Eagles lose top scout Brett Veach to Chiefs

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Eagles lose top scout Brett Veach to Chiefs

With the start of free agency right around the corner and the NFL draft less than two months away, the Eagles have lost a significant member of their personnel department.

Brett Veach, who was entering his fourth season in the scouting department and third as the team’s Southeast region scout, left the team to reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City for an undetermined scouting role for the Chiefs.

Veach first broke into the NFL as an intern with the Eagles in 2004 and was later hired as Reid’s assistant in 2007. He ascended quickly in the front office and was considered one of the team’s keenest scouts.

“Basically, an opportunity presented itself in Kansas City to be a part of Coach Reid’s staff again and [general manager] John Dorsey staff, and it was an opportunity I was excited about,” Veach, a native of Mount Carmel, Pa., and former University of Delaware standout, told CSNPhilly.com.

Veach said he left on great terms with the Eagles, calling his time there “six unbelieveable years” of learning under general manager Howie Roseman, former player personnel chief Ryan Grigson (now the Colts’ general manager) and director of college scouting Anthony Patch.

“Those guys taught me everything I know to this point,” Veach said. “You’re talking about three really sharp minds that I learned from every day.”

Veach left the Eagles shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine in late February and said Roseman graciously allowed him to go. The Eagles didn’t respond to comment and it’s unclear if they’ve filled Veach’s spot.

Ed Marynowitz, who joined the Eagles’ staff last May as assistant director of pro scouting, represented the Eagles at Miami’s and Florida International’s Pro Days on Thursday. Marynowitz had been the director of player personnel at the University of Alabama for four years before he joined the Eagles.

But Veach’s departure leaves the Eagles without one of their most prominent field scouts during the most critical time period for general managers and coaches to lean heavily on their personnel staff. Free agency starts 4 p.m. Tuesday and the draft starts April 25.

For the next seven weeks, personnel staffs will be hosting college prospects for interviews along with traveling the countryside to examine more prospects at Pro Days and private workouts. One league source said NFL teams rarely let scouts get away in the heart of the pre-draft process.

Several of the Eagles’ draft picks over the past few years have come from the prospect-rich Southeast region and from the prestigious Southeastern Conference, including last year’s first-round pick, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The Eagles traded up to pluck Cox at 12th overall.

The Eagles also picked cornerback Brandon Boykin in the fourth round. Boykin edged incumbent Joselio Hanson for the nickelback job and played the position all year, along with returning kickoffs.

After his internship in 2004, Veach went back to work in Delaware’s athletic department until his second chance to work for Reid came in 2007, when he was named assistant to the head coach. He served that position for three years until his promotion to college and pro scout in 2010.

Veach was assigned to study wide receivers in 2008 leading up to the draft. That year, the Eagles picked DeSean Jackson in the second round. Jackson has made two Pro Bowls.

The Eagles promoted Veach to regional college scout in 2011 and assigned Veach to the country’s most fertile ground for college football standouts.

When the chance came to work again for Reid, who was fired by the Eagles at the end of last season and quickly hired by the Chiefs, Veach embraced the opportunity.

“Now I get a chance to work with John Dorsey,” Veach said. “It was just an exciting opportunity to learn from another great NFL mind.”

Doug Pederson indicates Lane Johnson will start at RT when he returns

Doug Pederson indicates Lane Johnson will start at RT when he returns

Talk about too little too late.
 
Lane Johnson is due back in two weeks, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Wednesday for the first time seemed to indicate that he’s leaning toward getting Johnson back at right tackle as soon as he returns.
 
Johnson, the Eagles’ best offensive lineman the first month of the season, was suspended by the NFL for 10 games for a second positive test for a banned substance. By the time his appeal was heard and rejected, it was after the Eagles’ loss to the Lions.
 
Johnson hasn’t played since.

The Eagles face the Redskins at the Linc and Ravens in Baltimore the next two Sundays. Johnson is eligible to return to the NovaCare Complex the day after the Ravens' game, which would be Monday, Dec. 19.
 
The Eagles then face the Giants three days later on a Thursday night at the Linc and finish the season on Jan. 1 at home against the Cowboys in a game that will likely have no meaning for either team.
 
Previously, when asked about Johnson, Pederson was non-commital about playing him. But on Wednesday, he seemed to indicate he would move him back to right tackle for the Giants' game.
 
“Listen, he was a big part of our success early in the season,” Pederson said. “So I wouldn’t hesitate to put him back out there.”
 
The Eagles, 5-7 after a 3-0 start, are on the brink of playoff elimination and could well be eliminated by the time Johnson returns.
 
Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai started the first six games after Johnson’s suspension before getting hurt. Left guard Allen Barbre started the last two, with Stefen Wisniewski moving into left guard.
 
Even though Pederson indicated Johnson would return to right tackle as soon as he gets back, he did qualify the statement.
 
“He comes back on a short week, too, against the Giants, in a couple weeks,” he said. “Got to see where Big V is at coming off an injury and see where that’s at. 
 
“We’re beginning the conversations right now. When he does return, we’ll have to see. We still have some games. Have to get through these two games.”         
 
Johnson, the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, started 44 of a possible 48 games his first three seasons, missing only four in 2014 during his first NFL suspension.
 
After the Lions game, he said he hoped the Eagles had meaningful games remaining when he got back.
 
The Eagles are 3-1 this year with Johnson and 2-6 without him. In his four NFL seasons, the Eagles are 27-22 when he plays.
 
“Stay in shape and hopefully the team is good enough to stay in playoff contention,” he said in the visiting locker room at Ford Field back on Oct. 9. 
 
“Come back and I’ll be fresh and we can make a run for it. That’s the best-case scenario. We’ll see what happens.”

Strippers used to ask Freddie Mitchell why Donovan McNabb hated him

Strippers used to ask Freddie Mitchell why Donovan McNabb hated him

Some rivalries are forever. Eagles-Cowboys. Wilt Chamberlain-Bill Russell. Michigan-Ohio State. Freddie Mitchell-Donovan McNabb.

The last one doesn't have the same juice as the others, but former Eagles wide receiver and legend in his own mind Freddie Mitchell can't seem to let go of his beef with Donovan McNabb. It seems like once or twice a year, Mitchell has to come around and rehash his feud with the greatest quarterback in Eagles franchise history, which is exactly what he did with Anthony Gargano on 97.5 FM The Fanatic on Wednesday.

It's nonsense, of course, but each time, the stories get more ridiculous than the last. This time, Mitchell talked about the lengths he would go to try to get McNabb to like him, including offering to watch the signal-caller's kids!

"The things that I would do for him to try to win him over... I would damn near try to babysit his kids," Mitchell said. "Stay in Friday nights and babysit his children so he could go out and have fun and come back home.

"Just throw me the ball, that's all I want. It was that bad where I didn't know what to do."

As always, it's difficult to tell when Mitchell is telling the truth, and indeed, he almost immediately started to walk back his babysitting statement before claiming the reason he lived in close proximity to McNabb in the first place was solely because he wanted to be tight with the guy.

If only the fans didn't prefer Freddie Mitchell to Donovan McNabb, the relationship between wide receiver and quarterback would've had a chance to blossom.

"It was kind of like, 'I'm serious,' but joke... You all go out and have your fun and let me babysit," Mitchell said. "I lived right down from Donovan at the time in Moorestown, New Jersey, and the reason why I moved so close to him was so I could have that relationship with my quarterback.

"I did all the things that it took to establish a great relationship, but the fact that the fans loved me more than they loved him, it pissed him off."

And how did Mitchell find out McNabb didn't like him?

Well, where do you think? From exotic dancers, of course.

"It's funny. I was sitting up in the strip club at Delilah's. I had strippers coming up to me and ask, 'Why does he hate you?'

"I'm like, damn. I'm trying to have me a nice gentleman's drink, and they say, 'Why does he hate you so much?' I'm like what, 'What are you talking about?' Everybody knew it but me, and that's what the problem was.

"When the strippers know there's a problem, it's time to move on to different things."

Yes, that's why Mitchell moved on from the Eagles after four seasons and was out of the league a year later. Not because he only had 90 catches and couldn't get open. Not because Mitchell was a brash punk who to this day still tried to take credit for everything from the idea behind the play call to the full execution of 4th-and-26. It was simply because McNabb didn't like him.

That's what Mitchell thinks anyway, which is why he'll never pass up an opportunity to take a jab at McNabb, no matter how low he has to go. When Mitchell was serving time in prison for tax fraud, and McNabb got in trouble with the law with his DUIs, all he could think to do was attempt to drag the quarterback down with him.

“Tell him we got a cot in here for him.”