Inside the Eagles: Team Tables Search for Personnel Head
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - If there was ever any doubt as to who was in charge of the Eagles' football operations, it was answered by the organization's actions this week.
The Eagles will move through the entire draft process without adding to their personnel team after pausing the search for a new senior-level executive to lead its scouting department. The news was first reported by Geoff Mosher of WPEN in Philadelphia and 973espn.com was able to confirm the news with an NFL source.
The Eagles still plan on adding a substantial piece to their personnel department but will wait until after the draft, which in theory would open up a bigger school of candidates for the team because nearly all of NFL contracts on the personnel side of things run from draft to draft.
Timing seems to be the biggest issue after the Eagles moved on from Chip Kelly and his hand-picked personnel aid, Ed Marynowitz. The new hire will eventually run the day-to-day operations of the scouting department but will report to executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman.
The same source who confirmed that the Eagles have pushed back their current search also verified that at no time were the Eagles discussing a potential hire who would actually usurp Roseman's power in the organization despite Jeffrey Lurie's refusal to define the team's hierarchy during Doug Pederson's introductory press conference.
The team's actions since that day has made it abundantly clear that Roseman is indeed running the show and he will have final say on all of the Eagles' actions in free agency as well as the draft. Roseman will also have final say on the team's 90-man offseason roster and the final 53 come September of 2016.
For now Tom Donahoe, who was promoted from senior adviser to senior player personnel director once Kelly was jettisoned, is leading the scouting department and he, Roseman and Pederson will form the "collaborative" brain trust that Lurie has spoke of. Donahoe would then return to an advisory role once the new hire is put in place after the draft.
The larger issue is that most of the current college scouting department was put in place by the micro managing Kelly and there isn't a strong voice in the bunch because the former coach was so hands on when it came to evaluating college prospects.
Also for the second consecutive year, really strong candidates might steer clear of Philadelphia because of the dysfunction at the top of the organization.
Last year, more than one potential executive turned down overtures from the my-way-or-the-highway Kelly before he promoted Marynowitz. Similarly, Roseman's history of feuding with "football people" could be the issue this time around.
So far the top name interviewed by the Eagles for the position was Steelers pro personnel coordinator Brandon Hunt, a highly-regarded young name a lot like Marynowitz but one who probably lacks the experience to run a personnel 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