A Peek Inside the Eagles’ Cohabitation Matrix
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It came from the minds of Jake Rosenberg, Joe Douglas, "and Keanu Reeves," joked a smiling Howie Roseman.
It's the Eagles' cohabitation matrix, a term coined to explain how the Super Bowl champions find culture fits for a unique and talented roster.
Roseman let the phrase slip in front of reporters at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday during the scouting department's pre-draft availability and seemed a little taken aback when Douglas, Philadelphia's highly-regarded vice president of player personnel, began to explain it.
In short, the cohabitation matrix makes sure that anyone in the organization who has crossed path with a player in the past -- be it coaches, scouts, executives and even players -- enters his two cents into the evaluation process in an effort to make sure a potential acquisition might be a good fit in South Philadelphia.
It's worked more often than not over the past two years but had a noticeable hiccup recently when cornerback Daryl Worley was arrested on DUI and gun charges and subsequently released.
"We try to get a lot of information and also talk to our players," Roseman explained. "A lot of these moves we've made in the last two years, we've talked to our players before we even finish the trade. It's probably not the norm in the NFL but that's really from the leadership of Doug Pederson and what he wants us to do."
The ultimate goal is to try to avoid incidents like the one with Worley but there is no perfect system when it comes to evaluating potential reg flags, other than accountability something Roseman, the reigning NFL Executive of the Year, has the cachet to do these days.
“I accept responsibility for the mistakes we made," Roseman said. "That’s on me."
Douglas, meanwhile, is wary of how things can shift quickly in the NFL if you begin to make poor decisions when it comes to the culture of an organization.
“That’s something that we work so hard to build and it could be the hardest thing to build and it could be the easiest thing to lose," Douglas admitted. "That’s something that we have been working hard on, is just pinpointing the guys that can come in and just add to our culture."
And there is no concrete formula to lean on.
“Chemistry really isn’t a thing you can quantify," Douglas explained. "It’s not an objective thing, but you know when you’ve got it and obviously for us to do what we did last year we had it."
When it comes to the draft, often the physical skill set of a prospect and how it might translate is the easy part of a scouting job. The more difficult trick is focusing on how a player will fit in with a proven group.
“Background’s really important," Roseman said. We’ve had some guys who’ve come here, who’ve maybe had a (bad) reputation and fit really well, and there’s also the flip side of that. So you try to balance all of those and really rely on coach Pederson and his leadership council and the ownership he gives them.”
... In the cohabitation matrix.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen