PHOENIX - There isn't a moment to spare, and when some people suggest that is the life they're leading, you sometimes roll your eyes and say, "Yeah, right. How could you have that much going on?" Howie Roseman doesn't have a minute to spare, truly, and you understand why. He's "consumed" with winning Super Bowl LVII, of course, but in his world, as General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, there is so much more going on.
We're already one week into February. The clock on the 2023 offseason is ticking, which means that NFL Free Agency starts in five weeks, the 2023 NFL Draft is just a month later, and the Eagles have some heavy decisions to make and, with that, some opportunities to explore.
"I'm consumed with freaking trying to balance the Senior Bowl (which was played on Saturday), the East-West Game (college all-star game already played), we have a college (scouting and evaluation) process, we have free agency coming up, and then making sure that we're supporting all the people on our staff, making sure they are in position to do their jobs really well during this next week," he says, . "It definitely helps that I've gone through this before. We have unbelievable people in this organization and our advance guys - Dan Ryan (Director of Team Travel and Football Logistics) and Jon Ferrari (Assistant General Manager) out in Arizona - our support staff who have done it and who have the experience and that allows me to focus on the things that I need to focus on. I have total trust in them."
That's the theme for an organization that has been enormously successful during Roseman's time with the Eagles, never more so than the last six years. The Eagles won the Super Bowl in the 2017 season, won a playoff game the following season and were driving for a score and a win in the Divisional Round of that postseason, won the NFC East the following season before a flattener of a season in 2020. In short order, the Eagles changed coaches, traded a franchise quarterback, and rebuilt the roster to what it is now: Star power throughout, 16 wins in 19 games, and one victory away from a second Super Bowl Championship.
Everyone wants to know how Roseman plans to attack the months ahead with some tough roster decisions to make, some salary-cap moves to juggle, and two first-round draft picks in his pocket. Not now, Roseman says. The focus is on the Super Bowl. Those questions will be asked later and the answers will be provided in the moves that he makes.
For now, it's all about beating Kansas City on Sunday.
"I think there's so much focus in going to Arizona and putting ourselves in the best possible position against a Hall of Fame coach, a Hall of Fame quarterback, a great football team, and so I don't know if there has been a moment where you're feeling satisfied," he says. "If we go down there with any sense of satisfaction, we're going to get our butts kicked. I think, for us, it's hard to reflect on the season because we're in the moment and the season isn't over."
Staying in the moment is important to Roseman, who certainly understood the road he had to take back after the Chip Kelly years ended in Philadelphia. Roseman talks about being "knocked down a bunch of times," and having the determination to come back. And to come back stronger than ever.
He is the NFL's Executive of the Year for the second time, named so by the Pro Football Writers Association, just as he was named in 2017. He doesn't talk about it. Roseman just works the roster, obsesses over the big things and the small things, and, well, he gets it done. His is a position that invites critique, so Roseman understands that the 8,000 fans at Sunday's Eagles Send Off Party at Lincoln Financial Field chanting "HOWIE! HOWIE! HOWIE!" were chanting something entirely different in 2020.
That is the nature of the business and Roseman knows the passion of the fans makes Philadelphia the best place to win. It's the job. That's his focus. The job. The roster. Building a winner.
"I love having the opportunity to put teams together. I love working with people I care about," he says. "I love the competition of it. I don't know why I love it and I don't take it for granted that I have this opportunity at all, you know? Every day I wake up and say, 'You know, what can I do today to make sure that our team is in a better place, that the people around me have an opportunity to be successful?'
"And you know, I don't feel like I'm on scholarship one bit. I feel like I get to constantly prove myself and I think there's some negatives that come with that - when you're that determined and that persistent and that passionate, but I am proud that I've been doing this as long as I am and I still feel that way. And you know, I think that when I lose that, I'm probably in trouble."
The Eagles reached the postseason in 2021 and were outclassed in the Wild Card playoff loss at Tampa Bay and Roseman and his people went to work. They had to hit it out of the park in the offseason and they did that by bringing in the likes of linebacker Haason Reddick and cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Kyzir White in free agency, trading for wide receiver A.J. Brown and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, drafting defensive tackle Jordan Davis, adding veteran defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh in November. Tinkering, adding, nudging the roster. Always. That's what he does.
This is a Super Bowl team that has the 10th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft with great talent and youthful promise throughout the roster. This is a time for fans to feel great about the present and extremely hopeful about the future.
This is the work of a large number of people, with Roseman as the general manager and leader, trusted implicitly by Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, who offers full support to an organization that is among the best in every area in all of sports and entertainment.
But now is not the time to relax for Roseman, who when you pay attention to the goings-on around the league is building a very nice General Manager tree of his own. Now is the time to keep the foot on the pedal and finish this season out with the best performance at the most important moment.
"I'm just a reflection of the people that we have here," Roseman says. "We have unbelievable people on the coaching staff, on the field, off the field. Good people win and I think at the end of the day, we talked about it as a staff before the year, for us to give the coaches and the players a chance to be great, we all have to be great in our respective roles and, when you do that, you at least have a chance."