We could fill an encyclopedia with the blunders committed in the Eagles 17-9 debacle against Seattle on Sunday. From Wentz’s putrid performance to Pederson’s pathetic play calling, there are ample reasons for ranting.
I don’t have space in this fine tabloid to list them all. And I can’t say anything about the QB’s lost confidence that isn’t already being diagnosed by every amateur shrink in the media.
So instead, let’s look off the field for now and up into the executive suite. And there, over the owner’s shoulder, is the general manager. Let’s be honest: Howie Roseman has had a terrible season.
It’s Roseman who’s the architect of this team, from its coaches to its roster to its training staff. It’s Roseman who failed to adequately replace departing brainpower, while sentimentally re-signing over-the-hill veterans. It’s Roseman who whiffed in free agency and secured little help in the draft.
Not long ago, of course, Howie was rightly hailed as a prodigy. Few executives in NFL history hit the target as he did in 2017, culminating in the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. That will never be erased, and I’ll stand to applaud when he gets inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame.
But “genius” is a temporary title, and this crown has tumbled off Roseman’s head. Let’s look at some of his moves since then:
After the Super Bowl, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and QBs coach John DeFilippo left for bigger jobs. That’s the nature of the business. But Roseman replaced them by promoting insiders Mike Groh and Press Taylor. Two seasons later, both appear to be overmatched.
In 2017, the GM struck gold with short-term additions like LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Robinson, Jay Ajayi, and others. You may give some of the credit to now-departed personnel czar Joe Douglas. Regardless, Howie made the final call.
This year’s incoming class featured LB Zach Brown and safeties Andrew Sendejo and Johnathan Cyprien — all abject busts who have since released. Other new faces like DL Malik Jackson, WR Desean Jackson and RB Jordan Howard have been injured. You can’t blame Roseman for that — although the fact that DeSean hasn’t played a full season of games since 2013 suggests there should have been a Plan B for a speed guy.
The Eagles also signed and released linebacker L.J. Fort. He now starts for the first-place Ravens, who signed him to a two-year contract extension. And Jordan Hicks, deposed after four seasons in green, is having a Pro Bowl season with 111 tackles in Arizona.
So who stuck around? Sentimental favorites like Darren Sproles — injured again. And Jason Peters — who taps out more often than a third-rate pro wrestler. Vinny Curry came home on a $1 million contract and has produced one sack.
Howie also gave plush contracts to wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. The first appears on the slippery slope of decline and the second seems afraid of his shadow.
I could go on with missed trade opportunities (Jadeveon Clowney) and questionable draft decisions (JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf or Terry McLaurin).
Let’s concede that in hindsight, it’s easy to pick apart the work of others. And this disappointing season might be viewed differently if injuries hadn’t cursed this team.
But here we are. We can roast Wentz for his mechanics and psyche. We can slam Doug Pederson for in-game decisions. No player or coach is exempt, as the Eagles have fallen to 5-6.
Nor is the front office. And this season, the general manager has performed as poorly as anyone else.