For some, The Athletic’s reporting on the Eagles’ dysfunction validated their deep concerns about this organization. Others were quick to question the motive of the sources and point out how no work environment is without issues.
In order to get more insight on Monday’s report, Rob “Stats” Guerrera and I invited the incomparable Sheil Kapadia on this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.
I strongly recommend checking out the entire exchange that starts towards the beginning of the show but I wanted to share some transcriptions for you non-listeners out there. Starting with more context on their sourcing:
“This was not just us calling up a couple people who had been fired, and them venting, and then them having an axe to grind. This was a two-month process where, I don’t know what the final number was it. It was in the dozens of people we talked to. We were trying to paint a fair picture.”
Sheil also noted that this reporting wasn’t designed to paint the Eagles as one of the very worst clubs in the league. He doesn’t view them that way:
“I wouldn’t put the Eagles in the dumpster fire category in terms of organizations. I probably think they’re middle of the pack.”
Most interestingly (to me, at least) was what Sheil had to say about Howie Roseman’s role in the Eagles’ fall from grace. I think he really hit the nail on the head:
KAPADIA: “He’s always had that interest, he’s always had his opinions about it, he’s always been a part of the process. Now, what I will say is that, earlier during his tenure as Eagles owner, that say was a say but it wasn’t what everyone listened to. I don’t think Andy Reid would say ‘Alright, whatever Jeffrey Lurie says, that’s the pick.’ I mean, the fact of the matter is that’s just not how it worked then. I think there he had a right hand man, a leader of the organization, a final decision-maker who he trusted, who had success very early in his career, that he could say ‘Alright, I still want to offer my takes, but if you’re going to go in a different direction [then I understand].’ That, to me, is so telling, right? Now, the influence is a little bit more oversized, or whatever you want to say. And I think part of that is he doesn’t have that person. Howie Roseman’s job is to put everything together. So, to me, again, it falls on him. His job is to take what the owner says, take what analytics says, take what scouting says, take what coaching staffs, and make the final decision. But you want a person in that spot who can explain to people, ‘Hey, Doug, analytics isn’t questioning you on this, they’re trying to help.’ ‘Hey, Jeffrey, I know you like this player, but our scouts really have great information and our board says something different.’ Like, I understand that when your boss says they want something, the natural inclination is to do what the boss says. But the fact of the matter is, that’s not how it’s always worked. And there have been other scenarios where the boss, the owner, has had a say and still there’s been pushback to say ‘I understand, we appreciate your opinion, we’re going to go in a different direction. So, that, to me, is what’s lacking right now with the Eagles. […] “Doug Pederson, our reporting reflects, that he did feel a little deflated, he felt second-guessed, he felt doubted about his abilities. Even in instances when he’s going on the road against the Green Bay Packers, a 13-win team that season, putting up 30-plus points, and winning a key game, and then answering those questions [from Roseman and Lurie], he’s feeling like ‘Come on, I’ve won a Super Bowl, this is too much.’ Now, I’ll go back to what I said earlier. I think a lot of this is on Howie Roseman. I mean, if you have a person in charge who’s in charge of all the collaboration, who has a great relationship with the coach and a great relationship with the owner who can go up to him after a meeting like that and say ‘Dude, listen, I feel like that didn’t come across well. We love that we won. Do what you want to do, this is just a part of the process, if you have questions or anything about it, we’ll make changes, you’re doing an awesome job.’ But if that’s not happening, and there’s not that trust there and that collaboration there, and you’re in Year 4 of having to do this, that’s when some of those things are going to fester.
GOWTON: I think what Sheil is touching on there is important. I’ve kind of been thinking about that, too. It’s been an offseason where people are like ‘Well, you can’t actually blame Howie Roseman because Jeffrey Lurie is the owner.’ And I’m like ‘Well, I still feel like Howie’s a big part of the problem. And him kind of being a ‘Yes man’ to the owner, enabling the owner — I mean, obviously you can only push back so far as an executive. The top guy has the power and you can’t force his hand. But I think if there was more pushback, I think that would be healthier for the organization.
You can [CLICK HERE TO LISTEN] to the entire episode or use the embed below: