PHILADELPHIA — Attrition in the Eagles’ scouting department is historic in many ways, losing five key executives in the past six months, the latest being Andy Weidl, the organization’s top scout who left to become general manager assistant in Pittsburgh.
From a macro perspective, defections could highlight a problem for people outside the organization.
There are, however, explanations for each individual movement in the micro sense.
Former co-directors of player personnel Ian Cunningham and Brandon Brown earned clear promotions to assistant GM gigs with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, respectively, while former vice president of football operations Catherine Raiche left for a position as an assistant GM in Cleveland under her former mentor. Andrew Berry, someone she just wanted to work for again.
From there, it was legendary personnel manager Tom Donahoe who stepped down as senior adviser with the expiration of his contract. At 75, it’s at least conceivable that Donahoe really wanted to move on of his own accord.
That brings us to Weidl, whom Howie Roseman himself was expecting back if Pittsburgh didn’t nab him for the GM job.
When the Steelers stayed in-house and true to their core belief of continuity with Omar Khan, they also managed to convince Steel City native Weidl to come home with an assistant GM title, surfaced a move. lateral in which Weidl will lead the scouting department as he did in Philadelphia, but will also answer to another executive.
Looking back, though, if the Eagles really wanted to keep Weidl after losing his top two lieutenants, why not offer him the title of assistant general manager?
More so, why essentially fire his younger brother – former reconnaissance operations manager Casey Weidl – and try to convince his mentor Donahoe to stay even if the workload is still reduced?
The fact that Weidl missed the availability press conference before the draft due to illness and looked like he would have preferred to be anywhere else during the end-of-day draft pressers are also points to connect. to explain his exit from the NovaCare complex.
Weidl already had one foot out.
If someone offered, he left and the Eagles weren’t trying to change his mind.
“It’s quite a disaster for a six-month period to lose all of those key pieces,” a former NFL executive told Eagles Today. “They have a lot of roles to fill and it has to be done carefully if they want to maintain this system that they’ve put in place for the last two draft cycles.”
The Eagles consider it a good thing that the rest of the league consider their employees well-trained enough to offer them jobs, but rumors that Roseman is difficult to work with are resurfacing, a narrative that began during his first stint. as the leader of the organization. .
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The 2016 pattern in which the Eagles hired Joe Douglas, now the Jets’ general manager, to lead the scouting department with Weidl as their right-hand man will be hard to replicate.
“Howie doesn’t have a Joe Douglas/Andy Weidl combo on board now and it’s going to be hard to find someone of that caliber,” the exec said.
That doesn’t mean the closet is bare in what was a stacked front office and scouting department.
Expect promotions to be announced for compliance guru Joe Ferrari, director of college scouting Alan Wolking, Southeast region scout Phil Bhaya, senior pro scout Jeff Scott and pro scout Ameena Suleiman, among others.
Already reported outside additions will include longtime Broncos executive Matt Russell, who will bring in Jordan Dizon, as well as former Cleveland scout Charles Walls.
“All the guys who grew up in the organization know how to handle [Roseman] and I think as long as they stay involved in the process, everything will be fine,” the executive said. “Alan Wolking, Anthony Patch, Max Gruder, Phil Bhaya, all have a big impact. … The new guy I know, Charles Walls, will also be a good candidate personality wise.”
Wolking and Bhaya were specifically notified outside the NovaCare complex.
“I think they would be doing themselves a favor by promoting Alan Wolking and Phil Bhaya to custodial positions and letting them run college scouting,” said a former NFL scout. “They’re the ones who provide the great ratings.”
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Pittsburgh pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt could be the clubhouse frontman for Weidl’s job after things fell apart between the Eagles and Colts director of scouting Morocco Brown.
“The problem with losing your head scout is that when you’re looking for scouts to fill that void, you have to know where to look,” the exec said. “They’ll look to Brandon Hunt and a few others, I’m sure, but it’s a tough role to fill.”
When there is a power vacuum in any area of life, someone will try to fill the void and what we might see is Roseman 2.0 regressing towards vintage editing in terms of relates to the ability to play with others.
What can’t be debated, however, is that Roseman has become his job and that the cap guy’s shots with gel in his hair that make footballers’ eyes roll ignore what many have called the best offseason of the NFL.
Roseman is using the attrition the Eagles have suffered as impetus to reinvent the scouting department into one more closely aligned with his vision.
“There will probably always be attrition in some way with the way they are structured and Howie being the decision maker,” the exec said. “It’s just shocking how much has happened in six months.”
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports chat host Jody McDonald every morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show ‘Extending the Play’ on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen