Eagles GM Howie Roseman, VP of Player Personnel Andy Weidl, and HC Doug Pederson Quotes 4/23/20
COURTESY OF PHILADELPHIA EAGLES MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
HOWIE ROSEMAN: At the 21st pick, we spent a lot of time watching what was going on in front of us. We had an opportunity to sit there and try to find a player that fit us and fit what we were looking for in this off-season.
Coach [Head Coach Doug Pederson] and I, after the season, right after it ended, we talked about our desire to bring some youth onto the football team and add some speed. [WR] Jalen [Reagor] does those things, obviously.
This is a very good receiver Draft, and there are a lot of different flavors. I joked at some point it was like going to Dunkin’ Donuts and picking out a different kind of doughnut.
Everyone had their favorite type and there was a lot of debate and discussion, a lot of good players at that position in this Draft. But Jalen fit something that we were really looking for. He is an explosive guy, his ability to contribute as a receiver, as a returner, his ability to be explosive with the ball in his hands were all things that we were looking for, and Coach and his staff talked to us as a staff about things that they were really trying to stress.
Q. What set WR Jalen Reagor apart over WR Justin Jefferson in particular, and did you consider trading up into the teens when wide receivers were slipping? (Zach Berman)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think for us, we looked at those options. It was important to us that certainly we kept our high picks. We haven’t had a lot of those. And guys really weren’t in a range where it was even in consideration that we could get somewhere without a really high pick. And then what we looked for, we were just trying to find the right fit for our football team. A lot of good players at that position and a lot of opinions about how good these players are.
You’re talking about really good players, and it’s just the fit. It’s how the coaches envision these guys being used and what they’re looking for to fit our quarterback skillset. So that was what we were trying to do, find the right fit for the Philadelphia Eagles and where we are as a football team, and be a complement to the other players we think we have on offense.
Q. What about Jalen makes him a good fit for this offense, and do you see him as a guy who can contribute from day one? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously talking about the player, it was someone that we had looked at in the Draft. As Howie mentioned, there were a lot of really good receivers and some went before Jalen. This guy is going to come in, and before we start talking about assignments and roles, he has to come in and learn the system.
We’re in a strange time right now. We’re with a chance of not having an off-season and really getting into the playbook until possibly training camp will be the first time that we get our hands on these players.
We’re just excited about the player and getting him in our building when we can. We’re going to have some opportunity this spring, and then we’ll see where he best will fit into the offense and special teams.
Q. Coach, you want to go into a little bit with the skillset you liked for your offense?
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously number one was the speed. This guy, he can definitely stretch the field. His vertical for a 5’10”/5’11″ guy, he can elevate. He can get balls above the rim, as we say.
He has the flexibility of not only playing outside, but also playing inside and his flexibility as a special teams, punt return, and possible kickoff return guy. So this guy has multiple roles coming out of college, and we’re going to see where he best fits us when we — probably training camp before we make that decision.
Q. I think fans will want to know with WR CeeDee Lamb still on the board, going at 17, were there discussions to try to get up into that 16th spot with Atlanta, and was that ever a possibility? (Dave Zangaro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We’re very aggressive in working the phones and having these conversations with teams and trying to figure out where we can move and when we can move. It just has to work for both sides obviously, but we are also very comfortable sitting here and taking a player that has a great skillset for what we’re looking for.
Like Coach [Pederson] just said, we knew there were a lot of talented receivers in this offense and there is a lot of different flavors, and this was the one we felt could really help our football team in multiple ways.
Q. Reagor was used a lot – not a lot – but on gadget plays. He was very successful with jet sweeps and that sort of thing. Do you envision him in a role like that with this offense? How appealing was that to you? (Paul Domowitch)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I would say when we talked with Coach [Pederson] and he was talking about the explosiveness with the ball in his hands and you saw him on jet sweeps, we had a chance to look at all his runs in the backfield as well. I think he took one 70 yards in 2018 against Oklahoma State.
So that’s kind of something that we can always add, and I know Coach, when he talked to us about what he was looking for in the off-season, about a guy who can make plays with the ball in his hands. Whether getting him the ball in jet sweeps, quick screens, or down the field. Obviously, we have D-Jax [WR DeSean Jackson], one of the best all time in doing those sort of things. Just having another guy like that.
We have these two tight ends [Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert] that do a great job in the intermediate area. [WR] Alshon [Jeffery], [WR] J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside], [WR] Greg [Ward] and then our runners are just complementing skillsets here. We’re trying to just build the best team and not just collect talent.
DOUG PEDERSON: Any receiver that has this type of skillset, much like DeSean, with the speed he has, earlier in his career, you find ways to put the ball in their hands, and there is obviously a way to do that.
You see it on film. You see the receiver screens on film. You see the vertical threat on film. The chance of putting him in the slot, putting him outside in different things, in different possibilities.
But, yeah, that’s obviously an aspect of our offense and something that we’ll explore when we get a chance to have this player in our building.
Q. I would like to ask this of Howie and Andy if I could. We talked about the process this year and how different it was. I’m assuming you didn’t have Jalen into the facility before the shutdown. Do you feel confident that you got to know him as well as you would have under normal circumstances? Do you feel like you had the essence of who he is and his character and all that stuff that you try to discern when you bring a guy in? (Les Bowen)
ANDY WEIDL: I think with Jalen, we had a formal interview with him at the combine and got to know him there. After that, we did video chats with him and spent time with him on FaceTime and whatnot.
He’s a guy we have a previous history with. Obviously, his father played here with the Eagles, and so it was a comfort level for us as a person.
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We try to get as many people with as many guys as possible through this process. I think even more guys were talking to these players than we normally have in this process because everyone had the time to go reach out. So a lot people are doing FaceTime interviews with Jalen, and really a lot of players in this Draft.
Q. I understand that 4.47 is really fast, but you guys have talked a lot about playing speed. Is he faster than 4.47, and did you feel like that time that he ran at the Combine wasn’t really a true indicator of how fast he can go? (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think that you see the separation on tape. You see the vertical separation as an outside receiver, and those things are hard to find. When you look at kind of this Draft about guys who can just separate as an outside vertical receiver, there are not a lot of those guys. Those guys are hard to find and they’re hard to find in this league. You see it, that it really fits our quarterback skillset. Our quarterback likes to throw the ball down the field and make vertical throws.
And obviously you know the things that Jalen did test well and the play speed, and we talk a lot about this RIFD data, and so you get the GPS numbers on these guys. So you can see how they’re running in games and their speed in games. He’s running at a really high level. He’s been really fast in those games.
Then obviously he did test super explosive when you look at the vertical and the broad and stuff like that. You see the explosiveness on tape, and then you had it in the testing.
Q. Howie, I think you were talking earlier about possibly trading up. What about trading back? Was that ever a consideration? Did you think the reason you didn’t was maybe because you thought you weren’t going to be able to get your man? (Nick Fierro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I mean, just even talking to teams right behind us, this guy was going to go. It was hard to find this kind of speed. I say it a lot, when you look at the overall class, sometimes medical comes into play, sometimes character comes into play for guys.
So it’s not always as clean as it kind of looks. So when you looked at this guy, it was hard to find outside speed receivers in this Draft. Obviously, a guy went really high who has explosiveness and speed. And just talking to a couple teams here on the phone after we made the pick, he was going to go.
Q. Doug, how appealing is the idea of having DeSean and Jalen on the field at the same time maybe being able to move them inside and outside in hurry up and situations like that? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: We have a lot of guys — it’s exciting. It’s appealing any time that we can get a player of this caliber when we did. And we have to get him — again, don’t misunderstand, we have to get him in our building, get him caught up.
We are very excited about this player, and obviously having DeSean and getting him back and keeping him healthy throughout the whole year and having a player of his caliber, along with Jalen on the field, I think it’s exciting.
And mix it in with our two tight ends, obviously our runners, and mixing it up a little bit with these guys. Our focus is to get him in the fold, get him going this spring when we
can, get him in the playbook and get him caught up.
Q. Andy, we talked in the pre-draft call about guys at receiver who were able to win in space. Is that what differentiated Jalen from maybe some of the guys that went right behind him like Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk? (John McMullen)
ANDY WEIDL: Well, all these players are really talented, and they all have their own specific skills. The one thing I think that stood out about Jalen was his ability — the outside speed, his vertical threat, his ability to go up, play above the rim, and catch the football.
His 40-plus vertical inch, that transferred to the field. And you can see his speed. You can see it on tape running by people, down field, going up and making adjustment catches. Then on the return, as a punt returner you can see it, too. So a lot of talented players, believe me. This is what really stood out about Jalen was that vertical threat, his ability to go up and [get the ball] and make big plays.