Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni

Q. I want to ask you both kind of what you felt like you needed in the secondary coming out of last year and what you feel like you’ve given the team? (Reuben Frank)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think obviously the season didn’t end the way that we wanted it to, and I think after the season, we sat down and we talked about what we wanted to do to the team and what we wanted to create.

We wanted to create incredible competition at all positions. That was a position that we hadn’t addressed a lot early in the draft. We felt like that we still had some veteran guys on the roster and that we were going to get back.

You mentioned a couple of guys. [Eagles CB] Isaiah [Rodgers], and obviously we had [Eagles CB Darius] Slay and [Eagles CB James] Bradberry, and we had a couple of young guys, but we wanted to add some youth. It wasn’t a position that we were going to try to address in free agency. We wanted to kind of draft and develop those guys.

When you looked at the free agency list and maybe the strength of the early part of the draft, we thought that that was something we could do.

Now, you go through the process, and things change. When you start with a list that you get in January and then you have the Senior Bowl and the [NFL] Combine, sometimes the process thins things out. That’s always a little bit risky, but I think the way that the draft fell allowed us to address those guys early, not force anything, and hopefully add competition to that group.

Q. Nick, can you talk about what you feel like you have now in the secondary? (Reuben Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously really excited about the group that we have with the guys that are back from last year, the guys that we added in free agency, the guys that we’ve added during the draft. Really look forward to getting them out in the field and starting to work here within the next couple of weeks.

Just excited about the competition, like Howie is talking about. The competition that’s going to happen out there. Competition is just going to make everybody better, and we’re really looking forward to getting those guys out there. We have a good room, and we look forward to working with them.

Q. Howie, you said sometimes you can be bias towards hometown players. What was that process like for you balancing your emotions versus what was best for the team when it came to selecting LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr.? (Olivia Reiner)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think, one, you have to stick to your board. We can’t make up a grade on any player just because we like them.

I make a joke a lot of times. You know, the best person I know in the world is my wife, and I don’t want her playing linebacker for us either.

I think for us, at the end of the day, you have to have a certain skill set to play at any position in the National Football League, and so we’re looking for a skill set, and we’re drafting players based on a skill set.

As much as you like those stories, and it’s a great story without the ending, you know. We just started that story, but it’s got to be skill set, and he has a skill set, and that’s why we drafted him. He has a mentality. That’s why we drafted him. We’re looking forward to him being his own person and not having to walk in anyone’s footsteps, but creating his own legacy.

Q. Speaking of skill sets, what do you like about RB Will Shipley, specifically in terms of his pass catching? (Jeff McLane)

NICK SIRIANNI: We’re really excited about Will. Just his ability to make guys miss in space, accelerate off of that, and then also be a threat out of the backfield and also being able to — in the line-up I think he’s very versatile in the things that he can do. Not only you can hand him the football. You can throw him the football. He can line up all over the field.

It will be fun working with a player like him. Obviously I talked a lot about the things on the field because that’s what got him in the door, but what’s made him a special player is the person that he is, the leader that he is, the worker that he is, and we’re really excited to add that type of person to our locker room.

He’s an All-American person, and we’re really looking forward to that, and obviously the talent sticks out as well.

Q. When you are making all these trades in a short period of time, how do you and the organization keep everything straight and make sure that you are on top of it all? (Dave Zangaro)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: We got all these people in this room and kind of know what we’re trying to do here. We know what sounds good and when a trade sounds good. We know what we’re trying to execute. I don’t know. I never really thought about it that way.

As we’re doing this and as we’re getting close to being on the clock, we kind of have an idea of our plan and how many guys are there. Sometimes when we hear a trade, it kind of sounds good, and we do it. [Jokingly] It should be a little more complicated. I don’t know.

Q. Is it sometimes part of a bigger plan, or do you take them as they come? (Dave Zangaro)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think when you start a day like today and you have as many picks as we do, you go into it and say, ‘Hey, what would be a great goal?’ It would be to get as many of the guys that we’ve targeted on day three as we possibly can and at the same time see if we can try to accumulate picks for the future.

We were a little light for next year’s draft going into day three today, and so I think that was a little bit of a focus in the trade talks. Sometimes you’re in trade talks and kind of going, ‘Hey, I’ll take a pick in this year’s draft.’ So in those talks more focused today in particular about instead of a this year pick, we’ll take a next year pick just because we wanted to get back some of the picks that we had gotten rid of next year.

We felt like we had an opportunity with the amount of picks we had today to get a lot of players that we liked, and we were also excited about the draft process. You guys all talked about it. It will be a little bit different draft class next year because of the amount of guys that are coming out next year. That was kind of in the back of our mind.

Q. If I can follow up on that, do you think this franchise values future picks more than a lot of other teams? Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie is kind of part of that, too? (Jeff McLane)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think [Eagles Chairman and CEO] Jeffrey [Lurie] sets a tone for everything we do, and he is never going to only think about the short term.

He is totally focused on trying to win championships, but he is also thinking about how we’re going to look next year and the year after, and I feel like that’s my job, too. That’s my responsibility.

I said this in one of the other press conferences that we had. I feel like I’ve got to do whatever I can to make sure this franchise is in a good position going forward. I have that responsibility.

I think I got a partner here [in Nick Sirianni]. I don’t know. I was trying to think of the right word. But who is — he is always looking out for what’s best for the team. I’ve been very fortunate to work with him and know that he is not sitting there saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to do this for next year?’ And he is going, ‘Man, this sounds great.’

So you have the three of us like-minded about trying to balance everything we can to win a championship now and also trying to keep this rolling so that we can do that in the future.

Q. This time last year you talked about the red star players. Was there anyone in this class that fit that description? (Zach Berman)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know what, I’m going to read you a text because I thought this was good. I got this from two of my — two of our senior college guys. We almost had unanimous “A” football character. I think of those guys red stars. One, two, three. We had five red stars.

We had kind of a philosophy. We wanted to have a mentality offseason. We wanted to bring in people here who had a chip on their shoulder because we felt like we had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. Not in a bad way. Just in a way like we felt like we wanted to do whatever we could to put ourselves in the best possible situation for this year because we had a bad taste in our mouth the last year, and we wanted to bring in as many people. I say we because it starts with us that had that kind of same feeling.

It started in free agency bringing in the free agents that we brought in, and we were looking for people in the draft who had that.

Jeff asked about Will Shipley. Will Shipley is a great example of that. This is a guy who he has a 4.0 in school because he wants to beat everyone’s [tails] at academics.

I know Coach gets a hard time sometimes for playing one-on-one or playing rock, paper, scissors, but he is doing it to find out how competitive people are. He wants to see when he beats them, are they mad or are they just like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care.’ Because he is competitive.

We’re looking for that kind of thing. We’re always looking for that, but it was more important to us more than ever this offseason.

Q. Of those five, who were they? (Zach Berman)


Q. What’s the best basketball story from the Top 30 visits? (Bo Wulf)

NICK SIRIANNI: Best story? Shoot, I just had some good competitive games. I don’t think I have one that just sticks out. The guys were competitive. I was able to get to know guys while in a setting like this. You do it for multiple reasons, but the main thing is to be competitive with it.

Trust me, I don’t pick a sport that I don’t feel like I’m bad at to do it with, and I don’t play them one-on-one. It’s just a shooting game. It’s just more to kind of get to know them in a setting where they can let their guard down a little bit and then also to feel them out with how competitive they are. So I wouldn’t say one story stuck out over the other this year.

HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know what I love, though? I love when they play H-O-R-S-E, and they dunk. They ask Coach to do it, and he goes, ‘H.’

Q. When you look at the picks you did make, all your offensive guys were taken today on day three and everything. Obviously the NFL being an offensive league, this is something that you guys value and everything. Do you feel like you guys were picking for offense mostly to kind of provide depth with what you had, or do you see these guys eventually moving up and starting sometime down the road? How do you see it? (Martin Frank)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: We don’t draft anyone that we don’t think can start. Everyone we draft, we are drafting starters. We feel like we can find backups. So any person that we’re drafting, we see the potential to start.

Your draft picks are so valuable. If you’re not drafting guys that you think are starters, you’re already kind of setting the limit on what they can do. That’s why we talk a lot about tools in their body. That’s why we talk a lot about development because we want guys that we feel like can step in and start.

We know it’s a long season. We’re trying to play 20 games. We know we’re going to need guys that have to come in and fill in if guys catch a cold for a game or two.

I think that from our perspective we didn’t draft anyone — now, obviously we draft receivers. We got two of the best receivers in the league, but at the end of the day we’re drafting guys based on how we value them like we’re an expansion team. When we do our college grades, when we do our board, they’re not needs-based.

Q. On the offensive line, you lost Former Eagles C Jason Kelce and two backups. You brought in a bunch of guys for visits. Would you have been surprised five days ago to look at this class and say that you didn’t draft an offensive lineman until the fifth round? (Bo Wulf)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: It’s just how the board fell. I think there was a run on offensive linemen in some areas where we didn’t pick. When we came back and picked in some of those rounds, it didn’t really fit. We felt like it was more important to stay true to our board than to just kind of reach. Like you said, we have added some offensive line.

But, yeah, I think it’s different. You can rest assured that there’s not a pick that doesn’t go by that is not kind of part of our process. Certainly in my mind trying to make sure that does that. We’re not going to try to be negligent in that area at any time.

So excited about the two guys that we got. Also excited about a couple of the guys that we signed here in the offseason. Not only in free agency, but getting a guy from practice squad and some of our younger guys.

Again, we’ll always look to add.

Q. What are the characteristics of the guys you drafted on the offensive line? (Bo Wulf)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think both those guys, both were team captains. Obviously you talk about [G Trevor] Keegan, the team captain for National Championship team. Can play with power. He has mentality.

Then you talk about [G/C] Dylan [McMahon]. He’s probably a little bit different guy. Elite athlete. Again, a guy that — both those guys that we’ve been on as a staff and felt fortunate that they were there on day three.

Q. When you look at WR Ainias Smith and the tape, what stood out when you guys were going through the draft process to say this is a guy that we wanted to add? (Chris Franklin)

NICK SIRIANNI: Obviously, we were all really excited about him. It’s great when you kind of watch a guy – obviously, when I’m starting to watch a guy, Howie has watched probably three or four times by the time I get to watch him one time, but it’s always fun to go into his office and be, like, ‘Hey, I love this guy.’ I think that was definitely a guy that we did that with.

His ability to run after the catch. His ability to get in and out of breaks. I think he is extremely tough. I love that about him. That’s really what sticks out. Catches the ball really well.

Those are the things that really stick out. It’s going to be fun to see how we can get him the football and different ways that he can contribute both on special teams and on offense.

Q. WR Johnny Wilson, it seems like you guys have brought in a lot of really big receivers on futures deals. Is there something about that framework that you liked, Nick, maybe in the offense when you have a guy that size? (John McMullen)

NICK SIRIANNI: I value the play strength, and so it doesn’t necessarily ever have to be about the actual size. If they play strong, you love that, right, because it’s a game that requires strength.

That doesn’t matter if you’re in the interior of the offensive line or out there playing wide receiver. Again, the strong guys can come in all shapes and sizes. So, we really value that in the wide receiver position. The quickness, the play strength, and he has that. For his size he has good quickness. So, we’re really looking forward to working with him.

Q. Because of that size do you think of him at all as being a possible tight end? (Bob Brookover)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think he can run the full route tree. I think a lot of times you do that when guys don’t have the lower body flexibility to get in and out of their breaks. We don’t see that with Johnny.

NICK SIRIANNI: All his production is coming on the outside, running outside routes. Really looking forward to working with him there at the wide receiver position.

HOWIE ROSEMAN: He’s — what’s the word?

NICK SIRIANNI: He’s unusual. He’s unusual.

Q. What’s the situation at right guard now after the draft? (Zach Berman)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think we have a long time until we play the first game. We drafted a guy in the third round last year that we’re excited about. We’ve brought in some guys here that have started before in the league, and competition will bring out the best.

Again, I think we like the players we have on the roster, and this process is not complete. It’s not going to be complete for a long time at any position, so we’re going to constantly be looking. I promise next week we’re not taking the week off and sitting at the pool. We’re going to be looking at our lists and seeing what’s out there, and we’ll do that every day until we can’t do it anymore.

Q. Without many roster spots open, do you anticipate a smaller undrafted group, or is there some work? (Dave Zangaro)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: That’s why we’re down here. It’s the smallest undrafted group I’ve ever been a part of. How many? Seven? Seven guys? Yeah, different.

I think a big part of that is because we made a conscious decision after the season to try to get guys from team’s practice squads where we had some tape to watch. We felt like that was just for us kind of a unique opportunity that we wanted to try and take advantage of based on this class and knowing that this was a different class, and so it wouldn’t have a ton of the same opportunities in the undrafted market that maybe you’ll get next year. We tried to take advantage of that a little earlier. I think it will be back to normal next year.

Q. (On making trades during the late-rounds of the draft to get players versus the free agent market) (Zach Berman)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, for sure. I think also where our board was that we felt like we got a clump of players that it was in a sweet spot when we started today where our board was and that we thought we could get a bunch of guys.

I think where in the first two rounds when you are waiting for a guy, you think that you don’t have as high a chance of getting him. When you get to day three, you have a better chance of getting those guys. People’s boards are different, it looks a little bit different, so we felt like we could get a bunch of days in day three that we really liked. We have those guys now. Now we have to develop them. They have to come in and play well.

Q. You mentioned the word “unique” a couple of times. Has that become a bigger deal on day three? Maybe you are looking for one specific unique trait? (John McMullen)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: It’s always how we’ve been. We’ve always felt like, again, to play in the National Football League you have to have something unique about you athletically and have traits, tools in your body to develop. Obviously mentality comes with that.

We’re always looking for those guys. I think that’s where we’ve had our best success. Certainly we talk about before every draft some of the greatest sixth and seventh round picks we’ve had have been [Former Eagles C] Jason Kelce, freak, [T] Jordan Mailata, freak. Those guys, if you are going to hit on guys on day three, they better be unusual.

Q. What did you learn about Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio and Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore going through the draft process with them the first time? (Bo Wulf)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I’ve gotten to know those guys pretty well. Just kind of being around the league for a long time. I think that their personalities are kind of similar to when we didn’t work together.

I think those guys love football. They’re very dialed into doing whatever they can to improve the team. I think we’re lucky to have both those guys.

Q. You’re going into Phase Two and Phase Three of the offseason. Are there things that you want to accomplish maybe different this year because of the way things ended last year? (Bob Brookover)

NICK SIRIANNI: Sure, yeah, you always are re-evaluating things after each year and think about the things that you’ve done well as far as your process goes and the things that you feel like you can improve. So, yeah, just making a really strong effort that we’re all working our butts off in the weight room. The guys have been unbelievable down there. Our strength coaches have done a great job leading the way here for the first couple of weeks, and our guys have worked really hard down there.

So, we just want to continue that. Really what you are just trying to do right now is take each day one day at a time and continue to build the culture. Your culture is your behaviors, what you kind of value and your behaviors consistently every single day. That’s all we’re really trying to do right now is work our butts off in the weight room, get ourselves mentally ready for the times when we are going to go on the field, and practice coming up here in the spring with our meetings and stuff like that.

Slight, different things change in the process year in-year out, and we’ve definitely had a couple of different changes there.

Q. How have you prepared for Eagles vice president of football administration Jake Rosenberg’s departure, and are you expecting any other front office changes? (Zach Berman)

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I don’t know that I’ve really dealt with Jake’s departure. I’m going to miss him. Obviously very close relationship. He’s someone I rely on and off the field. I think that we have people in place, but to me he’s irreplaceable, just the person he is and what he brings to this team. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have really good people, but yeah, I’ll miss him.

Q. You guys mentioned earlier obviously you wanted to draft guys with a chip on their shoulder. Because of the way last year ended, have you guys noticed that same chip among the players who are coming back, especially from what you have seen during this offseason? (Martin Frank)

NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, I just think everybody is, hey, we’re starting again and just starting again. Obviously none of us are satisfied. All of us are pissed off of how that ended. But we’re working every single day in the sense of how do we get better today, how do we get better today, how do we get better today, and putting it one day at a time.

I do sense that everybody has that feeling of unsatisfaction from last year. And that’s a good thing when you can control it, right? That’s our job is to make sure that we’re controlling it and not knowing — we can’t go out and win the first game right now against Green Bay or anything like that. We have to take it one day at a time and do what we need to do today to get ready.

If that chip on your shoulder is helping you get ready, cool. If it’s a distraction, then we have to be able to eliminate that. Everybody is a little bit different there, but I do sense the unsatisfaction from everybody and the determination to work their butts off because that’s what I’m seeing every day is some special things in the weight room, but that’s two weeks, right?

It can’t be special for two weeks and then we take a week off. It has to be special every day, and that’s how you build a good culture.