Eagles GM Howie Roseman was among many NFL coaches and executives to meet the media yesterday at the combine. He answered a lot of questions including why the team never seems to prioritize the linebacker position and what plans they may have to fix the offensive line... but more than anything Roseman was grilled about quarterbacks, both his own and some available in the draft.
Q: Why are you so successful in developing quarterbacks?
A: "I think it's a credit to our coaching staff, led by our head coach. It goes back to (Andy Reid at) Green Bay and
the ability to evaluate guys. He loves scouting college players, he has traits that he looks for in all this
college players and he's got a track record.
Q: Is it hard to find linebackers when you don't prioritize the position?
A: "You still want to find good players at any position. That doesn't mean you aren't looking for good players in the draft or in free agency. When we are evaluating players for the draft or in free agency to make sure we are evaluating how they play. We stack the board based on how they play. So we're not going into the draft and devaluing linebackers. We're trying to find them, we're trying to find good players."
Q: Traits of successful QBs
A: "I think there are certain things that we're looking for in quarterbacks, and that comes from the head coach, the offensive coordinator, the quarterbacks coach, to be successful in our offense. You want 'em to be smart, you want them to be athletic, you want them to be accurate, you want them to be able to get the ball out. It's hard to evaluate quarterbacks. We bring all those evaluations back to our head coach, and then he's got this expertise that really takes it to another level and makes you feel more confident in your evaluation.
Q: Offensive line in this draft
A: "I think the talent level overall is probably better than has been the past few years. It's deep. You've got some guys who are versatile, who can play tackle or play guard ... The more guys that are versatile and athletic, (the better)."
Q: 49 sacks allowed by the Eagles, does Howard Mudd as o-line coach change what you look for in a lineman?
A: "It's all part of the process. In our role as personnel people, we want to make sure we get the best talent on the offensive line. We have some guys that are scheduled to be free agents. It's an area we didn't really address last year in the offense ... That's obviously another position in terms of our priorities, we believe in building the o-line."
"We spent some time with Howard as a personnel staff, just in terms of what he's looking for, maybe the differences in some of the guys that he's more comfortable with. I think it was valuable time. Obviously, he's got a lot of years of learning offensive line."
A: "Looking back at some of the mistakes that we've made, they've been when we've reached (in the draft). We've taken guys that we didn't think were the best players, but we had an area of need. We've been determined (since then) to take the best players on our board. You look at last year and the draft, maybe we went in with the intention of taking an offensive lineman or two, but the values just didn't meet. You look back at those things and you're trying to get better and you're trying to improve."
Q: Kevin Kolb
A: "Kevin's a great player. We have a lot of confidence in Kevin, obviously, we gave him the starting job and traded Donovan (McNabb) last year, he's obviously looking forward to being a good starting quarterback, and a lot could happen."
Q: Why exclusive franchise tag on Michael Vick?
A: "We wanted to make sure we kept Michael Vick."
Q: Offers for Kolb?
A: "We're still evaluating all our options and all our positions. Obviously we've been really fortunate to have good quarterbacks. There's Michael, there's Kevin, and we've got a lot of confidence in Mike Kafka, so that's a position that we're always going to want to be strong at ... We don't discuss any (trade) discussions, external or internal."
Q: (trade value of Kolb)
A: "Everything is just projecting."
Q: Other than o-line, what's good in draft.
A: "I think the running back class is really strong. Last year there were 15 running backs drafted, 12 underclassmen have come out, all very productive guys, and there's a group of seniors."
Q: Why was Vick so good?
A: "He's got great coaches around him he's spent the time with, he's willing to spend the time, he spent a lot of time in the classroom, in the offseason program, getting stronger, working on his legs. When he came back (in 2009) he wasn't able to get his legs underneath him, not to be able go move in the pocket. The key was getting stronger and getting more time in the offense."
Q: How will Vick progress in the offense, if there's a lockout.
A: "The thing I'd say about Michael is, he's going to work hard. He wants to work hard, he wants to be great. He's going to work hard to make sure he's in the best possible shape."
Q: He was less effective down the stretch. How much of a concern is that?
A: "Mike is a talented individual. I think for Michael, it's just started for him, in terms of being the kind of player he can be. It was his first year back as a starting quarterback in three years. He continues to learn, to get better in our offense. I think really, the sky's the limit."
Q: Cam Newton
A: "He's a talented individual, obviously, he's got all the tools. He's a great athlete. He's got size, he's got arm strength, he's a winner ... Wherever he goes he'll be successful."
Q: Will Vick's success help Newton convince teams of his value?
A: "Michael, Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan, all those guys are mobile guys with big arms."
Q: concerned about Newton translating Auburn offense to the pros?
A: "That's a big part of this draft process, spending time with these guys, seeing what they know, putting them on the (blackboard), learning enough about them to see what they know about what you present."
Q: ...mobile quarterback, does that change how you evaluate o-line prospects?
A: "It's important for us to have athletic ability. We like to throw the ball in Philadelphia. They've got to move their feet ... In terms of the quarterback moving around in the pocket, you want a guy who can move with him."