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Eagles Notebook: Kelly, Roseman relationship: 'Beautiful thing'

Their scouting, assessments go hand in hand in draft

Eagles president Don Smolenski, 2014 first round pick Marcus Smith and head coach Chip Kelly. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Eagles president Don Smolenski, 2014 first round pick Marcus Smith and head coach Chip Kelly. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)Read more

THE WAY the relationship has been presented to us is that Eagles coach Chip Kelly tells Howie Roseman what he needs, and the general manager goes out and gets it for him.

We have seen this spring that it isn't quite that cut-and-dried. Kelly, Roseman joked recently, set an NFL record in March and April for attending college pro days. The coach explained that he gleans important stuff from watching the workouts, and that he likes to talk to position coaches, friends, and so forth about the prospects.

Which is all well and good, except the Eagles have plenty of personnel people who do exactly that sort of thing. It sure seems like Kelly wants to gather his own information, and make his own decisions.

After the Eagles concluded the second Kelly-Roseman draft Saturday evening, Roseman was asked if he saw Kelly's scouting forays as any sort of infringement on the GM's domain.

"I never thought of it that way at all," Roseman said. "I may go to a school after three of our scouts, and I know the running-back coach, and all of a sudden he gives me a different piece of information, and that helps us circle back. So what we do is we accumulate all of that information, we see if it's consistent. If it's inconsistent, now we've got to figure out why it's inconsistent. We've got to ask more questions. I think that's part of the piece of the puzzle.

"We all know it helps schools, I don't think it's any secret, it helps schools to get kids drafted higher. So who are you going to trust there, who are you going to listen to? We utilize everyone in trying to get information. No. I think that's a beautiful thing."

This was another Pac-12 heavy draft for the Birds - three of their seven draftees, two of them from Kelly's Oregon Ducks, seven Pac-12 guys over the past two drafts. That would seem a telling stat, except that the Eagles drafted a lot of Pac-12 players before Kelly got here. They've drafted at least one the last 7 years in a row and in 10 of the last 11.

Of course, while it wouldn't be good if Kelly just fell in love with everybody who ever played for him, or played well against him in college, it's also true that he has a greater depth of knowledge about many of those guys than anyone in the NFL. That advantage dwindles every year he's away from the college game. It certainly makes sense to use it.

Roseman doesn't seem to be chafing at Kelly's assessments.

"The funny thing and the lucky thing is, we see a lot of players the same way. I think that's probably because our job as a personnel staff is to find players with the traits that our coaching staff is looking for, how they fit in the scheme," Roseman said. "We could find really good players that don't fit our scheme, and they're not going to play very well for us . . . Fortunately over the last two drafts, 2 years, we've been on the same page."

Asked what he's learned about Kelly as an evaluator, Roseman said: "Quite honestly, he's extremely impressive. I don't know why I shouldn't have foreseen that after interviewing him and spending time with him. I kind of took it for granted. But the amount of time that he puts into guys, the amount of recall he has, he's an extremely smart guy, and he's got a knack. He's done it at a couple of different levels, and he's had to do it without some of the resources, too.

"I think that's a huge advantage to us, and really our coaching staff as a whole has done a tremendous job of kind of blending with our personnel staff."

Roseman was asked what the draft room is like, given that neither he nor Kelly would ever be described as laid-back.

"Have you met me? Have you met him? It's like two impatient people at the same time," Roseman said. "Luckily our owner [Jeffrey Lurie] is pretty patient, and he sits there. But we get up, we walk around, we talk. It's calm. It's definitely calm, and it's fun kind of analyzing everyone else's picks. But definitely calm. But definitely two guys who like to do things fast and like to get things done."

Kelly talked during the draft about how he stays out of the evaluation process when it comes to Oregon players - though not, presumably, out of the drafting part. A lot of people, though not everyone, had Ducks wide receiver Josh Huff going later in the draft than when the Eagles took him, 86th overall in the third round.

"I know coach got up here and he says he stays away from the evaluations, and it's the truth. He really does," Roseman said. "I know when I started with Oregon in August, I don't ask for his opinion, I tell him mine, and then if we have a difference of opinion we kind of talk about it and he tells me what he sees. Obviously, [Kelly] really liked Josh, but as an evaluator of the personnel staff, we really like Josh because it's easy to see what he does in our offense . . . it's an easy transition for us."


The Eagles traded third-year running back Bryce Brown to the Bills for a draft pick that could be a fourth-rounder next season, or a third- or fourth-rounder in 2016, depending on how former Bills wideout Stevie Johnson does in San Francisco. Howie Roseman said Brown was the only roster player the Birds came close to trading during the draft, which either means they still put a pretty significant value on 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham, or that nobody offered anything whatsoever for him . . . The early fan favorite among the 15 undrafted free agents signed by the Eagles is Vanderbilt kicker Carey Spear, nicknamed "Murderleg," who might be able to blast a few more touchbacks than Alex Henery. Spear also likes to throw himself at returners . . . The rookies were all expected to join the Eagles' offseason program today. They will start a 3-day rookie camp Friday.