June 4 – The Eagles have announced an extensive restructuring of their front office to accommodate recent notable departures, but also to reflect the changing landscape of football operations and scouting in the NFL and to potentially protect them from other teams that poaching their talent.
The 30 different changes include promotions, new titles, changes in responsibilities and new hires, but raising Alec Halaby and Jon Ferrari as assistant general managers to general manager Howie Roseman gives the former vice presidents increased weight within of the organization and brings them a little closer, at least theoretically, to becoming GM.
Halaby, who has long overseen the Eagles’ analytics department, and Ferrari, who have increasingly handled cross-functional roles between coaching, staff and football operations, won’t necessarily see their roles change much. But they will be the top leaders under Roseman.
Neither comes from traditional football, especially when it comes to player ratings.
The scouting service, meanwhile, will no longer have an executive on an equal footing. Roseman opted not to replace Andy Weidl, who recently left to become the Steelers’ assistant general manager. Scouts previously reported to Weidl, who reported to Roseman. They will now report directly to the CEO.
Roseman brought in and promoted scouts to explain Weidl’s loss, and before that, directors Ian Cunningham and Brandon Brown, who became assistant managers for the Browns and New York Giants, respectively.
Eagles lose Andy Weidl to Pittsburgh Steelers
He appointed Dave Caldwell, Senior Staff Officer, Director/Senior Staff Advisor to the Chief Executive. He hired Matt Russell, who worked for the Eagles before spending the last decade with the Broncos, and gave him the same title.
He brought in Brandon Hunt from the Steelers as director of scouting, Charles Walls from the Browns as director of player personnel, and promoted director of college scouting Alan Wolking to director of player personnel as well.
There is no clear hierarchy, however, between principals and directors. There is an opportunity for one of the managers to rise to the position of vice president of player personnel at Weidl, or simply to be named another assistant general manager.
The Eagles couldn’t stop Cunningham, Brown and former vice president of football operations Catherine Raiche, who left to become assistant general manager at Cleveland last month, from interviewing other teams because the three didn’t have the final word on the staff.
The same goes for Weidl. He won’t have the last word in Pittsburgh. New chief executive Omar Khan will. But Khan also comes from the business side, and Weidl can presumably have more influence over personnel decisions. Returning to his hometown and the franchise he first worked for likely played a part in his departure as well.
Roseman also stood in his way if he ever wanted to become a general manager in Philadelphia. That being said, Weidl’s movement was almost sideways. And it’s unclear how much the Eagles really wanted to keep him when they fired his brother, Casey, who was director of scouting operations, and had no plans to bring back his mentor, the senior football adviser. Tom Donahoe, last month.
Senior executive Tom Donahoe leaves as Eagles front office changes continue
The Eagles scouting department remains well staffed. But the days when he was mainly responsible for player evaluation are long gone. Coaches have always had influence with certain crossovers, but there is an analytical faction that has grown up around the NFL.
And GM assistant promotions, especially Halaby’s, reflect this state. Does this mean Halaby, who has long been a controversial figure in the organization, will be sought out for GM positions with other teams? That remains to be seen.
Here are the other title changes announced by the Eagles in football operations:
Dom DiSandro, Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Chief Security Officer (previously Vice President of Team Security/Chief Security Officer); Bryce Johnston, Vice President of Football Transactions and Strategic Planning (Senior Director of Football Transactions); Paul Lancaster, Senior Director of Player Engagement (Director of Player Engagement); Connor Barwin, Director of Player Development (Special Assistant to the General Manager); James Gilman, Director of Football Analytics (Deputy Director of Football Analytics); Jeff Scott, director of football operations (senior professional scout); Jon Liu, Deputy Director of Football Analytics (Football Operations Analyst); Kathy Mair, Player Resource Coordinator/Assistant Director of Player Engagement (Player Resource Coordinator); Patrick McDowell, Player Development Assistant/Scout (Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach); Nick Still; Assistant Materials Manager.
Phil Bhaya, director of draft management (southeast region scout); Max Gruder, director of professional scouting (deputy director of professional scouting); Ameena Soliman, Director of Staff Operations/Pro Scout (Pro Scout); Ryan Myers, Assistant Director of College Scouting (West Coast Region Scout); Matt Holland, senior college/professional scout (northeast region scout).
Here are the other new signings announced by the Eagles in Football Operations:
Zach Drapkin, Quantitative Analyst; Marlon Sanders, video assistant; Elsie Reyes, administrative assistant, football operations.
And in scouting:
Jeremy Gray, assistant director of professional staff; Jordon Dizon, national scout; Jarrod Kilburn, academic/professional scout; Rod Streater, scout for the northeast region; Ben Ijalana, scout assistant.
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