For the last few years a lot of Eagles fans complained ad nauseam that the front office wasn’t being aggressive enough during the offseason. Why didn’t they sign this big ticket free agent or trade for that disgruntled wide receiver or move up in the draft and select so-and-so?
While I personally don’t agree with the notion that the Birds played it close to the vest during the Tom Heckert era, I will admit the philosophy utilized was rarely altered. In other words, there wasn’t much rocking of the boat. Deals were swung that made sense (Jason Peters trade, moving up to grab Jeremy Maclin), but they weren’t altogether daring or bold.
Enter new GM Howie Roseman. Say what you want about young Howie, but he certainly doesn’t lack balls. He obviously felt things around NovaCare had grown a bit stale in recent years. His solution has been to shake things up a lot, not a little, by engineering five trades since the 2009 season came to a crashing halt.
Aging vets, unreliable injury risks and underachieving reserves have all been shown the door. Fresh, young blood like Kevin Kolb, Darryl Tapp, Mike Bell, Alex Hall and Ernie Sims are being counted on to perform better than Donovan McNabb, Chris Clemons, Brian Westbrook, Chris Gocong and Will Witherspoon. If they fail to do so, they won’t be wearing midnight green for long. Not with Hacksaw Howie roaming the halls, razor sharp axe in hand.
ESPN’s NFC East blogger Matt Mosley did a profile on Roseman yesterday and provided a couple telling quotes. On the upcoming draft, Howie said the following:
“With  picks,” said Roseman, “we want to get more than just a starter or two out of this draft. We’re going to look at taking the best players.”
Seems like an innocuous statement at first glance until you read between the lines. He wants the “best players.” That’s a not-so subtle hint that trading up might be the plan. That’s not to say they can’t stay put and land good players, but quick-draw Howie knows the “best” players reside in the top half of the first round, not the bottom.
On the differences between he and Tom Heckert’s managerial styles, Howie offered this:
“I think I’m a little more aggressive than Tom, just in terms of style,” Roseman said, referring to his overall approach. “Tom is a very calm, very composed guy. And I want to do something now. That’s my personality.”
“Do something now.” That can be interpreted a couple different ways. It could mean he wants to win now and will do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. Or it could mean that he’s impatient, overanxious and doesn’t always think things through. If it’s the former, no problem. However, if it’s the latter, we could be looking at a regime run by a powermad twerp who believes his way is the only way.
I like the direction Roseman is steering the Birds, but I hope he’s not the only voice in the room. Reid is supposed to have final say on all decisions, but I wonder if that’s really still the case. A part of me suspects Big Red would’ve rather kept McNabb for one more season. I have no proof of course; it’s just a hunch.
Whatever happens over the next few days and months, it’s easy to see the times they are a changin’ for the Eagles. I just hope they are changes for the better.