In Howie Roseman’s 35-minute season-ending press conference on Wednesday, one name kept popping up: Joe Douglas. Roseman mentioned Douglas’s name in his opening statement, and was asked four separate questions about Douglas over the course of the presser.
The team’s vice president of player personnel, Douglas was hired in May of last year. Douglas worked for the Ravens for 15 years, from the turn of the century to 2015. He spent a year with the Bears before joining the Eagles.
Douglas is best-known for his work in helping the Ravens identify, and then draft, Joe Flacco, who was playing college football at the University of Delaware. Zach Berman of the Inquirer wrote a great piece on Douglas during this past season; I’d recommend checking it out to get a better handle on the man.
Because after Wednesday’s presser, it’s clear Roseman and the Eagles expect him to have a big role in the upcoming offseason.
Here’s a recap of everything Roseman said about Douglas yesterday:
During his opening statement:
“Off the field, we made a huge addition. Bringing Joe Douglas here, with his insight, his leadership, his ability to lead the draft room, his ability to put the free agent board together, we think he’s going to be a huge addition for this staff. He’s already added valuable input into what he’s looking for in players, what he thinks he can bring to this team, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in March.”
When asked about Douglas’s role, and how much has changed since his hiring:
“He’s been a huge addition to the building. The first thing he did was bring in Andy Weidl, to have someone who spoke the same language. He’s got tremendous presence, Joe and Andy. He’s got a way of looking at and evaluating players that’s different than what we’ve done in the past, and quite frankly we needed that. He has full reign to set the draft board, he’s involved in every discussion we have about building this team, and I think we’ll start seeing the dividends — we saw some of them with our waiver cuts, and I think we’ll continue to see them throughout the offseason.”
On whether Douglas gets the final say on draft picks:
“No, It’s a collaborative effort when we talk about who we’re picking, and at the end of the day, the responsibility is mine.”
On how Douglas approaches player evaluation:
“I think when we look at the success the Ravens have had, and certainly they’ve won two world championships since the start of the century, what they’re looking for and the traits they’re looking for in particular positions fits the way this city is built, too. We want to find whatever ways there are to improve this team, and to improve the quality of players on this team, and I’m really confident we have the right people in our scouting staff to do that.”
When asked for a more explicit explanation of Douglas’s role:
“He runs the player personnel department, and he reports to me. We meet every day, a lot of times a day. He’s able to funnel down the information and the thought process he has with his scouting staff. Our job, and really my job, is to help make the decisions. I think that’s something I can help with, with some of the experience I’ve had, good and bad, and I’m really excited for him to put his own spin on it. I think that’s already started.”
So, what Roseman made clear during his press conference is that Douglas is fully operational in his role as vice president of player personnel this offseason. He’s the one to set the team’s draft board, the hierarchy which determines the way the team and its scouts approach the scouting process, as well as ranking prospects and, ultimately, deciding which players to take when the team is on the clock.
Roseman gets the final say on which player is selected when the Eagles make their choice, but he’ll working in collaboration with Douglas, and Douglas will be running point on the board which informs those final picks.
It’s still very much Howie Roseman’s show, but Joe Douglas is going to be the most important man acting behind Roseman’s decisions. His name matters starting yesterday, as do his evaluation talents. The Eagles need to nail this offseason. It’s up to Douglas to put them in a good position to do so.