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Eagles football operations department changes include former GM hire

PLUS: The new highest-ranking female personnel executive in NFL history.

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced some changes to their football operations department on Thursday. Here’s an overview (in alphabetical order):

Phil Bhaya – College Scout, Southeast

Brandon Brown – Director of Player Personnel

Dave Caldwell – Personnel Executive

Ian Cunningham – Director of Player Personnel

Matt Holland – College Scout, Northeast

Bryce Johnston – Senior Director of Football Transactions

Evan Pritt – Scouting Assistant

Catherine Raîche – Vice President of Football Operations

Jeff Scott – Senior Pro Scout

Ameena Soliman – Pro Scout

Caldwell and Raîche are the two most noteworthy names on this list.

DAVE CALDWELL

Caldwell served as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ general manager from 2013 until he was fired during the 2020 season. Here’s what our friends over at Big Cat Country wrote after his dismissal:

The Jaguars really struggled in Caldwell’s tenure. In the regular season, the team won just 37 games, while losing 86 games. Of course, Caldwell wasn’t solely responsible for all personnel decisions during his entire time in Jacksonville, however. Tom Coughlin had final say over football decisions during his tenure as executive vice president of football operations from 2017-2019.

In 2017, with both Coughlin and Caldwell in the front office, Jacksonville did enjoy its most successful season in the Caldwell era. The Jaguars won two playoff games and made a run to the AFC Championship game, eventually coming up just minutes away from the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl appearance. Following that year, though, the Jaguars have faltered and failed to win more than six games in a season.

Out of the nine first-round draft selections Caldwell made (or helped make) as general manager of the Jaguars, only four of those players are still with the franchise — including 2020 rookies CJ Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson. The other two are Josh Allen (2019) and Taven Bryan (2018).

BCC also had this to say in an article titled “Don’t feel bad for Dave Caldwell getting fired”:

Dave Caldwell was very bad at his job.

He was not good at some of it. He was not good at one or two things. He was very bad at everything. He was the worst general manager this franchise has ever known and arguably the worst at his position throughout the league.

And it’s okay to be happy he’s been fired.

The bread and butter of any general manager in the NFL is two-fold: franchise quarterbacks and first round draft picks. If you don’t do either one of those well, your football team will struggle.

Dave Caldwell failed at both.

Caldwell is said to be close with Howie Roseman so I imagined that played a part in the Eagles hiring him. He might be able to offer some worthwhile insight in a contributing role as opposed to making big-picture decisions.

CATHERINE RAÎCHE

The Eagles originally hired Raîche in July 2019 as a football operations/player personnel coordinator. In her new role, she “will be involved in all areas of football operations and player personnel, including pro and college scouting, contract management, player/staff development, and football research.” Raîche’s title is the same one that current Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry held with Philly in 2019. It’s cool to see Raîche become the highest-ranking female personnel executive in NFL history.

IAN CUNNINGHAM

Cunningham’s promotion to director of player personnel comes two years after serving as the assistant director of player personnel. You may notice that he is now sharing the same exact title with Brandon Brown, who was also promoted. Zach Berman offered some clarity on their roles:

BRANDON BROWN

Brown served as the Eagles’ director of pro scouting over the past two seasons. Brown reportedly played a significant role in the Eagles claiming Travis Fulgham off waivers last summer, which obviously turned out to be a smart pickup (even if his playing time fell off by the end of the year).

BRYCE JOHNSTON

Old heads might remember a website dedicated to tracking the Eagles’ salary cap called EaglesCap.com. That site was run by this very same Bryce Johnston, who has been officially working for the team since 2016. Johnston’s new role as senior director of football transactions will “include the planning and execution of salary cap management, player contract negotiation and structuring, football resource allocation and other aspects of roster transactions and CBA compliance.”

PHIL BHAYA

Bhaya has been with the Eagles since 2014. He most recently held the title of northeast area scout.

MATT HOLLAND

Holland has been with the Eagles since 2017. He most recently held the title of senior pro scout.

JEFF SCOTT

Scott is a new addition to the Eagles after previously working for the Washington Football Team from 2012 through 2020. He was most recently Washington’s assistant director of pro scouting/advance coordinator.

AMEENA SOLIMAN

Soliman has been with the Eagles since interning in 2018. She most recently held the title of player personnel coordinator. With promotions for both Raîche and Soliman, it’s nice to see the Eagles have women working their way up through the ranks. Men are hardly the only people qualified to contribute to football success.

EVAN PRITT

Pritt has been with the Eagles since first interning in 2019. He most recently assisted in scouting.