Eagles still gathering facts on Te'o hoax

Eagles still gathering facts on Te'o hoax
January 23, 2013, 10:45 am
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Consumed by a head coaching search that didn’t end until last Wednesday, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman only heard bits and pieces of the head-scratching tale of Manti Te’o and the hoax surrounding the Notre Dame star linebacker.

Until he’s completely filled in, Roseman said he’s withholding judgment on the All American’s draft stock and will evaluate the prospect like he would any other with a “blip” on the radar.

“To tell you that I have a great grasp of that situation, I don’t,” Roseman said from Mobile. “I’ve seen how it’s been reported. That’s one thing we’ll get back together as a staff, and make sure we get all the information on anybody who has any sort of blip and make sure we get the right information. But at this point, I don’t know enough to comment on it.”

Te’o, a projected first-round pick, isn’t one of the prospects here at the Senior Bowl but remains a hot topic among the hundreds of coaches, scouts and administrators here this week.

He recently admitted to ESPN that he lied to his parents about meeting Lennay Kekua, a woman who he claimed to be dating but had only interacted with him through phone calls and social media. He also told ABC that he shared those lies with the media even after discovering that Kekua didn’t exist.

Roseman said his evaluation process of Te’o wouldn’t be much different than any other.

“If there’s any blip on anybody’s radar, we’re going to try to investigate it and make sure we get as much information as possible,” he said. “And part of that is our area scouts do a great job of finding that information on guys in their area, and it funnels its way up. And we’ll make sure whoever has that player, we’ll get as much information as we possibly can and make a good decision.”

The hard part in this case, Roseman said, is gleaning enough information in a limited number of interviews before the draft. In other cases, where facts are more cut-and-dried, teams can make an easier determination on whether or not a prospect is lying or stretching the truth.

“That’s the hardest part of this process,” he said, “is just knowing, ‘Is this a bad kid? Is this a bad person? Is this just someone who was trying to have a good time and things got out of hand?’ To tell you that we have an accurate bead on that ever, it’s never going to happen,” Roseman said.

“That’s why people hit 50-55 percent in the first round. You wish you had a better feel for it, and you got to go with your gut a lot of times. But to sit here and tell you I had all the answers, man, I wish I did.”

Roseman said he’s unfamiliar with the growing “catfishing” trend of internet dating hoaxes.

“I got a house on the Gulf about an hour and a half away, and sometimes we go out and put our lines in the water and sometimes we get a catfish,” he joked. “That’s the only time I’ve heard of it before.”