PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Longtime NFL scouting and personnel executive Tom Modrak, the Eagles' former director of football operations,  passed away at the age of 74 on Tuesday.

Modrak died at his home near St. Augustine, Florida, from a neurological disease diagnosed late last year.

He made his bones in Pittsburgh, starting his career as a part-time scout back in 1973 before going full-time five years later. He ultimately ran the Steelers' highly-successful scouting department until moving to Philadelphia as the director football operations in 1998.

While with the Eagles, Modrak was instrumental as Andy Reid's right-hand man during the early years of that era, helping the organization build into the juggernaught that ultimately reached five NFC Championship Games. The most notable draft pick under Modrak's watch was Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick in 1999.

By May of 2001 Modrak was out as both Reid and team president Joe Banner took on more substantial roles in personnel.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Modrak," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "Tom was a well-respected executive throughout the league and we are thankful not only for the contributions he made to this organization, but also the impact he had on the entire football and scouting community."

Modrak moved to Buffalo after leaving the Eagles and spent 11 years with the Bills before finishing his career as the executive director of BLESTO, a scouting service affiliated with a number NFL teams.

"Many of us in the scouting world owe Tom a huge debt of gratitude for helping us learn how to scout and evaluate players," Eagles senior football advisor Tom Donahoe said. "I will always be grateful to Tom and his family for all their support and friendship."

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen