Howie Roseman discussed the Eagles offseason strategy this week with an emphasis on building upon the culture Chip Kelly established his first season as head coach. (Image courtesy of GCobb.com)
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman revealed some of the groundwork for the team's offseason plan for both free agency and the draft in the wake of Saturday night's playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Roseman appeared as a guest of Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon and gave clues to how the team will approach the offseason as it looks to build on 2013's NFC East division championship in the first season under head coach Chip Kelly.
"We're trying to build our team and we want to do this the right way," Roseman explained. "I think one of the mistakes that has happened is the past is that we get in the mold of 'we think we're one player a way or two players away and we have to go out and get the next hottest thing,' I think it's important we build a team of players that are home grown and people can relate to the names on the back of the Jerseys.
"You don't want to go out and get a bunch of 'independent contractors' for lack of a better term. That doesn't mean we can't go out and get some guys, but we have to stick with the process we've used the last few years. We have to draft the best player available, not necessarily drafting for need. We want to build a team that can compete year after year."
That line of thinking from the general manager seems to rule out the kind of splashes that typified the early portion of Roseman's tenure.
In 2010 Roseman and the Eagles went on a free-agent spending spree by adding top free agents Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Jason Babin, Steve Smith, Ronnie Brown, Cullen Jenkins and trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The result was a 12-20 record over two seasons and a poisonous culture.
Early indications are that the Eagles will need to be surgical in free-agency and the draft to not only add players in free agency that fit the culture developed under Kelly in his first season, but also draft players that supplement a roster already with a division crown under it's belt and an established culture of unity in the locker room.
"Chip is an unbelievable communicator to our players," Roseman said. "Everyone understands what our program is. When we interviewed him, he talked about the fact that it shouldn't take much time to figure out what kind of a coach you're doing with.
"I think we do have an identity. When you watch us, you know what we're about. It's high energy, it's fun, it's tough and physical. Maybe Chip came in with a reputation of offense and finesse, but he's a physical, northeast football coach and we'll continue to build in that mold."
Roseman, Kelly and the front office have their work cut out for them by first addressing some of the Eagles own free agents.
Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are both going to be free agents when the league year opens on March 11th.
"Riley really stepped up and had a really good year," Roseman said. "He fits what we're going to do here.
"I had a chance to visit with our free agents yesterday. Jeremy Maclin is another guy who we drafted here. We were looking for big things from him and he got hurt."
The bottom line is, it seems Kelly thrives on having competition across the board, as was the case at quarterback all through training camp and the preseason last summer between Nick Foles and Michael Vick.
Foles is entrenched as the starter, but it doesn't seem Kelly is waning from his competition brings out the best of everyone mantra anytime soon.
"I think we need to get competition at ever level of our football team," Kelly said. "We need to improve our football team and add depth at every level. We have to be open to opportunities to improve our football team."
While fans certainly are frothing at the mouth about the possibility of the kind of free agent acquisitions the Eagles may make this spring, it seems as though calculation and precision are going to be buzzwords around the Novacare Complex when it comes to augmenting Kelly's second roster.
"We'll kind of combine the draft and free agency," Roseman explained. "When we look at the total board and with free agents and the draft in play, we'll look at that for every position and base our decisions off of money and draft picks and see what's worth it."
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.