Now Teamed With Joe Douglas, Will Howie Roseman Finally Get It Right?

It was always about what Howie wanted. It was always about doing it Howie's way with no room for compromise. It was always about Howie and nobody else.

It didn't work.

And Howie Roseman knew that if he was going to continue in his dream job running the Eagles' personnel department, things had to change.

And they have changed.

Roseman is now in his second year as the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations after five years as general manager and one year in exile while Chip Kelly called the shots.

He's working with Joe Douglas these days, and Roseman sounds genuinely humbled when he talks about compromise and collaboration -- two things he was admittedly terrible at in his first go-round running the show.

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"I was a young guy who had a lot of responsibility, and sometimes when you do that, you want to take more on your plate, and you want to feel like, 'I gotta make these decisions because this is the role,' but it's all about collaborating and getting peoples' point of view and then trying to make the best decision for the team," Roseman said Thursday.

"It's not, 'I want to draft this guy so this is what we're doing, I don't care what these seven people have to say.'"

Overall, the Eagles have not drafted well since Roseman became GM. It's no coincidence they haven't won a playoff game since Roseman became GM.

Something had to change, and Roseman realized during his year in exile that if he didn't change his ways if he got another chance, he'd be out of a job.

"I think you get that perspective when you take a step back and you sit there and say, 'What could I have done better?'" Roseman said. "I understand that this game is not always fair on and off the field, but if you try to do the right things and treat people the right way good things will happen. 

"And that year off was the best thing that ever happened to me personally and professionally. (It gave me a) unique perspective, and I think really helped in terms of what I want to do for the next 10 years and being around really good people."

The Eagles hired Douglas as vice president of player personnel after last year's draft, and for the first time since his early days with Joe Banner, Roseman seems to have a working relationship with someone he likes and respects.

The Eagles believe that can only lead to better drafting. And eventually, a long-awaited return to the NFC elite.

"Part of bringing him in here is trying to change what we've done and trying to get better," Roseman said. "We have tremendous trust in Joe and his ability to put that together. I think it's been a really fun process. It's kind of rejuvenated a lot of guys, including myself, who've been here for a while to learn something new and be part of that and go and ask him questions. 

"You know, 'Hey, this is how I see this player, where would you put him?' To have someone here who makes sure that we're doing the right thing and we're sticking to our board and we're taking everything else out of the equation. We've got a really good process in place."

This will be Douglas' first time running a draft board, but he does bring a stellar resume to the Eagles.

Douglas, a four-year starter at offensive tackle for Richmond in the 1990s, spent 16 years with the Ravens and last year with the Bears before joining the Eagles.

But the Eagles have had good people in the front office in the past. They just never got along with Roseman.

Maybe this is no different. But it really does seem different.

"We bring different things but through this whole process, the communication has been unbelievable," Douglas said. "I respect (Roseman) immensely as far as the juice, the energy, the passion, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter who's right, it just matters that we're right. 

"Nothing's more important than the team and those players and having the right environment, the right atmosphere, for those guys, and I think we can both step back and say, 'OK, what's best for the Philadelphia Eagles? What's best for that group of guys? What's best for that locker room?' And I think that's been a unique thing."

Roseman has outlasted so many personnel executives here it's hard to keep track of them all.

Tom Gamble. Ed Marynowitz. Jason Licht. Lou Riddick. Even Joe Banner and Andy Reid, who guided the Eagles to the franchise to its winningest stretch in the last 50 years, lost power struggles with Roseman.

So who knows what's next. But so far, so good.

Roseman speaks about Douglas in a way he's never spoken about anyone he's worked with here.

"For me personally, being able to learn about his experiences, what he's been through, the success he's had, (is important)," Roseman said.

"I mean, he's won two world championships, he's been part of that. We've been to five championship games, and we haven't won a world championship. So it's about the team. 

"Really, since Day 1 that's what he's talked about, and it's a necessity to do that, and so we put egos aside. 

"I will tell you since he's been here have we done everything that I wanted to do? No. Have we done everything that he wants to do? No. But have we done everything that's right for the Philadelphia Eagles? Yes. 

"And some of that is humbling, you know, when you have to admit mistakes. Well … on my end, really. But we want to do whatever it takes to bring a winning product to the city, and we feel like we have a lot of responsibility to the people who work in the building, on and off the field, to our fans, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to do that over the long term and building a team that everyone's proud of."

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