Jeffrey Lurie explains how Howie Roseman has turned Eagles into a GM factory
Lurie explains how Roseman has turned Eagles into GM factory originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
In a way, Howie Roseman has become a victim of his own ability to identify and develop front office talent.
He finds ‘em, he hires ‘em, then they leave for promotions.
Just in the last few years, the Eagles have lost Joe Douglas to the Jets, Andrew Berry and Catherine Raîche to the Browns, Ian Cunningham to the Bears and Andy Weidl to the Steelers. Douglas and Berry are currently GMs, and Raiche, Cunningham and Weidl are assistant GMs.
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And remember, Brett Veach and Jason Licht also worked under Roseman and built Super Bowl champions as general managers, Veach twice with the Chiefs and Licht with the Bucs
Owner Jeff Lurie shed some light on Roseman’s process at the owners meetings in Phoenix and said Roseman actually spoke to the assembled owners this week about the success he’s had grooming GM and front office candidates.
“Those assistant GMs became GMs because they are so well-trained,” Lurie said Tuesday. “And they’re not just trained on scouting, they’re not just trained on analytics, they’re not just trained on football ops in certain ways.
“The reason it was brought up at one of the meetings today – and I think Howie was asked to speak on it in front of all the owners – was he and the organization train these people, they’re talented to begin with, but they have multiple responsibilities. They get access to everything.
“They’re not just, ‘Here’s the scout.’ That scout needs to understand at some point how to use resources, why we do certain things, why the salary cap management takes place the way it is, what’s the difference between the analysis on film and the analysis on data and how that collaborates and works together.
“It’s a culture of curiosity and information and instinct."
That holistic method of learning really prepares front office executives to excel because they’re not trained simply to evaluate players, they develop a true three-dimensional understanding of how the franchise operates and how all the different pieces fit together.
Building a roster doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And the thinking is that the more an exec understands about how the franchise operates as a whole, the better he’ll be at his job.
And we spend so much time talking about the players Roseman has acquired, it’s easy to forget about all the front office talent he’s acquired.
The latest round of young talent working and learning under Roseman includes new assistant GMs Jon Ferrari and Alec Halaby as well as Adam Berry, whose title hasn’t been revealed yet but is a former Princeton wide receiver who most recently was a high-ranking executive at Goldman Sachs. He’s also Andrew Berry’s twin brother.
Roseman has also added people like director of scouting Brandon Hunt and senior personnel director Matt Russell in the past year in what’s really been almost a complete front office overhaul.
As this recent group learns the ways of the franchise and the team presumably continues winning, they’ll become leading GM candidates as well.
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Whether you’re replacing valued coaches, talented players or front office execs, being able to keep the pipeline rolling is crucial.
“He replaced those assistant GMs with people that are extremely bright and have incredible futures,” Lurie said. “And some of them are going to be GMs in this league, and it won’t be that long.
The Eagles haven’t even announced Adam Berry’s hiring yet, but Lurie is already projecting him as a future GM candidate.
“One of the things I love about Howie, he will bring in people who aren’t yes people,” Lurie said. “They’re people that he admires from afar or are just really bright.
"Another good example is (Adam) Berry. This is just a really, really bright guy from Goldman, and it’s very unusual to be able to entice somebody who has the same character and intelligence as Andrew in many ways, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t develop into a general manager in this league down the line. And that’s what we do.”
Since Lurie reinstalled Roseman as GM in 2016, the Eagles have reached the playoffs five times, played in two Super Bowls and won their first championship in half a century.
This really has become a model franchise, and Roseman's ability to hire bright, innovative, motivated assistants is a big reason why.
“These guys, they’re grinders," Lurie said. "And as an owner, when you have a quarterback that’s an ultimate grinder and just an incredible person and a coach that’s like that, a GM that’s like that, then their staffs become like that and the culture in the building is based on a grinding philosophy.
“We’re never satisfied. Whether we won the Super Bowl or not, that hunger for more, I have it, everyone has it.”