Eagles Hire Douglas to Run Personnel Department
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles made it official Wednesday, hiring Joe Douglas as the team's vice president of player personnel or second in command of football operations behind Howie Roseman.
As expected Douglas will also bring in Andy Weidl as his right-hand man and assistant director of player personnel.
“It’s imperative to me that we have a player personnel department that is not only top-notch and innovative, but has excellent communication with all phases of our football operations,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement announcing the restructuring of the team's personnel department. “It’s a crucial part of the success of an NFL franchise and it will always be a priority for me. I’m very pleased how thorough and patient we were with the search process that began in January.
"With the additions of Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl, along with the other changes we have made, we all feel that we will have a strong department of talent evaluators that will work well with all facets of football operations to make the best decisions for our franchise and for our fans.”
All eyes are on Roseman now because the Eagles' executive VP of football operations and de facto GM doesn't have a great history of working well with others.
“I have known Joe for several years and have admired his work with both the Ravens and the Bears," Roseman said. "He is a guy that we had targeted from the outset. I feel that we are very fortunate to have him lead our player personnel department. (Ravens GM) Ozzie Newsome and (Bears GM) Ryan Pace spoke very highly of him and his work. He is passionate about football, passionate about scouting and he played a vital role in the success of the Ravens over the last decade."
That vital role in Baltimore included pounding the table for Joe Flacco, the South Jersey native and Ravens' now long-time franchise QB.
Douglas will oversee the day-to-day operations of both the pro and college scouting departments with the Eagles.
He was hired by Pace last May to head the college scouting department in the Windy City after he spent 15 years in the Ravens organization under the highly-regarded Newsome.
Semantics of titles aside Chicago could have blocked the Eagles from interviewing Douglas because he will not be getting the GM tag but Pace decided to give his protege the opportunity to move from the third or fourth man on the flow chart with the Bears to No. 2 here in Philly.
The Eagles interviewed a few candidates earlier this year for the position including Steelers pro personnel coordinator Brandon Hunt and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former Eagles scout, but suspended the search until after the draft in order to be able to fish from a wider school of talent.
That’s because contracts of most NFL personnel people usually expire in May after the draft.
Weidl, meanwhile, spent the previous 11 seasons with the Ravens, most recently serving as Baltimore’s East regional scout from 2013-15. He was responsible for overseeing the entire eastern section of the United States, as well as providing and evaluating detailed scouting reports on draft-eligible players.
“Andy also comes from the Ozzie Newsome tree of talent evaluators in Baltimore and he has a great working relationship with Joe,” said Roseman. “I spoke with Tom Donahoe (who had been running the Eagles' personnel department on an interim basis), who hired Andy in Pittsburgh, and he had nothing but great things to say about his work ethic. Like Joe, you can sense his drive for scouting right off the bat and he has spent his entire career working for an opportunity like this. We are very pleased to have him join us."
In addition to the Douglas and Weidl hires, Alec Halaby was named vice president, football operations and strategy; Donahoe returns to his role as senior football advisor; Anthony Patch is now senior director of college scouting; Trey Brown the director of college scouting; Mike Bradway the assistant director of college scouting; and Rick Mueller will be a player personnel executive.
“Tom Donahoe did a great job in his increased role preparing for the 2016 draft and in all other aspects of our personnel decisions," Roseman said. "We are very fortunate to have someone with his knowledge and experience as a resource in our football operations department.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen