Frank: Post-draft Q & A with Eagles GM Roseman

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Frank: Post-draft Q & A with Eagles GM Roseman

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 3:34 p.m.

By Reuben Frank
CSNPhilly.com

David Akers wont sign his transition tag? The Eagles drafted one of the best kickers in college football history. Desperate for a right guard? They found one in the first round. Quintin Mikell is a free agent? They believe they discovered his replacement just a few miles up Broad Street. Huge need for young athletic linebackers? They took three of em.

As usual, nobody will know for a couple years how good of a draft the Eagles had this weekend. No matter what the self-professed experts conclude, no draft can truly be evaluated for a minimum of two years.

But theres no question the Eagles addressed areas of need. The Eagles picked three offensive linemen, three linebackers, a safety, a cornerback, a fullback, a tailback and a kicker during the three-day, seven-round draft.

Late Saturday night, when the dust had settled on his second draft as Eagles general manager, Howie Roseman spent some time with CSNPhilly.com and talked about who the Eagles picked, who they didnt pick, and what still needs to be done.

Q: It was surprising you guys didnt come out of the draft with a defensive lineman. What was the thinking there?
Roseman: Its kind of like the offensive line last year. We knew there were a good amount of players at the top of the draft and they may go really quickly, because its hard to find defensive linemen in this draft, and then we didnt want to just force one for the sake of taking one, because it really fell off at some point. And we have some guys on our team that if we would have put in this draft that we would have had higher ranked than the guys on our draft board. So we didnt want to force it. Well look at all the avenues to improve our team, well re-evaluate our roster after this draft, well see if there are any areas we need to address and if there are, well target them.

Q: You did draft a cornerback in the third round, Curtis Marsh from Utah State, but hes only been a corner for two years and its hard to imagine him being ready to start right away. Why not draft a starting corner?

Roseman: Were aware that youre not going to fill every need in the draft, and if you come out of the draft filling every need you probably didnt have a very good draft. Were going to explore all avenues to improve our team and were aggressive by nature, and I think that were going to try to make sure were going to have the best possible team when we line up. Were fortunate that right now it doesnt end. At some point here, there will be ways here to address some of these needs -- some perceived, some really obvious that you have.

Q: How much of a project is Marsh?

Roseman: Really, to get a 6-foot corner, 200 pounds, 4.4 (speed), productive in his conference and as you talk to people who know him and are around him, really its a blank canvas with him, and thats exciting. Its really hard to find cover corners with that skill set -- 30 (Wonderlic) test score, bloodlines, long arms, great athlete, and he can play. So we were excited to get that guy. Its hard really to put a third-round pick in and count on him as a starter anyway, so were looking at him as someone whos an addition to our team and hopefully in the future come in and have the opportunity to compete for a job.

Q: But if you lined up tomorrow, who would your starting cornerback be opposite Asante Samuel?

Roseman: You know what, were not lining up tomorrow and were going to have competition on this team, and Andy always says well go with what we see, and theres a lot of time before the first game. Its going to be exciting to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan here, and were excited about where we are now and we know we have a lot of room to grow and improve. And were going to do whatever it takes to make sure we put a championship-caliber team out there.

Q: You made your usual allotment of trades four of them this year but the most interesting was in the fourth round. You trade this years fourth-round pick, No. 104 overall, for Tampas fourth-round pick, No. 120 overall, and a fourth-round pick in 2012. So you essentially got a fairly high pick next year a fourth-rounder just for moving down 16 spots this year in the fourth round. How did you pull that off?

Roseman: What happens is that there are some talented guys on the board when you wake up (Saturday) morning, and teams have higher grades than the fourth round on them and if you have a guy with a second-round grade and youre in the fourth round, to go and make sure you get that guy, obviously thats an appealing thing, because you cant use a fourth and a fourth to get a second-round pick. So they obviously felt it was a very beneficial trade for them, we have a great relationship with the Tampa Bay Bucs (and General Manager) Mark Dominik, and it just kind of worked for both of us. If we can have a pick in the same round and obviously parlay it into a pick next year, thats something were always going to try to do.

Q: You guys havent stopped raving about Jaiquawn Jarrett since you picked him. How good can he be?

Roseman: When you talk about Jarrett and the type of player he is, we really feel like were getting a hammer, a Dawkins or a Quintin Mikell-type of player. Hes going to fit in perfectly.

Q: Its extremely rare for anybody to draft a kicker in the first four rounds. That pretty much guarantees hell make the team, which pretty much guarantees that David Akers wont be here?

Roseman: When you look at Alex, you look at a really productive player, a very successful kicker, punter at the college level. All that other stuff is stuff for another day. Weve always said were going to draft the best players. Were going to come back at some point and re-evaluate our roster, see what we need and go attack it at some point.

Q: OK, you guys cant contact undrafted rookie free agents. You cant trade players. You cant negotiate contracts. You cant contact veteran free agents. You cant talk to your players under contract. You cant hold minicamps or OTAs. The draft is over. What do you do next?
Roseman: I have a two-week-old son that I think if they put a lineup of fathers would not be able to pick out his own father, so thats a good thing, to be able to spend some time with my family and get back to being a dad. But weve got a lot of work to do in terms of going back and having a redraft at some point, therell be undrafted free agents. Weve got to re-stack our board, thats exciting for me and the scouts to do. At some point, therell be guys who will hit free agency and weve got to make sure were up on that. Weve got a lot of work to do here. Theres no lack of work for myself and the people who work for the Philadelphia Eagles. ... I preach control what you can control, and Ive got to act that way. It is what it is, and were going to make the best of the situation and were going to be prepared and ready to go for whatever outcome, and when the bell rings, whenever that is, well be ready.
Q: So you plan on being active in free agency?

Roseman: There are areas weve got to address on this team. Were not blind to that. Were not a perfect team. But when we line up and play, I think well be pretty good.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

Related: Didinger: NFL draft winners and losers recap Picking a kicker likely slams door on Akers' return

MLB Notes: Rangers' Rougned Odor's suspension reduced to 7 games

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MLB Notes: Rangers' Rougned Odor's suspension reduced to 7 games

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor started serving his suspension Friday for punching Toronto's Jose Bautista after the penalty was reduced from eight to seven games.

Odor was out of the lineup for the series opener against Pittsburgh. He will be eligible to return June 4 when Texas is home against Seattle.

Bautista was suspended one game, and he was serving that Friday, when the penalty was upheld a day after his appeal was heard.

The Rangers promoted former top prospect Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock, and he was in the lineup against the Pirates as the leadoff hitter playing second base. Odor had been leading off.

Odor's penalty was cut by Major League Baseball special assistant John McHale Jr. The appeal over Odor's role in a May 15 brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays was heard Tuesday. The league disciplined 14 players and staff over the melee in Arlington (see full story).

Red Sox: Struggling RHP Clay Buchholz to bullpen
TORONTO -- Struggling Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is being moved to the bullpen and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will take Buchholz's spot in the rotation, starting Tuesday at Baltimore.

Buchholz is 2-5 with a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts and has allowed five earned runs or more six times. He gave up season-highs of six runs and three home runs in Thursday's 8-2 loss to Colorado.

Rodriguez (right knee) is on the 15-day DL has not pitched for the Red Sox this season. He's 0-3 with a 3.54 ERA in five rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA as a rookie in 2015.

Buchholz has made two career relief appearances, one in his rookie season in 2007 and another in 2008.

Manager John Farrell said Buchholz will make multi-inning appearances in order to remain stretched out and could return to the rotation later in the season.

NBA Playoffs: Cavs blow out Raptors for second straight Finals appearance

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NBA Playoffs: Cavs blow out Raptors for second straight Finals appearance

BOX SCORE

TORONTO -- LeBron James scored 33 points, Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to their second straight NBA Finals by beating the Toronto Raptors 113-87 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night.

It's the third finals appearance in team history for the Cavaliers. Cleveland lost to Golden State in six games last year and got swept by San Antonio in 2007.

For James, it's his sixth straight trip to the finals, including four with Miami. He broke the 30-point barrier for the first time this postseason and finished with 11 rebounds and six assists.

"We needed LeBron to set the tone for us early and I thought he did that," coach Tyronn Lue said.

James will be the eighth player in NBA history to appear in six consecutive finals and the first who didn't play for the Boston Celtics.

"He's just a great player," Lue said. "He's a proven winner. He's always won over the course of his career. To go to six straight finals is unbelievable."

James got there by taking down a Toronto team that set a franchise record with 56 wins and reached the conference finals for the first time in 21 seasons.

After a second-quarter dunk, James shared some verbal barbs with rapper Drake, the Raptors' global ambassador and the man who popularized the nickname `6ix' for Toronto.

Kyrie Irving had 30 points and J.R. Smith added 15 for the Cavaliers, who will face the winner of the Golden State-Oklahoma City series on Thursday.

Cleveland would open at home against the Thunder but would be on the road against the 73-win Warriors, who trail 3-2 against Oklahoma City heading into Saturday's Game 6.

The Cavs will be seeking to end Cleveland's 52-year championship drought, the longest by any city with at least three professional teams. No Cleveland team has won it all since the Browns blanked Baltimore 27-0 to win the NFL championship in 1964.

"This city has been craving a championship," Lue said. "We have the right team and we have the right talent."

Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and DeMar DeRozan had 20 as the deepest playoff run in Raptors team history ended, much to the disappointment of a sellout crowd of 20,605 dressed in red and white T-shirts that formed a maple leaf pattern on either side of the court. Fans stood and cheered "Let's go, Raptors! Let's go, Raptors!" throughout most of the final three minutes.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said reaching the conference finals was "a tremendous learning experience" for his young team, one that's "a step ahead" in its process of becoming a championship contender.

"We're learning," Casey said. "We're not where (the Cavaliers) are right now. We're going to be."

A dejected Lowry said it was hard to see the positive side of Toronto's best season ever.

"Of course you're going to look back at some point but right now I'm disappointed," he said. "Simple as that, I'm disappointed."

Toronto prolonged the series with back-to-back home wins in Games 3 and 4 but never mounted much of a challenge to the conference champions in Game 6, falling behind by 21 in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers came in 0-4 at Air Canada Centre counting the regular season and playoffs, but looked much more like the team that handed the Raptors a trio of lopsided losses in Cleveland this series.

The Raptors trailed 88-78 on a jumper by DeRozan with 10:23 remaining but James scored six points in a 14-3 run that gave the Cavs a 102-81 lead with about 6 minutes left.

James scored 14 in the first and five of Cleveland's nine field goals were from long range as the Cavaliers led 31-25 after one.

After video review, the officials waved off a basket by Biyombo with 3:18 left in the period and gave him a flagrant foul for knocking down Love.

Tempers flared again early in the second when Richard Jefferson reacted angrily to catching an elbow from Jonas Valanciunas as the two battled for a rebound. Patrick Patterson came over and shoved Jefferson out of the way. Both Patterson and Jefferson were given technical fouls.

Cleveland made five more 3-pointers in the second and outscored Toronto 9-3 over the final 71 seconds to lead 55-41 at halftime. The Cavaliers made 10 of 15 3-point attempts in the first half, while Toronto was 2 of 12.

The Cavs led 78-57 after a 3 by Love at 3:53 of the third but Lowry scored 15 points as Toronto closed the quarter with a 17-8 run, cutting it to 86-74.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: Shot 17 for 31 from 3-point range. ... Outscored Toronto 17-5 in fast break points.

Raptors: Finished their playoff run by playing every other day from April 29 onward, a 15-game run that started with Game 6 of the first round against Indiana.

NFL Notes: Jets' offer to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick stands at 3 years

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NFL Notes: Jets' offer to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick stands at 3 years

NEW YORK -- A person familiar with the negotiations says the New York Jets made a three-year offer to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in March that includes $12 million guaranteed in the first year.

That offer has remained on the table for Fitzpatrick, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side is commenting publicly on the negotiations.

The New York Post first reported the terms of the offer Friday.

Fitzpatrick and the Jets have been locked in a contract stalemate. The 33-year-old quarterback is a free agent and coming off a season in which he threw a Jets-record 31 touchdown passes and led New York within a victory of the playoffs.

Both the Jets and Fitzpatrick have said they would like a reunion, but have unable to agree on a deal.

Bears: First-round pick Leonard Floyd agrees to deal
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears and first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd have agreed to a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year.

The Bears drafted the outside linebacker from Georgia with the ninth pick after trading up two spots in a deal with Tampa Bay. Chicago hopes he will add some athleticism to a team trying to build on a 6-10 season. The 6-foot-6, 244-pound Floyd led the Bulldogs in sacks for the third straight year with 4 , and tied for the team lead with 10 1/2 tackles for loss last season.

With the announcement Friday, the Bears have agreed to contracts with eight of their nine picks. Defensive end Jonathan Bullard, a third-rounder, is the exception.

NFL: Navy's Reynolds, Carter can defer military service
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Keenan Reynolds will get his chance to play in the NFL this season.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Friday that the record-setting Navy quarterback Reynolds and fullback Chris Swain can defer their military service to play in the NFL.

Carter made the announcement during his graduation speech to the academy in Annapolis. As students cheered the news about their graduating classmates, Carter said: "Go get 'em."

Reynolds was drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He is the NCAA's career leader in touchdowns with 88. He had 31 touchdown passes while leading Navy's triple-option offense. The Ravens plan to use him as a running back, receiver and kick returner.

Swain has signed with the San Diego Chargers (see full story).

Redskins: Activists criticize poll on team name
WASHINGTON -- Native American leaders and activists have criticized a recent US national poll that found nine of 10 Native Americans aren't offended by the Washington Redskins' name.

On a conference call held Friday by the National Congress of American Indians and "Change the Mascot" campaign, panelists voiced opposition to a Washington Post poll that surveyed 504 Native Americans, 90 percent of whom said the name doesn't bother them.

James Fenelon, a California State San Bernardino sociology professor, called the poll "immoral," adding it was not representative of Native American communities. Amanda Blackhorse, lead plaintiff in the trademark case against the Redskins, said the "misguided" poll will not affect attempts to change the name.

National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata said: "This issue is not about polling. This issue is about human rights."

D.C. council member David Grosso said he hadn't been swayed and that the government would not support the team moving back into the District unless the name was changed.

The team currently plays its home games in Maryland, with its headquarters and training facility in Virginia.