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Howie, Chip media sessions fascinating

THE ROAD to Damascus apparently intersects with Pattison Avenue, we learned Tuesday, when introspective football pilgrim Howie Roseman finally emerged from a yearlong media hiatus.

THE ROAD to Damascus apparently intersects with Pattison Avenue, we learned Tuesday, when introspective football pilgrim Howie Roseman finally emerged from a yearlong media hiatus.

We met a chastened, humbled Howie, a guy who is now just all about relationships and people, and about helping the Eagles any way he can, Roseman said.

It was a riveting performance, rivaled only by what took place on the opposite coast Wednesday, when Chip Kelly finally took the stage, nearly a week after being named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

"You are what you are, but you learn," Kelly told Tim Kawakami, of the San Jose Mercury News, after an introductory news conference in which Kelly said he'd spent the weeks since his Dec. 29 firing by the Eagles conducting "more of an autopsy" than a normal self-scouting operation a coach would do after a season.

"So, I'm in the middle of the autopsy right now. I'm still looking at it. So, I sent some toxicology reports out and we're going to see when they come back. I'll give you a full answer in terms of what went on," Kelly joked.

To be successful with the 49ers, Kelly almost certainly is going to have to make some changes in the way he operated here. He knew Wednesday he had to at least nod in that direction, but we're still just 23 days removed from the stunning evening announcement that Kelly was out, with a game left to play in his third Eagles season. Hard to say exactly what all Kelly might have gleaned, this quickly.

Questioned about his relationships with players, Kelly told Bay Area reporters he feels "very, very comfortable" with the way he handled Eagles players, many of whom, he said, reached out to him when he was dismissed.

Roseman has had a lot more time to reflect. He didn't offer a lot of specifics Tuesday, but the brash young man who left a trail of bodies in his wake moving up through the executive ranks now purports, at 40, not to think power and status are as important as people knowing you care about them.

Roseman was asked to more or less autopsy his reign as the Eagles' general manager. He took the blame for drafting Marcus Smith in 2014. He didn't want to revisit the dismissal of personnel exec Tom Gamble, who resurfaced with the 49ers and was instrumental in their hiring of Kelly. Roseman said he'd had time to think over what he'd done wrong.

There was a lot during Roseman's 11-minute session with reporters that seemed calculated to jibe with team chairman Jeffrey Lurie's new emphasis on a family atmosphere and emotional intelligence, but it was clear that Roseman was really shaken when Kelly, the coach he researched and pushed for, decided two years into his tenure that he didn't want Roseman anywhere around his personnel department.

"I couldn't have been more excited for (Kelly) to come here. I look internally about things, maybe I could have done a better job," Roseman said. "I wish him the best going forward. All I can do is kind of move forward here, work on some things . . . learn from the experience."

The Eagles will be hiring a new personnel exec, one who might or might not report to Roseman. Lurie seemed to be saying Tuesday that there were some prospective candidates they might give general manager-level power to, if they can entice them, and if not, there are other candidates who, if hired, would probably work under Roseman. In any event, Lurie said, personnel decisions would be "collaborative." It's hard to see the outcome equaling Roseman being completely restored to where he was before his demotion.

Similarly, Kelly will not have control over the 90- or the 53-man roster in San Francisco. The guy who couldn't work with Roseman will have to work with general manager Trent Baalke on personnel. Baalke, like Roseman, has had some misfires, but unlike Roseman, Baalke has a coaching and scouting background, and was an outside linebacker at Bemidji State (Minn.). Roseman did not play high school or college football.

"Trent's a football guy. I like to think I'm a football guy," Kelly said, a bit pointedly, it seemed.

"I think everybody makes mistakes. No one has a perfect day, no one has a perfect season," Kelly said, when asked about Baalke's personnel record. "To me, it's just the lines of communication, and are they collaborative in terms of where you are?

"You know, I wanted to be in a situation where I can just coach. I want to just coach football, and I'm excited about being with someone like Trent, and Tom and the rest of the guys in the personnel department, that when I look at this roster and I look at, again, three years ago this team was in the Super Bowl. And they have some outstanding players, they have an eye for talent, they do a great job. You look at where they are in relationship to the salary cap, you look at where they are in terms of having 21 draft picks over the next two years, 12 in this class. They're prepared for the future and it's an exciting time to be part of that."

When the Eagles hired him, Kelly also said he just wanted to coach, but he had final say over the 53 from the day he arrived, and then he worked toward controlling the 90. What he seemed to be saying Wednesday was that, like Lurie, he thinks collaboration is the best way to go, but you have to be able to collaborate with somebody whose opinion you respect.

We'll see if that goes any better than what went down at NovaCare. We'll also see if Kelly has learned anything about dealing with people; if you listen to Lurie, it sure seems Kelly got fired more for being emotionally inaccessible than for losing nine games this season.

Roseman, meanwhile, contended it ultimately isn't that important, that he will now wait through the hiring of a personnel executive without knowing exactly how he fits into the new picture.

"To me, it's about a place I care about. Whatever that means, to help and be around people you care about. It's about the team . . . Whatever happens here, I'm an Eagle. That's all I've been," Roseman said. "Until they tell me I'm not, I'm going to do whatever I can in whatever role it is to be positive and bring energy and support to people here."

Suddenly, both these guys seem so reasonable, so eager to please. Gosh, maybe they should just work together.

On Twitter: @LesBowen