Howie Roseman undoubtedly deserved the bulk of the credit for last year’s Super Bowl run. He put a superb team together with a healthy mix of veterans and young up and coming players.
But in saying that, he deserves the bulk of the blame for how this season has played out.
The formula for success that went into building the 2017 Eagles was clear: fill the immediate needs with veteran free agents and draft for talent. Howie’s moves during that offseason reflected that formula and we all know how the 2017-18 season played out.
Fast forward to this past offseason, and while he still did follow the same formula to a degree, the result has clearly not been the same.
So what gives? Did the NFL change that drastically in one offseason that Howie is now behind the 8-ball?
Well, I think there’s a pretty simple explanation to it: Howie just didn’t prioritize the right positions and the right players.
For example, just look at Darren Sproles right now. Howie decided to bring him back after suffering a torn ACL and broken arm rather than bring back LeGarrette Blount, who was the Eagles leading rusher last season and instrumental in their playoff run. I love Sproles just as much as the next guy, but Howie should have known better. Sproles hasn’t seen the field since week 1, and right when he was cleared to practice again, he re-aggravated his hamstring.
Howie just banked on the assumption that Sproles would return to form and that Ajayi (whose known for being injury prone) would stay healthy all season. And now we’re down to an undrafted rookie carrying the load out of the backfield.
Running back wasn’t the only position that Howie mismanaged either. Letting Patrick Robinson walk looks completely asinine right now. Robinson was clearly the best corner on the team last season and he led the team in interceptions with four. For Howie to think that Sidney Jones (who was coming off a devastating injury) could step right in and replace someone like Patrick Robinson is just foolish.
Howie could have made up for this in the draft too if he had taken either a corner or running back with his first pick. But he took a backup tight end instead. Just doesn’t make much sense.
Letting players like Blount, Robinson, and even Torrey Smith walk has really come back to bite the Eagles in the ass this season. Not only is their play on the field sorely missed, but those guys were looked up to in the locker room. They were veteran leaders, exactly what this team could use right now.
I still believe we’re in good hands with Howie at the helm. I just hope he re-evaluates his formula for success this offseason.