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Scott Dierking

Joe Douglas quick profile

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If this is the guy we can get to replace Mac then I will love the move and give Gase and Chris Johnson credit.

I’ll the young innovative guy who learned from Ozzie and DeCosta, over the old school guy who learned under Charlie Casserly.

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For Eagles player personnel VP Joe Douglas, the next NFL draft is his most important | Jeff McLane

by Jeff McLane, Updated: April 19, 2019
 

In March 2017, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said that the hiring of Joe Douglas “was the pivotal moment of the last year.”

Douglas, hired the prior May, had already been involved in the team’s offseason decision-making, as evidenced by several atypical free- agent signings Howie Roseman had made. But Lurie’s praise had come before the NFL draft, the greatest infusion of talent for teams, and the event for which Douglas would seemingly have his most input.

But two years later, Lurie’s assessment of the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel was more tepid. In a meandering response last month, he called Douglas and the staff he had assembled “terrific,” but in the next sentence he said, “It’s really not one person.” Lurie focused on the “great team” of “really good people in the whole scouting and the analytics area.”

He then mentioned Andrew Berry, whom the Eagles had recently hired as vice president of football operations. Roseman said in February that the addition wasn’t “a reflection of anyone and their particular roles,” but Berry held the same title as Douglas with the Browns, and the continuation of Lurie’s answer a month later suggested there was more behind the hiring.

“We also at some point are going to lose executives,” Lurie said in Phoenix at the NFL owners’ meetings. “When you’re winning, you’re going to lose executives, and I think we’re in a great position to be able to deal with that.”

Was Lurie already resigned to losing Douglas to a better opportunity or was he foreshadowing a mutual departure? The Eagles had already blocked the Texans from interviewing him for their general manager opening during their Super Bowl run. But that was before last season’s regression and the further sampling of Douglas’ first two drafts.

It typically takes at least three years to give any sort of accurate evaluation on a class, but the Eagles’ 2017-18 drafts are particularly difficult to assess because so many of the prospects have hardly played, either because of injury or the depth of the roster.

The Eagles have been able to sustain the lack of contributions because of the existing nucleus and other moves they have made. But the need for compensation will only grow as the roster ages, and, more significant, once quarterback Carson Wentz is signed to a salary cap-restricting contract extension.

 

And this year’s draft, which will begin Thursday, only amplifies that necessity. The Eagles have seven picks, with three on the first two days — a first-rounder and two second-rounders. But third-day picks and undrafted signees also carry weight because the roster will need to have a substantial number of players with affordable rookie contracts.

“I’ll steal from my old college coach when he said, ‘You know why this game is the most important one? Because it’s the next one.’ And this draft is the most important draft because it’s the next draft,” Douglas said Tuesday during a sit-down interview with Roseman. “We have a lot of opportunity here with three picks in the top 57 to really get our kind of guy, get some difference makers in here.”

Prerequisite of talent

There are a few potential difference makers from the 2017-18 drafts, but for various reasons they have yet to have that kind of impact.

The 2017 group has been especially besieged by injury. Defensive end Derek Barnett, the Eagles’ No. 1 pick, showed obvious talent in his rookie season and in the first four games of last season. But he suffered a torn rotator cuff and was eventually shut down for the season.

Cornerback Sidney Jones was a second-round luxury pick. The Eagles didn’t expect him to play in his rookie season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon before the draft. But his sophomore year was marred by a recurring hamstring strain and he showed only brief glimpses of promise before that.

Fourth-round wide receiver Mack Hollins had an encouraging first year, but he missed all of last season after multiple groin injuries.

The rest of the class has been relatively underwhelming. Third-round cornerback Rasul Douglas has had his ups and downs, but he has warranted the selection so far. Fourth-round running back Donnel Pumphrey is still on the roster, but only after he was released and brought back to the practice squad.

The 2017 draft was a historically deep one for running backs, so in that context getting only Pumphrey, when the Eagles had an obvious need, was disappointing. Roseman makes the final call on picks and various maneuvering throughout the draft, so he bears ultimate responsibility. But Douglas, who is the titular author of the Eagles’ board, clearly overvalued Pumphrey.

Fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson has similarly fallen short at the NFL level. Sixth-round linebacker Nate Gerry has been a serviceable reserve, while sixth-round defensive tackle Elijah Qualls was released before last season.

Douglas wouldn’t offer specifics on changes he has made since his first draft — “There are changes that we’ve made now that we didn’t do the first year we were here,” he said. But with Pumphrey as the likely example, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the scouting process now placed less emphasis on college production, particularly for prospects from smaller conferences.

Of course, a year later the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert, one of the most productive Division I-AA tight ends in recent history, with their first overall pick and he has already exceeded expectations. Not because he did well as a receiver, but because he showed an aptitude for blocking, something he rarely did at South Dakota State.

But that goes back to the premise of drafting players for more than just their college statistics.

“Very rarely does a player fail because of physical ability,” Douglas said. “All of these players are being discussed and drafted for a reason. There’s all a prerequisite of talent. I do think intangibles come into play quite a bit when you talk about success and failures.”

The rest of the 2018 class, aside from fourth-round cornerback Avonte Maddox, mostly falls under the category of “to be determined.” Maddox’s talent was obvious, but what gives him additional worth is his versatility. He could conceivably play one of four positions — slot or outside cornerback, free or strong safety — at some point in his career.

Fifth-round defensive end Josh Sweat was a slight gamble considering his knee injury history. He played sparingly before an ankle injury ended his season.

The Eagles are optimistic about the potential of their final two selections from 2018 — fifth-round guard Matt Pryor and seventh-round tackle Jordan Mailata — but both could remain developmental prospects for another year if the starting offensive line stays healthy.

Strong opinions

There isn’t one formula for drafting success. The Eagles have done fairly well over the last decade under Roseman’s stewardship, especially when compared with other teams. But Douglas, who spent most of his formative scouting years with the Ravens under general manager Ozzie Newsome, was brought in partly to bring another viewpoint to the process.

In terms of roster-building, philosophically speaking, Douglas and Roseman have their similarities. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who worked under both as a scout, said they have a shared belief in “building in the trenches.”

But Jeremiah, during a conference call Thursday, went on to highlight the strengths of each executive, and in his descriptions their differences are just as clear.

Douglas is “big on the person, not just the player,” Jeremiah said. “Really, really digging on those guys and finding out who are the real tough guys. That’s something that’s kind of been his calling card as a scout for a long time.”

Roseman didn’t take a traditional scouting path to heading a personnel department, so he might not be as concerned with the nuts and bolts of a prospect. But his strengths lie in maximizing value.

“He understands the board in terms of supply and demand at certain positions,” Jeremiah said, “ … and being able to say, ‘Hey, I know we like this guy, but we can still get him or we can get somebody else we like just as much and we can get a little something extra.”

In theory, the styles should complement each other. Douglas and Roseman spoke about their shared traits of passion and of a willingness to set their egos aside for the betterment of the team. But they conceded that there are as many tough conversations.

“There’s a lot of things that Joe is; being a yes man isn’t one of them,” Roseman said. “I think that that’s really been the best part of our building, is that we have a lot of opinions, a lot of strong opinions, we have a lot of good people in our building and nobody is just agreeing just for the sake of agreeing.”

Roseman’s voice, though, is the last to be heard when a final decision is made. He’s on his fourth vice president of player personnel and other prominent members of the Eagles front office have left during his time in personnel. Of the group — Jason Licht, Tom Heckert, Lou Riddick, Ryan Grigson, Joe Banner, Tom Gamble, and Ed Marynowitz — only Grigson left for a job with more authority.

Douglas’ fingerprints were all over the Eagles’ 2017 offseason. He had direct links to several acquisitions, and the signing of established veterans to short-term contracts was something Roseman hadn’t done to quite that extent before. Lurie’s statement that Douglas was the “best move of the offseason,” if hyperbolic, had some prescience as the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.

But the following August, after Lurie extended Roseman’s and coach Doug Pederson’s contracts through 2022, the owner, when asked about Douglas’ contributions, downplayed his role.

“I won’t talk about anyone else’s contract today,” Lurie said, “but Joe is a valued member of our staff and contributes, as do many, many people that never get written about.”

Lurie has fostered a collaborative environment, and the Eagles’ recent success corroborates the public face of harmony Roseman and Douglas presented Tuesday. But neither got to where he is by being passive.

“There’s no doubt when there’s passion,” Roseman said, “there’s passion.”

Douglas smiled and agreed.

 
 
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5 minutes ago, Scott Dierking said:

I mean, there has to be a plan, right. There has to be a plan. You just don't do this without a plan. There is a plan right? Tell me I am right.

Hahahahahahaha

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7 minutes ago, Scott Dierking said:

For Eagles player personnel VP Joe Douglas, the next NFL draft is his most important | Jeff McLane

by Jeff McLane, Updated: April 19, 2019
 

In March 2017, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said that the hiring of Joe Douglas “was the pivotal moment of the last year.”

Douglas, hired the prior May, had already been involved in the team’s offseason decision-making, as evidenced by several atypical free- agent signings Howie Roseman had made. But Lurie’s praise had come before the NFL draft, the greatest infusion of talent for teams, and the event for which Douglas would seemingly have his most input.

But two years later, Lurie’s assessment of the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel was more tepid. In a meandering response last month, he called Douglas and the staff he had assembled “terrific,” but in the next sentence he said, “It’s really not one person.” Lurie focused on the “great team” of “really good people in the whole scouting and the analytics area.”

He then mentioned Andrew Berry, whom the Eagles had recently hired as vice president of football operations. Roseman said in February that the addition wasn’t “a reflection of anyone and their particular roles,” but Berry held the same title as Douglas with the Browns, and the continuation of Lurie’s answer a month later suggested there was more behind the hiring.

“We also at some point are going to lose executives,” Lurie said in Phoenix at the NFL owners’ meetings. “When you’re winning, you’re going to lose executives, and I think we’re in a great position to be able to deal with that.”

Was Lurie already resigned to losing Douglas to a better opportunity or was he foreshadowing a mutual departure? The Eagles had already blocked the Texans from interviewing him for their general manager opening during their Super Bowl run. But that was before last season’s regression and the further sampling of Douglas’ first two drafts.

It typically takes at least three years to give any sort of accurate evaluation on a class, but the Eagles’ 2017-18 drafts are particularly difficult to assess because so many of the prospects have hardly played, either because of injury or the depth of the roster.

The Eagles have been able to sustain the lack of contributions because of the existing nucleus and other moves they have made. But the need for compensation will only grow as the roster ages, and, more significant, once quarterback Carson Wentz is signed to a salary cap-restricting contract extension.

 

And this year’s draft, which will begin Thursday, only amplifies that necessity. The Eagles have seven picks, with three on the first two days — a first-rounder and two second-rounders. But third-day picks and undrafted signees also carry weight because the roster will need to have a substantial number of players with affordable rookie contracts.

“I’ll steal from my old college coach when he said, ‘You know why this game is the most important one? Because it’s the next one.’ And this draft is the most important draft because it’s the next draft,” Douglas said Tuesday during a sit-down interview with Roseman. “We have a lot of opportunity here with three picks in the top 57 to really get our kind of guy, get some difference makers in here.”

Prerequisite of talent

There are a few potential difference makers from the 2017-18 drafts, but for various reasons they have yet to have that kind of impact.

The 2017 group has been especially besieged by injury. Defensive end Derek Barnett, the Eagles’ No. 1 pick, showed obvious talent in his rookie season and in the first four games of last season. But he suffered a torn rotator cuff and was eventually shut down for the season.

Cornerback Sidney Jones was a second-round luxury pick. The Eagles didn’t expect him to play in his rookie season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon before the draft. But his sophomore year was marred by a recurring hamstring strain and he showed only brief glimpses of promise before that.

Fourth-round wide receiver Mack Hollins had an encouraging first year, but he missed all of last season after multiple groin injuries.

The rest of the class has been relatively underwhelming. Third-round cornerback Rasul Douglas has had his ups and downs, but he has warranted the selection so far. Fourth-round running back Donnel Pumphrey is still on the roster, but only after he was released and brought back to the practice squad.

The 2017 draft was a historically deep one for running backs, so in that context getting only Pumphrey, when the Eagles had an obvious need, was disappointing. Roseman makes the final call on picks and various maneuvering throughout the draft, so he bears ultimate responsibility. But Douglas, who is the titular author of the Eagles’ board, clearly overvalued Pumphrey.

Fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson has similarly fallen short at the NFL level. Sixth-round linebacker Nate Gerry has been a serviceable reserve, while sixth-round defensive tackle Elijah Qualls was released before last season.

Douglas wouldn’t offer specifics on changes he has made since his first draft — “There are changes that we’ve made now that we didn’t do the first year we were here,” he said. But with Pumphrey as the likely example, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the scouting process now placed less emphasis on college production, particularly for prospects from smaller conferences.

Of course, a year later the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert, one of the most productive Division I-AA tight ends in recent history, with their first overall pick and he has already exceeded expectations. Not because he did well as a receiver, but because he showed an aptitude for blocking, something he rarely did at South Dakota State.

But that goes back to the premise of drafting players for more than just their college statistics.

“Very rarely does a player fail because of physical ability,” Douglas said. “All of these players are being discussed and drafted for a reason. There’s all a prerequisite of talent. I do think intangibles come into play quite a bit when you talk about success and failures.”

The rest of the 2018 class, aside from fourth-round cornerback Avonte Maddox, mostly falls under the category of “to be determined.” Maddox’s talent was obvious, but what gives him additional worth is his versatility. He could conceivably play one of four positions — slot or outside cornerback, free or strong safety — at some point in his career.

Fifth-round defensive end Josh Sweat was a slight gamble considering his knee injury history. He played sparingly before an ankle injury ended his season.

The Eagles are optimistic about the potential of their final two selections from 2018 — fifth-round guard Matt Pryor and seventh-round tackle Jordan Mailata — but both could remain developmental prospects for another year if the starting offensive line stays healthy.

Strong opinions

There isn’t one formula for drafting success. The Eagles have done fairly well over the last decade under Roseman’s stewardship, especially when compared with other teams. But Douglas, who spent most of his formative scouting years with the Ravens under general manager Ozzie Newsome, was brought in partly to bring another viewpoint to the process.

In terms of roster-building, philosophically speaking, Douglas and Roseman have their similarities. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who worked under both as a scout, said they have a shared belief in “building in the trenches.”

But Jeremiah, during a conference call Thursday, went on to highlight the strengths of each executive, and in his descriptions their differences are just as clear.

Douglas is “big on the person, not just the player,” Jeremiah said. “Really, really digging on those guys and finding out who are the real tough guys. That’s something that’s kind of been his calling card as a scout for a long time.”

Roseman didn’t take a traditional scouting path to heading a personnel department, so he might not be as concerned with the nuts and bolts of a prospect. But his strengths lie in maximizing value.

“He understands the board in terms of supply and demand at certain positions,” Jeremiah said, “ … and being able to say, ‘Hey, I know we like this guy, but we can still get him or we can get somebody else we like just as much and we can get a little something extra.”

In theory, the styles should complement each other. Douglas and Roseman spoke about their shared traits of passion and of a willingness to set their egos aside for the betterment of the team. But they conceded that there are as many tough conversations.

“There’s a lot of things that Joe is; being a yes man isn’t one of them,” Roseman said. “I think that that’s really been the best part of our building, is that we have a lot of opinions, a lot of strong opinions, we have a lot of good people in our building and nobody is just agreeing just for the sake of agreeing.”

Roseman’s voice, though, is the last to be heard when a final decision is made. He’s on his fourth vice president of player personnel and other prominent members of the Eagles front office have left during his time in personnel. Of the group — Jason Licht, Tom Heckert, Lou Riddick, Ryan Grigson, Joe Banner, Tom Gamble, and Ed Marynowitz — only Grigson left for a job with more authority.

Douglas’ fingerprints were all over the Eagles’ 2017 offseason. He had direct links to several acquisitions, and the signing of established veterans to short-term contracts was something Roseman hadn’t done to quite that extent before. Lurie’s statement that Douglas was the “best move of the offseason,” if hyperbolic, had some prescience as the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.

But the following August, after Lurie extended Roseman’s and coach Doug Pederson’s contracts through 2022, the owner, when asked about Douglas’ contributions, downplayed his role.

“I won’t talk about anyone else’s contract today,” Lurie said, “but Joe is a valued member of our staff and contributes, as do many, many people that never get written about.”

Lurie has fostered a collaborative environment, and the Eagles’ recent success corroborates the public face of harmony Roseman and Douglas presented Tuesday. But neither got to where he is by being passive.

“There’s no doubt when there’s passion,” Roseman said, “there’s passion.”

Douglas smiled and agreed.

 
 

I so hope this guy turns it down and leaves Johnson and Gase holding their schmeckles.

 

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1 minute ago, BettyBoop said:

Hahahahahahaha

I thought you were done with the Jets. Why are you still here?

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Eagles' investments in the O-Line since 2016 (Douglas was hired in May '16):

  • OT Andre Dillard:  2019 1st round pick
  • Starting LG Isaac Seumalo:  3rd round pick in 2016
  • Starting RG Brandon Brooks:  Signed to a 5-year deal in 2016 (previously a Texan)
  • G/C Stefen Wisneiwski:  Signed to 3-year deal in 2016 (previously a Jaguar), benched in 2018, then brought back in 2019 (presumably on a cheap deal)
  • OT Matt Pryor:  2018 6th rounder
  • OT Jordan Mailata:  2018 7th rounder
  • OT Helapoulivaati Vaitai:  2016 5th rounder
  • G Iosua Opeta:  2019 UDFA acquisition --> was projected 6th/7th rounder and compared to Kelvin Beachum

 

They did all this despite having LT Jason Peters, C Jason Kelce, and RT Lane Johnson all entrenched as starters since 2013. 

THIS is how you build an O-Line pipeline:  Draft O-Linemen every season, even if you already have plenty of depth there, and supplement with free agent pickups. 

It's also a great way to win a Super Bowl. 

 

VS. JETS under Macc:

  • G James Carpenter:  Signed to 4-year deal in 2015
  • G Willie Colon:  Signed to a 1-year deal in 2015 (started 6 games, then never played again)
  • G Jarvis Harrison:  Drafted in 5th round in 2015 (spent 2015 on PS, then was cut in 2016)
  • OT Ryan Clady:  Received in trade for 5th rounder in 2016, got back a 7th (started 8 games then got hurt and retired)
  • OT Brandon Shell:  Drafted in 5th round in 2016 (29 starts, received a 62.7 grade from PFF last season, # 56-ranked OT)
  • LT Kelvin Beachum:  Signed to 3-year deal in 2017 (86 starts, received a 65.9 grade from PFF last season, # 48-ranked OT)
  • G/C Spencer Long:  Signed to a 4-year deal in 2018 (couldn't snap, released in February 2019)
  • G Kelechi Osemele:  Received in trade for 5th rounder in 2019, got back a 6th
  • OT Chuma Edoga:  Drafted in 3rd round in 2019

 

The Eagles had 3 entrenched starters on their O-Line prior to 2016, yet have used a 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounder on O-Linemen, and signed 2 others to significant contracts in that span.

The Jets have had O-Line problems ever since Ferguson's decline and retirement in 2015 and Mangold's decline and retirement in 2016.  But in Macc's tenure, he's only used 3 draft picks (one 3rd, two 5th's) on O-Linemen, and as a result was forced to send draft assets for older veteran band-aids like Clady (who had an awful injury history) and Osemele (probably his best move on the O-line to date) and overpay a guy like Kelvin Beachum to hold the fort at LT (and he'll need to be replaced next season).  And of course his Spencer Long signing was a complete disaster.

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1 minute ago, Klecko73isGod said:

I thought you were done with the Jets. Why are you still here?

Do you know the definition of insane?

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Good finds—thanks. Sounds like a solid candidate, although I’ll admit the section called “Production over ‘measurables’” made my stomach turn a bit.

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2 minutes ago, Jetlife33 said:

Any idea on when to expect the new GM hiring?

You would think that a solid organization would do it before camp opens.

So, no, there are no guesses.

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2 minutes ago, dbatesman said:

Good finds—thanks. Sounds like a solid candidate, although I’ll admit the section called “Production over ‘measurables’” made my stomach turn a bit.

Everyone looks good until they come here. Then it turns into a true pukefest. 

That statement seems to belie an analytical approach.

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2 minutes ago, Scott Dierking said:

Everyone looks good until they come here. Then it turns into a true pukefest. 

That statement seems to belie an analytical approach.

I’m just puking all the time at this point

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3 hours ago, BettyBoop said:

I so hope this guy turns it down and leaves Johnson and Gase holding their schmeckles.

 

It's ok to take Macc's nuts out of your mouth now.

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Could the Eagles refuse to allow the Jets to interview him?  Is that possible? 

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I like what I am reading about Douglas in this article and elsewhere. The thing is this is exactly the guy we don't get. They usually pass over a guy like this for the guy no one ever heard of or thought about for the position. Could things actually be changing? Could they actually have made the right move to get the guy they really want? We will see but I hope they get this guy. Seems like a no-brainer.

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1 minute ago, JetFaninMI said:

I like what I am reading about Douglas in this article and elsewhere. The thing is this is exactly the guy we don't get. They usually pass over a guy like this for the guy no one ever heard of or thought about for the position. Could things actually be changing? Could they actually have made the right move to get the guy they really want? We will see but I hope they get this guy. Seems like a no-brainer.

If me and you are agreeing on something then it has to be the correct thing to do.

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16 minutes ago, Sarge4Tide said:

Could the Eagles refuse to allow the Jets to interview him?  Is that possible? 

Yes it’s possible. They refused the Texans mid-season but that’s because it was mid-season and the Eagles GM said they wanted to focus on their season and that if the Texans would of came around in the offseason it would be different.

we need to strike now.

https://www.nj.com/eagles/2018/01/howie_roseman_explains_why_eagles_blocked_joe_doug.html

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So if we hire Joe Douglas then everything is OK again??

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Just now, MDL_JET said:

So if we hire Joe Douglas then everything is OK again??

They could hire Ronald McDonald and it would be an upgrade over Macc. Everything is ok again bc he's gone.

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4 minutes ago, MDL_JET said:

So if we hire Joe Douglas then everything is OK again??

Dude, some how, I think it winds up better than it was. 

Lol idk man you can’t make this up.

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8 minutes ago, Lith said:

 

We are finally getting our organization on strong footing since the Mangenious days.

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4 hours ago, Jetlife33 said:

Any idea on when to expect the new GM hiring?

Yes, it will happen 24 months before we fire him.

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15 minutes ago, MDL_JET said:

So if we hire Joe Douglas then everything is OK again??

Not for about 11% of our fans.

When Darnold eventually holds up the Vince Lombardi trophy just search for the thread titled, "Why are they getting fingerprints on the trophy?"

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6 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Yes, it will happen 24 months before we fire him.

The Jets have a long history of waiting too long to fire people so the idea that the next GM or Gase will be fired before year 4 is laughable. Let's just hope Darnold develops for the sake of the franchise.

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10 minutes ago, Mavericknyc1980 said:

We are finally getting our organization on strong footing since the Mangenious days.

Hope you are right; but Douglas is not here yet.

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43 minutes ago, Patriot Killa said:

If me and you are agreeing on something then it has to be the correct thing to do.

That cinches it. The World is Ending.

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5 hours ago, Scott Dierking said:

Joe Douglas, the Eagles' top scout, has climbed the ranks to become one of the NFL's top talent evaluators

Posted: April 23, 2018 - 12:37 PM
 

Joe Douglas showed up at the University of Richmond's pro day in 1999 hoping to impress scouts enough to earn an NFL job.

Not with his time in the 40-yard dash or his reps in the 225-pound bench press, but with his résumé.

"We had a couple of guys who ended up getting drafted that year, so all the scouts were down there to work them out," said Douglas, who started 45 games at offensive tackle for the Spiders but wasn't considered NFL material.

"I was a senior, so I would hop in there with those guys [and work out]. But I knew. I knew I wasn't on anybody's radar as a player. So I had my manila envelope with me.

 

"I was handing out résumés, telling them I would work for free. I just wanted an opportunity. I was willing to do anything. Break down tape, pick up coffee, take people's cars to get washed, whatever."

Douglas' pro-day chutzpah earned him interviews with three teams – the New England Patriots, the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens.

All of them ended up telling him, "Thanks, but no thanks." But he kept pestering them, and a year later the Ravens offered him an entry-level job in their scouting department.

"He never gave up," said Phil Savage, who was then the Ravens' director of college scouting, and now works as the executive director of the Senior Bowl. "That was one reason we were attracted to Joe. He never gave up on going to work for us."

 

Douglas became a member of the "20/20 club" – the Ravens' group of eager and talented scouts in their early 20s who were willing to work day and night for $20,000 a year, plus the opportunity to get their foot in the door with one of the league's best scouting operations.

"We were like a young think tank," said Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, who started with the team four years before Douglas. "We were all single guys. We were around the office 20 hours a day, just talking football. We were all guys who were young and learning.

"I watched Joe kind of grow from being a very young guy in the office, kind of a slow-moving offensive-line personality, to a guy that became more urgent. He took to everything he did and really developed his craft and became our national scout [in 2012]. He kept growing and growing and growing to the point where he was just an invaluable piece of our process."

Hot commodity

Eighteen years after beginning his scouting career with the Ravens, the 41-year-old Douglas now is an even more invaluable piece of the process for the Eagles.

Hired as the team's vice president of player personnel in May 2016, he will oversee his second draft for the organization this week.

 
 

The Eagles' hopes for sustaining long-term success following February's Super Bowl title rest on their ability to draft well over the next several years.

"They're headed down an interesting road," said NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who worked with Douglas for four years in Baltimore. "When you're successful, you're going to lose guys every year [in free agency].

"The fallback is you get all of those compensatory picks. So you have to be able to hit on your third-, fourth-, fifth-round picks in order to stay viable. Because the curse of having stars on your roster is you have to pay them. So you have to find cheap starters in the draft, particularly in those middle rounds."

Douglas' ability to mine Day 3 gold will be tested. Five of the Eagles' six draft picks are in the fourth round or later. Right now, they have just one of the first 129 selections: their first-round pick, which is the 32nd overall.

 

The Eagles hope to have extra picks next year as compensation for all of the free agents they didn't re-sign this year, including tight end Trey Burton, cornerback Patrick Robinson and defensive linemen Beau Allen and Vinny Curry.

The million-dollar question, though, is whether Douglas will still be around to run the 2019 draft for the Eagles. He is a hot commodity around the NFL, and will likely be a leading candidate for any general-manager job that opens next year.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie can offer Douglas more money, but unless Lurie is willing to kick top executive Howie Roseman upstairs, he can't really give Douglas any more power.

"I don't think there's any doubt that he's going to be at the top of the list for a lot of teams looking for a GM in the future," said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.

 

Said Savage: "He's certainly going to be on a short list going forward, because I think the Eagles are going to continue to win, and win at a high level. When you're a part of an organization that wins a Super Bowl, there are going to be opportunities."

Nobody knows that better than Savage, who parlayed the Ravens' 2000 Super Bowl title into a GM job with the Cleveland Browns.

 
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Joe Douglas still looks like the offensive lineman he was during his college years at Richmond, a trait that can leave some surprised. “People underestimate how smart Joe is,” one draft analyst said.

‘A scout’s scout’

You look at Joe Douglas, the hulking ex-offensive lineman, and you think nightclub bouncer or leg-breaker. Not scouting genius.

"People underestimate how smart Joe is," Jeremiah said. "You see this big, physical former offensive lineman and you think, 'OK, is he a meathead?' But Joe is the opposite of a meathead. He's passionate, but he's very intelligent."

"Joe knows what makes good players," DeCosta said. "He learned from [Ravens general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and other people here in this organization. He's got the instincts that a lot of guys have. But he also puts the time in. He's got the work ethic and the discipline to do extra evaluation, extra work on guys.

"He's understated, certainly. But he's a deep thinker. He's a critical thinker. I think he's strategic in his thinking. All of those qualities kind of play together to make him who he is, which is an outstanding scout."

Douglas is what football people like to call a "grinder."

"Offensive linemen, they don't want to be in the limelight. They're willing to do all of the dirty work. That's Joe," DeCosta said.

"He's a scout's scout. He's going to go out and look at players. He's going to talk to people. He's going to follow players around. He's going to do his homework. You're not going to outwork Joe. And he's a great communicator."

DeCosta said one of Douglas' best qualities is his ability to "explain" a player. Scouts write detailed reports on players. But Newsome, Savage and DeCosta liked to ask their scouts for impromptu summaries.

"I always walk up and down the hallways asking, 'Who are you looking at? What's this guy look like? Tell me about him. Who is he? What's important to this player?'" DeCosta said.

"A lot of guys struggle with that. They can write a report and read their summaries. But watching a guy play and then reporting back to me off-the-cuff who this guy is, that's a tough thing to do. But Joe had that ability. He could explain the player to you in two or three sentences."

It's nearly impossible to find anyone with a negative thing to say about Douglas. He's respected by the college coaches he deals with on the road, the scouts who work for him and the players at the NovaCare Complex.

"There is a connection, because of the quiet confidence that he has, between Joe and other scouts – and maybe, even more importantly, between him and the coaches and players," said Mayock.

"Some guys don't translate to the other side of the building. Joe does. The players know that Joe knows. The coaches respect him. And that's not always the case. In fact, it's fairly rare when you get universal [respect]. I think it goes back to that quiet confidence he has and people being drawn to that."

Learning from the best

Douglas couldn't have found a better place to cut his scouting teeth than with the Ravens. Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end who will retire at the end of the 2018 season after 22 years in the Ravens' front office (five as vice president for player personnel, then 17 as GM), might be the best talent evaluator in the league.

"We used to say all the time that being a personnel assistant for Ozzie and Phil Savage was like earning a law degree from Harvard," Douglas said. "Because you learned so much from them. You were learning from the best."

The Ravens won two Super Bowls during Douglas's 15 years with the organization, including one his first season there. He's the first to admit that he had little to do with that one.

"I tell people my contribution to that [2000] team was picking up [fullback] Sam Gash and [tight end] Ben Coates at the airport," Douglas joked. "But just to be around it and observe it and see the different personalities and see the team chemistry [was valuable]."

Douglas received a lot of acclaim for being the scout who put the Ravens on to quarterback Joe Flacco in 2008. But his entire body of work was the reason he rose through the ranks of the Ravens.

It was the reason the Chicago Bears hired him in 2015 to be their college scouting director, and it was the reason Roseman brought Douglas to the Eagles two years ago to be his top scout.

"Joe's one of the best I've ever been around," Jeremiah said. "Probably the best thing I could say about him is he has conviction. He finds a guy that he likes, he doesn't care whether he's on an island or not. He stands up for the guys that he really, really likes."

Savage said Newsome encouraged his scouts to think for themselves and not be concerned with other opinions.

"[Newsome] would say, 'Just because the wind is blowing in a certain direction, that doesn't mean that because five people see a player a certain way and you're the sixth person and you don't, that doesn't mean you're wrong and they're all right,'" Savage said.

"One thing Ozzie really emphasized back in those days was, 'Hey, I want to know what you think, not what the league thinks.' Joe has carried that attitude with him from his beginning stages as a scout all the way up to his current job."

Production over ‘measurables’

While Douglas gives proper respect and consideration to the scouting holy trinity – height, weight and speed – he favors production.

That was evident in his first draft with the Eagles last year. Their first-round pick, defensive end Derek Barnett, ran only a 4.88-second 40 and jumped just 31 inches at the combine. He didn't have the twitchy athleticism of Myles Garrett, the first overall pick. But he broke Reggie White's sack record at the University of Tennessee.

The Eagles took him with the 14th pick and he ended up being a valuable part of their defensive line rotation during their Super Bowl run.

Third-round cornerback Rasul Douglas barely broke 4.6 in his pre-draft 40-yard dash, but had eight interceptions as a senior at West Virginia. He ended up starting five games and playing 41 percent of defensive snaps after Ronald Darby got hurt.

Running back Donnel Pumphrey, whom the Eagles took in the fourth round, was listed at just 5-9 and 176 pounds. But he finished his career at San Diego State with 6,405 rushing yards, the most in FBS history.

"Joe doesn't get enamored with swinging for the fences," Jeremiah said. "That's something he learned from Ozzie. He understands that there's nothing wrong with doubles."

"Barnett is a perfect example of that. He's a tough, tough player with high character who was productive at the highest level of college football. When the Eagles selected him, some people said there were other guys with higher ceilings. But nobody argued about Barnett's floor. Joe and the Eagles knew they were getting a good player."

Said Mayock: "Height, weight, speed and all those other measurables are great. You've got to have those players [with those qualities]. But I think, at Joe's core, he believes in the culture of the locker room and bringing the right people into your building.

 

Douglas wholeheartedly agreed with that assessment.

"Fit is a big thing," he said. "We discuss it in our draft meetings. Chemistry. It's a hard thing to quantify. But you know when you have it. We had it last year and we want to add to it."

 
 
 

I am afraid of Joe Douglas.  I mean, physically afraid.  Saw a picture. He looks like a bruiser.

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