Humbled Howie Returns to Position of Power
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Howie Roseman wasn't scheduled to speak on Tuesday when the Eagles introduced their new head coach, Doug Pederson, but the once and likely future personnel chief of the organization had a come-to-Jesus moment after the press conference in front of dozens of media members at the NovaCare Complex.
“What happened last year, it was something that I took to heart and I think it goes back to what’s really important to me, and that’s relationships,” Roseman said. “So I didn’t put my head in the sand and just say, ‘Everyone’s wrong.’ I felt like I had to look into myself and figure out a way to make people know that I care about them, and make time for relationships."
(Listen to John McMullen discuss Howie Roseman's return to power)
It was a nod to the power struggle between Chip Kelly and Roseman that forced Jeffrey Lurie to pick sides, first choosing the now exiled Kelly before going back to Roseman as the team's executive vice president of football operations, all in a span of a calendar year.
The dysfunction in the front office painted Lurie and the organization in a bad light and was hardly the first example of Roseman not working well with others.
Now that the feud is over Roseman claims he has no ill-will toward Kelly and wished the now San Francisco 49ers head coach "the best moving forward."
Roseman also took responsibility for the drafts in 2013 and '14, which includes the selection of linebacker Marcus Smith, who has barely gotten on the field during his first two professional seasons.
“I’ll take responsibility for everything that happened while I was the general manager here,” Roseman said.
Lurie was very evasive in the press conference when addressing the personnel structure of his organization, begging off time after time when asked to produce a flow chart of responsibility.
Although called one of the best owners in the sport by both Pederson and new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Lurie came off weak and ineffectual when he shifted his loyalties back and forth last season.
Lurie claimed that the front office structure has not been finalized, pending the ongoing search for a "player personnel head." In theory that means Roseman may not be in charge of the team's 90-man roster after all, although the most likely scenario is that the new blood will handle the day-to-day operations of the personnel department and report to Roseman.
"All questions of structure will be determined after the search is complete," Lurie claimed. “I can’t reveal any decision on that because it would impact our ability to find the right people that we have designated in the search.”
He did make sure to say that everyone, including Roseman would be held accountable for their decisions.
“Accountability will be the No. 1 feature and that goes for everybody,” Lurie said. “It goes for Howie. It goes for the player personnel head. And it goes for the head coach. My No. 1 priority going into this offseason is accountability.”
A humbled Howie will take it.
“I think you have to look at the mistakes that you’ve had and understand why those are mistakes," Roseman said. “I think that’s all you can do in this. You can learn from things.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen