Jeffrey Lurie holding Howie Roseman accountable only for 2012 season

Posted: January 01, 2013

Jeffrey Lurie said that he was holding Howie Roseman accountable for only the 2012 season when the Eagles owner explained Monday why he was retaining the general manager.

"The mistakes that were made in the 2011 draft have little or nothing to do with Howie's evaluations," Lurie said. "I think it was important for me to own up to the mistakes that were made and understand where they were coming from, and it was awfully clear. So an effort was made to streamline the entire operation."

Lurie did not say how he "streamlined" the process this past offseason, but only one member of the Eagles' front office was no longer a decision maker in 2012. Joe Banner took on a lesser role after the 2011 season and stepped down as president in June.

Banner became the Browns' CEO in October. On Monday, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert. Banner did not respond to a request for comment.

Although Roseman and Banner had influence with how football decisions were made, coach Andy Reid has had final say for years. And yet Lurie said that he kept "voluminous notes on talent evaluation" and "came to the conclusion that the person who was providing by far the best talent evaluation in the building was" Roseman.

The 37-year-old GM will play an important part in the Eagles post-Reid. Lurie said that Roseman would help him select the next head coach, along with team president Don Smolenski, who is not typically involved in football matters.

Lurie said that the new coach will report directly to him as Reid did for 14 seasons.

"That's the only structure that I insist upon," Lurie said. "As we go through the process we have the flexibility to finalize personnel decisions and everything else that goes with the coach-GM relationship. But my goal is to have the coach and the general manager work hand-in-hand."

This will be Roseman's first head coaching search. He's been with the organization for 13 years and worked his way up from initially analyzing the salary cap, then working with contracts and then moving over to the personnel side of business.

Roseman replaced Heckert as GM in January 2010. He was asked during his introductory new conference how his role - he was previously vice president of football administration - would change.

"It's going to be the same process as we had last year - setting the draft board and free agency," he said then.

Roseman said Monday that he did not set the Eagles' draft boards for 2010 and 2011. Those two drafts, especially in the early rounds, did not produce impact players.

"The team draft is not just one person's opinion, and I think that's what the different process was this year," Roseman said. "We streamlined having a team draft board where if you have numerous people saying, 'I think this guy should be here, but you think he should be here,' is different than saying, 'This is our grade on somebody.' "

Roseman has said that the Eagles made their selections in those two drafts based on need more than just selecting the best available player. Defensive end Brandon Graham and safety Nate Allen were picked in the first two rounds of the 2010 draft. Guard Danny Watkins and safety Jaiquawn Jarrett were the top two picks in 2011.

Only Graham was a starter by the end of this season. Jarrett was released in September.

Roseman was asked specifically about his role in the Watkins and Jarrett selections.

"I've never had final say in football operations. That's been clear with Coach," Roseman said. "The process here was to make sure we gave players for everyone to evaluate, and we went from there."

The 2012 draft looks promising, but it is too early to say what kind of impact defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, defensive end Vinny Curry, quarterback Nick Foles, and others will have in the future.

Lurie did not mention what kind of role Roseman played in free agency in 2010 and '11. The Eagles signed and traded for a number of players who did not pan out - defensive end Darryl Tapp, linebacker Ernie Sims, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, and wide receiver Steve Smith, among others.

If Roseman had more responsibility for the 2012 offseason, then extending running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, defensive end Trent Cole, and tackle Todd Herremans can be viewed as his moves.

The Eagles also signed free agent guard Evan Mathis and tackle Demetress Bell and traded for linebacker DeMeco Ryans. The defense had a glaring hole at safety, and there were other misevaluations, obviously.

"We're 4-12. We definitely overrated the talent on the roster," Roseman said. "We overrated the chemistry on the roster."

Some fans have been vocal about Lurie's retaining Roseman. The owner gave him a four-to-five-year contract extension in June.

Lurie assured that the Eagles' personnel department "was going to be in very good hands" with Roseman in charge.


Contact Jeff McLane at  jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow

on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

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