Impossible to Escape the Symbolism of Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman Extensions

It was the late 1980s and things were different back then. Really, really different.

I was just getting started covering the Eagles, and the scouting office up on the fourth floor of the Vet was only a few doors down from the tiny windowless cell that served as the Eagles' press room.

There was a high-ranking scout who used to pop in there once in a while for the sole purpose of blasting head coach Buddy Ryan.

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It was all "off the record," but it was shocking to hear a team executive so openly ripping the head coach, sometimes in front of visiting writers he didn't even know.

And this wasn't even that unusual.

Back then, the relationship between NFL scouting departments and coaching staffs was often strained, to put it mildly. That was tradition. That's how it had always been.

The scouts resented the coaches for not using the players they had recommended the right way or for not using them all.

And the coaches resented the scouts for not bringing them good enough players.

Buddy never liked any of the scouting directors he worked with. He felt like he should be picking the players. The Eagles once had a scouting director named Bill Davis, who was actually the father of Billy Davis, Chip Kelly's defensive coordinator.

Some poor visiting writer who didn't know any better once began a question to Buddy at a press conference by saying, "Buddy, Bill Davis says such-and-such player …"

The question didn't go any farther because Buddy snapped, "Bill Davis? He's got a title and he's got a desk, but that's about it."

That's how it was. Not just here but with a lot of teams. Scouts knew the more of their players that became starters the better they looked. And coaches felt that when they were losing scouting was easy to blame.

It wasn't like that everywhere, but the old-timers will tell you that was the norm back in the day. Separate offices, separate philosophies, separate visions.

In the modern NFL, there's no time for this sort of inter-office dissension. Teams gradually realized that the best way to create a winning team, a championship team, is with everybody working together toward a common goal.

I'll never forget Andy Reid's first press conference with the Chiefs after he was fired by the Eagles after the 2012 season.

He clearly didn't want to talk about the Eagles and what went wrong here, but he did allow that, "You can't win if people are pulling in different directions."

I couldn't help think about all of this Sunday evening, when the Eagles - with a single press release - announced contract extensions through the 2022 season for both head coach Doug Pederson and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman.

It's great news obviously that they're both going to be here. In my book, you're talking about the Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in 2017.

But it's impossible to escape the symbolism here.

One guy in coaching, one guy in scouting, and a single announcement from the Eagles.

Doug and Howie are the antithesis of that old coach-scout relationship.

Talk about pulling in the same direction. Doug and Howie respect each other, they like each other, they listen to each other, and by combining their strengths and collaborating every step of the way, they turned the slop of a team that Chip Kelly left behind in 2015 into a Super Bowl champion just two years later.

Jeff Lurie spoke at length Sunday night about how well Howie and Doug work together, how neither cares who gets the credit, how both only want to see the team win.

And it shows. Without that sort of relationship, without that sort of mutual respect, there is no parade up Broad Street six months ago.

Turns out Doug is a brilliant head coach. Turns out Howie is a brilliant G.M.

And it turns out they're even better together.

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