Howie Roseman, Andy Weidl and Nick Sirainni
Q. Hi, guys. A lot of ground to cover here. Just want to ask about the cornerback spot, Howie. I think it’s a bit of a surprise that there hasn’t been one taken yet. Had the opportunity in the second round with [Florida State CB] Asante Samuel, Jr. and then again in the third I think with [Minnesota CB] Ben St-Juste and [Stanford CB] Paulson Adebo. Are you comfortable with the cornerback spot or was it the board that just led you away from that position? (Ed Kracz)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think we were going with the board. We got eight picks tomorrow. We don’t start the season until September. There are other ways to skin a cat. We just wanted to go into the draft, take the best players, and kind of go from there and see what happens tomorrow.
Q. Question is for any or all of you. Obviously the offensive lineman you drafted, [Alabama OL] Landon Dickerson, he’s played all five spots. Where do you think he projects best for you or is that kind of going to be determined? (Nick Fierro)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we think that he’s an inside guy, guard, center, has the ability to play both. That’s very valuable when you’re able to do both of those things.
And then obviously, too, he’s had reps outside at tackle as well. So the versatility of him is really outstanding. We see him inside to start things off, but love his versatility and toughness and his mean streak.
Just glad he’s an Eagle.
Q. Seems like a lot of guys on the roster that have at least some kind of experience at center. Even [T] Jack Driscoll was preparing to play that position before the draft last year. What is your long-term plan there or do you have one? Seems like there is a bunch of guys for when [C] Jason Kelce finally does step away. (Nick Fierro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think we want to get a lot of guys who are good players, and the versatility just helps to have all these guys.
ANDY WEIDL: Sure. You go back to 2018 when we played in London and [Eagles T] Lane [Johnson] got hurt and [Eagles OL] Isaac Seumalo went from left guard to right tackle and played a heck of a game over there and helped us win the game.
The more hats you can wear the more versatility, obviously the value it raises. As this goes along that will be figured out moving forward.
NICK SIRIANNI: When I was with the 2014 Chargers we went through five centers that year, so to me, you need guys with versatility and guys who can snap, because you never know.
Q. Howie, after the [Louisiana Tech DL] Milton Williams pick, the cameras showed the draft room and it looked like [Eagles Senior Football Advisor] Tom Donahoe was not super happy about the pick. Can you shed some light on that conversation? (Bo Wulf)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, when we were at pick 70 there were a couple guys we liked on the board, and moved back a little bit to see how it would go. Couple guys we liked went as well.
You know, these guys spend all year scouting these guys and you get favorites, you get guys that you feel really strongly about. We all do. You know, that’s the fun part about being in the draft room is the emotions of it.
At the end of the day, Milton Williams is an exciting player for our football team. We’re excited to have him. You know, I don’t want to take away from his day, but we’re all excited about that pick.
Q. You’ve talked before about the concerns with drafting players with injury histories. Obviously, Landon Dickerson has a pretty lengthy one. What about him made you feel comfortable enough to draft him given the injury history there? (Dave Zangaro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We think this is a special player and a special person, and we don’t think that there is any chance that this guy would be available at the 37th pick without those concerns. When we think about what kind of player this guy can be and what kind of person this guy could be for our football team, it just was really exciting for us.
Andy, do you want to add to that?
ANDY WEIDL: Yeah, the makeup of Landon; the ability to overcome adversity; the mental toughness; the fortitude that he has as a player, a person; leadership. I think when you took all that into account it made sense for us right there. There was a comfort level, there was an excitement in the building with the coaches and scouts.
The player, what he meant to the University of Alabama, we have great ties down there. Our scouts – [Eagles assistant director of player personnel] Ian Cunningham; [Eagles director of college scouting] Alan Wolking; [Eagles assistant special teams coordinator] Joe Pannunzio here with us, he’s been on staff down there. We have a lot of strong ties and relationships down there, and we knew him very well. Our guys did an excellent job getting the background information, and there was just a comfort level with him there and there was an excitement getting this caliber of player at 37.
Q. What was the process like to medically clear him in kind of an unusual pre-draft process? (Dave Zangaro)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: First of all, our trainers, our doctors do an unbelievable job, our performance staff, of really vetting these guys. And you talked about it, Dave – what an unusual process. I mean, you’re still getting medical information the day of the draft. How unusual is that?
Guys off the board, their fails, we don’t touch them. We rely on their judgment because they’re excellent in their field and at the end of the day, we rely on what they say. We bring them in, get their perspective. We get their perspective on all these guys, their ability to practice and play, how long they think their career is, the injuries that they have – not just Landon, [but] on everyone in the draft. We rely on them and they have done an unbelievable job, really above and beyond, because it’s been so hard to really get this information because it’s been unusual.
Q. Howie, was there any hesitancy in taking Landon because of what happened with former Eagles CB and current Jaguars CB Sidney Jones in the second round? We have seen the opposite of that where you had a guy like Seahawks WR DK Metcalf who did have a medical red flag drop down your board and it went the opposite direction. (Jeff McLane)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think you understand there is risk/reward in it. I think, again, we rely on our medical staff to try to figure out the best way to handle these.
If guys are fails and they’re off the board, those aren’t discussed anymore after the medical meeting. Again, we look at this guy as a guy that’s one of the top talents in this draft, a really talented guy and a culture setter for our organization, and we’re really excited to get him.
I know that when our fans see the type of player and person he is and his fit in our city for our football team, they’re going to be really excited.
[Jokingly] Just we told him when we talked to him on the phone, no cartwheels, right, is that what he did? No cartwheels until he’s fully cleared, please.
Q. This question is for Nick or anybody else who wants to answer. When you draft a guy like Landon Dickerson and then Milton Williams, they’re obviously in positions where they’re behind veteran guys like C Jason Kelce and G Brandon Brooks and on the defensive line with DT Fletcher Cox and DT Javon Hargrave. How much does that help those guys in their adjustment to the NFL knowing that they’re learning from guys like that, and does that help them eventually take over one or two years down the road? (Martin Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: That’s a great question. There is no doubt. That’s good insight by you. There is no doubt that that helps these guys, right? When they go into a place with veterans established, especially the veterans you just named, to be able to learn from those guys, like that’s a big-time advantage for those guys.
You learn from your peers, right? You learn from the tape of great players around the league. Now they get to not only learn from their tape, they get to sit in the meeting room with them over and over and over again and pick their brain.
So in knowing Landon and Milton and the character they have and the love for football they have, they’re going to use that resource. That’s a great resource for them and it’s only going to help them excel their careers.
Q. This one is for Howie. I know you can’t make picks based on public perception, but how aware are you of the overall– it’s been a positive reaction following day one, and obviously you can’t pay attention to it good or bad, but it’s human nature to at least be aware. What have the past 24 hours been like for you personally? (Rob Maaddi)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think we got out of here about 1:00 a.m. last night, and I couldn’t fall asleep until about 2:30, and then I’ve got four kids, Rob, and they woke me up about 7:00 a.m.
And then I started thinking about what we are going to do tonight, and then I think all of us talked to each other about 45 times today and watched tape.
By the time I turned around, DeVonta was here, and we were going to the draft and now I’m here. Like I don’t — I mean, I just asked somebody in this room, they were wearing a sweater and I said, ‘Is it cold out? What’s going on outside?’ There is wind outside of the draft room a little bit, so I have no idea what is going on outside this building.
I have no idea what’s going on in the world right now. If you told me there was a human catastrophe going on outside the world — is there? Am I missing something? Breaking news, CNN, Fox News.
So honestly, the fun thing actually is tomorrow night we’ll all hang out actually outside. It’s going to be really fun after the draft and just celebrate being done and that’ll be fun.
And then I’ll go home and actually [director of scouting operations] Casey Weidl, your [Andy Weidl’s] brother, he will put together a booklet of everyone we drafted and all the reports, and there may or may not be tequila involved, and I will look back and go, ‘This is kind of what we did,’ and we’ll reflect on it and figure it out.
But we’re in the moment right now. We’re focused on doing whatever we can to improve this football team and get the players and people we think we need to climb that mountain again.
NICK SIRIANNI: Rob, I had to go check on my house today. My wife made me go check on my house and the contractor there gave me a high five, so that was my experience today. [Laughter]
Q. In getting back to Landon’s medical, you said no cartwheels until he’s cleared. Is there any sense when he’s going to be cleared? Is training camp, week one realistic, and are you confident it’s not going to be a redshirt season for him? (Zach Berman)
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yes, we’re confident it’s not going to be a redshirt season. I think [The Inquirer reporter] Jeff [McLane] talked about Sidney [Jones] and I think going in [with Sidney] we kind of said, ‘Hey, this is a guy, he’s not going to play this year and we’re just going to get him right.’ That’s not what we were thinking about with Landon.
Again, we know that we’re going to have to hold him back a little bit. I mean, that’s who he is and what he wants to do. But [chief medical officer] Dr. [Arsh] Dhanota [MD, CAQSM], [head orthopedic physician] Dr. [Matthew D.] Pepe [MD], [vice president of sports medicine/head athletic trainer] Tom Hunkele and his staff, all their staff, [vice president of player performance] Ted Rath, they got him covered. We’re really excited, and, again, excited for our fans to meet these guys and get to know them and excited to get eight more guys. Maybe more, maybe less. Who knows?
Thank you, guys. Thank you for taking the time.