Roseman: Lack of chemistry decimated Eagles

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Roseman: Lack of chemistry decimated Eagles

Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman heard their players speak. They heard every word.

They heard them talk about a lack of chemistry. They heard them talk about their teammates quitting. They heard them talk about not fighting back when things started to go bad.

They heard LeSean McCoy say, A lack of heart.

They heard Michael Vick say, Guys have to understand, you cant do it your way.

They heard it all, and they promise they wont let it happen again.

We know youre going to go through adversity during a football season, and the character of your team is determined during that period of adversity, Roseman said Monday. And when you come out of it 1-11, you have to really figure out who the leaders on this team are and who you are.

The Eagles finished one of the worst seasons in franchise history 4-12 after a 3-1 start.

This is the first time since 1963 the Eagles won only one game after Week 4, and Roseman said the lack of chemistry and leadership in the locker room was a big reason the team was unable to fight back when faced with adversity.

If we had that kind of positive chemistry and that kind of leadership all around, I dont think theres any way we would have been 1-11 the last 12 games, he said.

Lurie said the lack of chemistry in the locker room was the result of the Eagles starting to do things differently, building through free agency instead of the draft.

Part of the reason for that was simply because of years of poor drafting following the 2004 Super Bowl run. But Lurie said it was also a conscious decision to build more around free agents to try to take that final step to a Super Bowl after five NFC Championship game appearances in an eight-year span.

I think that in the last couple years weve done things that have not been as consistent, said Roseman, who became GM in 2010 and had his duties expanded last year. Theyve been more scattered in terms of decision making. You notice it with any organization that has had a lot of success that you will start to reach, thinking, Thats the thing thats going to get us over the top, thats the player, thats the method, thats the mechanism, thats the coach, thats the thing that is going to put us over the top.

So I think we lost some of the exact nature of the method that weve all shared that created the success, which was discipline, strategic thinking, and dont do necessarily what is popular but do whats right. Its kind of a human thing and I take some responsibility for that because I was right out in the forefront of, Lets do anything we can to try to win a Super Bowl for the city and our fans.

At times you probably had to be a little more self disciplined and say, Doing that and injecting that into the locker room, affecting the chemistry of the team maybe in some way, thats not the best thing to do.

Roseman said big-money free agents generally arent as invested in being Philadelphia Eagles as players whove grown up here and developed a kinship with the franchise, the fans and the city.

I use the analogy of people who are born and bred with us and drafted by us as opposed to people who come from different cultures and are trying to fit in, Roseman said.

Weve got to get back to having a core group of guys that are Eagles. That bleed green, that are passionate about this city, that are passionate about playing here and really genuinely care.

When you bring in players from other places, you think that maybe theyre good fits, but you dont know until theyre here, and it affects the chemistry.

The Eagles have certainly found tremendous leaders through free agency or via trades Troy Vincent, Jon Runyan and Hugh Douglas come to mind. But the heart of the great Eagles teams were draft picks like Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Westbrook, Tra Thomas and Duce Staley.

Guys who were Eagles for life. Most of them seemed to hurt more this year long after they retired than the guys in the locker room.

Somewhere along the way, this franchise lost its way building a roster and thats why theyre 33-31 over the past four seasons, and thats why Andy Reid is no longer here.

I think the motives were right, because there was this hunger, this ache, with people who had been here a long time, to win a world championship and to win it now and not deal with another championship game loss or another season where we didnt bring home that trophy, Roseman said.

But when you get in those moments and feel like youre one player away or you just have to go pick this one position or fill this one need, youre getting away from the essence of what the personnel process is, the scouting process is, and we got away from that.

I think we got back to it this year. We acquired one veteran in DeMeco Ryans, who we think is a good player and a good leader for our football team moving forward. The draft we took the best available players, I think we got some good players in this draft, and were going to continue to do it this way.

Youve got to do it the right way. Theres no short cut for doing things the right way, and you learn these lessons. Weve learned some very hard and true lessons.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."