We’re potentially witnessing one of the great Philadelphia sports stories of all time – one that if the Eagles end of up winning a Super Bowl in the near future, will be considered maybe better than the rest.
Howie Roseman went from failed general manager with no playoff victories in five seasons, to abruptly exiled executive after losing a reported power struggle with Chip Kelly, to resurrected personnel guy from the far corners of the Novacare Complex, to having one of the best off-seasons in recent history.
Very few have been more critical of Roseman’s downfalls, mannerisms and decisions than me, but it’s hard to find flaws in the moves made since free agency opened. They’re 100 times better than those made a season ago when some people were prematurely calling Roseman the Executive of the Year.
I won’t go that far on these signing, but I will say that Roseman, with the obvious help of Joe Douglas, has filled four Eagles needs, three of which are on offense, thus making life easier for Carson Wentz, the most important member of the roster.
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Roseman’s short term additions of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and now LeGarrette Blount are win-win situations. If they work out, the Eagles are a playoff team with chemistry worth giving raises to. If they don’t work out, these players will be gone instantly and the negative effects won’t linger. In fact, maybe that will finally trigger the dismissal of Roseman, but I find it hard to believe the latter will happen.
Jefferey, Smith and Blount will make everyone better around them, specifically Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews. An offense that struggled last season in close losses will be significantly better, likely leading to more wins. Wentz will have weapons to throw and hand the ball off to. Blount will be able to gain the short yardage the Eagles weren’t able to convert when Doug Pederson attempted to try 4th down and inches situations.
Roseman (and Douglas) took a broken down Ford and re-worked the offense into a brand new Escalade. Will the defense get lit up? Probably. But, the offense will light the opponents up as well.
Give credit to Roseman in this era of Philadelphia sports, where the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers are preaching long patience without any urgency to currently compete. It’s not like the Eagles aren’t emphasizing long term, sustained success, but they’re not making you wait for a zero to 100 acceleration.
Roseman is clearly a changed man. From an outsiders perspective he appears to be more humble, less egotistical and more logical when it comes to football decision. Most people like him don’t get second chances. In fact, find me one who does with the same franchise. I’m sure it’s very hard.
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Years down the line, if the Eagles get a parade down Broad Street as a result of the 2017 offseason moves, Roseman’s rise, fall and then reemergence will be a folk tale for the ages, one that joins a list of legends.
It’ll be the Birds equivalent of Charlie Manuel going from an unpopular Phillies manager to a folk hero, Moses Malone coming to save the Sixers from constant failure with the proclamation of “Fo, Fo, Fo” and Fred Shero telling his Flyers that if they “Win today we walk together forever.”
Right now, it’s impossible to put Roseman in the same sentence of those icons, but his impressive off-season will make the Eagles more competitive. And if it results in the Lombardi Trophy, you won’t be able to deny Howie’s story in the pantheons of Philadelphia lore, whether you like it or not.
Before I forget…
Sam Hinkie lives on in the minds of his loyal cult following, “The Hinkie-ites,” or “Process Pushers,” as I like to respectfully refer to them as. Over 3000 people attended a The Rights To Ricky Sanchez Draft Lottery Party at Xfinity Live on Tuesday, a very impressive display of loyalty and fandom.
While I don’t agree with the method these people endorsed, I give a standing ovation to their dedication. Amazingly, Hinkie deserves all the credit for Tuesday not being a disaster. The pick swap with Sacramento came through in huge fashion and it was 100 percent Hinkie’s responsibility.
See, I can acknowledge Hinkie’s contributions objectively.
That being said, the success of his “Process” remains up in the air. It doesn’t matter that the 76ers once again will be picking in the top three on June 22nd. It also doesn’t matter that next year the Laker pick will finally convert and in two years a Kings selection is coming Philadelphia’s way as well.
The only way “The Process” will be a success is if the Sixers win a championship, along with over a decade of title contender success. And the only means that is happening is if the real life “Process,” Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons are 100 percent healthy.
If they’re not, regardless of who is selected with this year’s pick and those of the future, this franchise can’t continue to miss on these high selections, like they did with Jahlil Okafor and ultimately with Nerlens Noel by trading him for an unfair package.
I truly admire the party thrown at Xfinity Live on Tuesday. It was remarkable. But, also throw a party if Embiid and Simmons avoid the injured list for the remainder of their careers in Philadelphia, because that’s more important than a bunch of ping pong balls.
The Phillies are impossible to watch right now.
They’ve dropped 14 of 17 heading into Thursday afternoon’s game at the Rangers, while being tied for the lowest win total in the majors with only 14 victories.
Meantime, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are on a 12 game winning streak with guys like Rhys Hoskins lighting it up. Hoskins has 10 homers and we’re not even in June.
The current roster on the big leagues isn’t going anywhere. It’s time to bring up the kids and rejuvenate the energy towards this ball club that existed in April because it has quickly become close to nothing.
The Flyers are officially fourth in the pecking order of interesting Philadelphia sports. It’s hard to fathom that a team with the second overall pick in a draft that’s clearly has a drop off after the top two guys is drawing little buzz, much less than that the 76ers will be in one day earlier next month.
The problem is they lack personality. The ’70s Flyers were “The Broad Street Bullies.” The ’80s Flyers were those high scoring offenses that made multiple Stanley Cup Final appearances. The ’90s Flyers were the Eric Lindros years that ultimately were a disappointment, but still very intriguing.
What is there now?
You can thank general manager Ron Hextall for that. Despite Hexy being a member on some of those teams from the ’80s and ’90s, he sucked any excitement there was towards this team when downplaying expectations for the second overall pick.
The Orange and Black should have two goals next season. One is obviously make the playoffs, because it’s unacceptable with the history of this organization not to. The other is gain a personality because quite frankly, this team is unfortunately boring.
Bad and boring is an awful combination. Hextall should know better.