Eagles' personnel VP on same page as Chip Kelly
Ed Marynowitz reiterates team's philosophy that size and speed matter.
IF CHIP KELLY has said it once, he's said it a thousand times.
Big people beat up little people.
Those six words pretty much sum up the Eagles head coach's philosophy as far as the type of player he favors.
It was a factor in why 5-9, 175-pounds-soaking-wet DeSean Jackson was shown the door last year and 6-4, 230-pound Riley Cooper was rewarded with a new contract.
It was a factor in why he was willing to part with LeSean McCoy last month and replace him with bigger downhill running backs like DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.
It's a factor in why he can't seem to fall in love with talented but undersized 5-11 inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
And it's the reason why every cornerback the Eagles have signed in free agency since Kelly arrived in Philadelphia has been at least 5-11.
"Size-speed wins, No. 1,'' 31-year-old Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz said yesterday in his first Q & A with reporters since being named Kelly's top personnel lieutenant in late January. "He's used the same line Nick Saban has used. Big people beat up little people.
"There's a reason the heavyweights don't fight the lightweights. This is a big man's game. For what we do offensively, especially at the receiver position, and their involvement in the run game in terms of blocking for us, I think size matters.
"Overall, you don't want to sacrifice athletic ability or speed. But if you can get size and speed at any position, you're looking to get that and acquire those players.''
Marynowitz spoke to reporters for about an hour, and was careful not to spill any extra-extra-read-all-about-it draft secrets.
Admitted that the safety class isn't very good and that the Eagles likely will have to think about drafting a cornerback or two with enough size to make the conversion to safety.
Said there are about eight to 10 "difference-makers" in this draft, which is pretty much par for the course.
If you were hoping he'd 'fess up and admit that the Eagles are working feverishly to move up to No. 2 and grab Marcus Mariota, well, he didn't.
"I share the same philosophy that Chip does,'' he said. "Philosophically, we are opposed to mortgaging the future, which was Chip's term. The way we look at it, every draft pick is an opportunity to improve your football team.
"That doesn't preclude us from moving up and doing something. You never say never. But we have eight picks and we'd like to pick eight players or more, not less.''
It's a pretty good bet that none of the players the Eagles select in next week's draft - whether they end up with five picks or 12 - will fit the description "undersized.''
"When Andy [Reid] was here, he had a little bit different philosophy [than Kelly], there was a little bit more of an ability to get creative at some of the different positions. He would make some exceptions in terms of the NFL standards.
"He might take an undersized guy like [5-9] Brian Rolle at inside linebacker, who was height-deficient at the position. He might take a risk on a guy like that if [he thought] there was something there. Where Chip is a little more prototype-specific.''
While Marynowitz doesn't have the decision-making power that his predecessor, Howie Roseman, had, his job is essentially the same as Roseman's was: shop for Kelly and find him exactly the type of players he wants.
"I came from a similar school of thought,'' said Marynowitz, who spent four years as Saban's recruiting chief at the University of Alabama, a year as a personnel assistant with the Dolphins under Bill Parcells, and two years as a backup quarterback for George O'Leary at Central Florida. "I've always been around prototype-driven personnel operations. Defer to size and speed and try to get guys that look the same and have a similar skill set.''
Kelly's positional prototypes actually make the scouting process easier for Marynowitz and the rest of the personnel department. When you're looking for players with specific measurables, it thins out the pool of players quite a bit.
A 6-foot edge-rusher?
A 6-1 offensive lineman with 32-inch arms?
A 5-9, 180-pound wideout?
"It's a funnel system of 12,000-some college players that you funnel down to 3,500 to 1,600 to 600 to 300 to the 150 that are on your board,'' Marynowitz said. "In doing that, the first step of that is we're going to cross-check height, weight, speed and [scheme] fits. That's not to say we're going to totally eliminate a guy if he's outside those parameters. But he'd better be exceptional in a lot of other areas to take a shot at a guy like that.
"You want to play with the odds and not against the odds with that. And the odds are telling you that the majority of guys that are under this prototype do not play at a starting level in the NFL. I mean, if you have seven draft picks, do you really want to waste one, especially in the first three rounds, on a guy that history is telling you that, typically, guys with these types of measurables don't produce at that level?''
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