Rose­man’s mas­ter plan has Ea­gles in Su­per Bowl

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Rob Maaddi AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

PHILADEL­PHIA — Howie Rose­man wrapped his arms around Doug Ped­er­son on the side­line in the fi­nal minute of Philadel­phia’s lop­sided win over Min­nesota in the NFC cham­pi­onship game and flashed a big smile.

The most crit­i­cized team ex­ec­u­tive in the city en­gi­neered a dra­matic turn­around.

After fin­ish­ing last in the NFC East last sea­son, the Ea­gles ( 15- 3) are in the Su­per Bowl against the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots (15-3).

Ra­dio hosts, colum­nists, writ­ers, fans and even blog­gers are not blast­ing Rose­man any­more be­cause he made all the right moves to build a team that’s one vic­tory away from the fran­chise’s first NFL ti­tle since 1960.

It’s been quite a jour­ney for Rose­man, the once- ex­iled ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions.

Rose­man rose from be­ing a non-paid sum­mer in­tern in 2000 to youngest gen­eral man­ager in the NFL at age 34 in 2010. But in Jan­uary 2015, Rose­man lost con­trol of per­son­nel de­ci­sions in a power strug­gle with for­mer coach Chip Kelly.

Owner Jef­fery Lurie el­e­vated Rose­man to his cur­rent po­si­tion, but gave Kelly full con­trol on the draft, trades and all player moves.

Kelly bombed and was fired less than 12 months later.

Rose­man, after spend­ing a year self-re­flect­ing, re­gained con­trol over per­son­nel de­ci­sions. He hired Ped­er­son to coach and Joe Dou­glas to be vice pres­i­dent of player per­son­nel and quickly be­gan un­do­ing the mess Kelly cre­ated.

Rose­man traded play­ers Kelly signed to hor­ri­ble con­tracts — DeMarco Mur­ray and By­ron Maxwell — and built enough as­sets to help the Ea­gles move from No. 13 in the draft to the sec­ond spot. With the sec­ond over­all pick in 2016, the team se­lected Car­son Wentz from North Dakota State.

Wentz is the main rea­son Philadel­phia was in po­si­tion to get to the Su­per Bowl. He had an MVP-cal­iber sea­son be­fore tear­ing his ACL in Week 14 when the Ea­gles se­cured the NFC East ti­tle.

The Ea­gles didn’t crum­ble after los­ing their fran­chise player be­cause they have a solid backup in Nick Foles. Kelly traded Foles, one sea­son after he was of­fen­sive MVP of the Pro Bowl. Rose­man brought Foles back last March, giv­ing him an $11 mil­lion, two-year deal to pro­vide in­surance be­hind Wentz.

Foles shred­ded the Vik­ings and their topranked de­fense l ast week.

“It’s a credit to Howie and Joe to bring a guy like that in here who is very ca­pa­ble of get­ting the job done,” Ped­er­son said.

Many of the play­ers Rose­man ac­quired be­fore the sea­son made big plays in the 38-7 rout over Min­nesota.

He signed wide re­ceivers Al­shon Jef­fery and Tor­rey Smith, run­ning back LeGar­rette Blount and cor­ner­back Pa­trick Robin­son to team-friendly con­tracts in free agency. They com­bined to score Philadel­phia’s five touch­downs.

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