scrubs. But is he a difference-maker? Doubt it. The Eagles have to rebuild this running back group and a guy like Watson doesn’t really figure into the overhaul they’re seeing. Training camp body? Yep. Final roster? I don’t see it.
Dave: Watson was added to the active roster for the final game of the season and the running back even punched in his first career touchdown. He’s an undrafted kid from Azusa Pacific, but he’s big at 6-1, 240. If the Eagles want to keep a change-of-pace, bruising running back, maybe Watson has a shot. Just haven’t seen nearly enough of him to know what he is.
Roseman bragged that he hasn't even looked at the quarterbacks (and that's a good thing, at least at the Senior Bowl, there is no one here who will see the first round of the draft unless he's watching it on TV). Now Roseman, the de facto general manager, and player personnel vice president Joe Douglas face a task at least as daunting as the one Roseman undertook in 2016, when he maneuvered from 13th in the draft to eighth and then to second in order to select Wentz.
Now, the Eagles need to procure crucial ingredients to build a long-term contender around their 24-year-old quarterback. In this draft, with picks in every round, plus an extra fifth-rounder that becomes a fourth if Cleveland is awarded an anticipated compensatory pick, they want building blocks, guys who will someday stand smiling with their arms around Wentz during a Lombardi Trophy presentation.
Roseman has acknowledged the brass has given Wentz input into assessing and addressing needs. It's his team, after all. They can't just text or call the QB randomly, now that they're in a "dead" period under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, but before the team went away for the offseason, there was a dialogue.
"We met with him the day after the season . . . we talked to him a little bit about our team and us going forward and some of the things we're looking at," Roseman said. "We're not allowed to talk football with him" right now.
This is my 17th Senior Bowl number and, wow, that feels a bit weird to say. When I’m driving down I-10 and I see the signs for the Mobile exit, I can’t help but feel excited. The city does such a great job of hosting the event and you get excited to see the very best that college football has to offer from every level of competition and you get amped up to see them compete.
Whenever I come down here, it’s hard to not think about some of my first trips to the event. My first couple of years down here I was a young personnel assistant, so I did a lot of the grunt work because that’s what you’re used to doing in that role. Whether it’s picking guys up at the airport or taking the head coach and coordinators to and from practice, you’re used to doing a lot of the little things to support the rest of the staff. Those days were tough but still a lot of fun looking back at them.
When we come to the Senior Bowl, our number one goal as a staff is to pinpoint the best players during the week of practice; the guys that are top-level competitors that really shine at their position group. We’re also trying get a feel for all of the top prospects as people to see what they’re all about and get a sense of their competitive nature, their mentality and their intelligence.
My favorite day is Tuesday, the weigh-in day. You get up, you’re pretty antsy, and you head over early to file into the big conference room with the rest of the league. The best part about going down to the Senior Bowl is seeing people that you used to work with or that you would see out on the road as an area scout. There’s a lot of good people in this league. Tuesday morning before the weigh-in is the first opportunity to catch up with old friends, and later on you try to get together with them and talk a little ball in between practices.