Some Scouting Changes

Posted: May 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 34 Comments »

Sorry for the lack of activity yesterday.  I got caught up in a project that took far longer than anticipated.  Who knew that a lengthy comparison of Mike Labinjo’s NFL career vs Tony Hunt’s would be so time consuming?

The Eagles announced some changes to the Personnel Department yesterday.

Here are the departures:

Phil Savage – Senior Consultant – left to run the Senior Bowl
Daniel Jeremiah – area scout – left for media gig
Ahmad Russell – area scout – left for the Colts

Here are the hirings:

Tom Donahoe – Senior Consultant
Ed Marynowitz – Asst. Director of Pro Scouting
Jake Hallum – Senior Scout
John Middlekauff – area scout (West Coast)
Dan Hatman – Pro Scout
Alec Halaby – special assistant to the GM
Jake Rosenberg – manager of Football Administration

The big name there is Tom Donahoe.  At one point, he was considered one of the sharpest Personnel guys in the NFL.  He was the GM of the Steelers during the 90’s.  That’s when they lost free agents every year and replaced them with similar and sometimes better players.

Donahoe is a good football guy, but he has some issues with power.  He left the Steelers after losing a battle with Bill Cowher for control of the team.  Donahoe was snatched up by Buffalo, but had a rocky tenure up there.  He made some good personnel decisions, but didn’t always handle the little things well.  Amazingly, he’s been out of football since the end of the 2005 season.

Donahoe has been itching to get back into the league.  Howie Roseman said that Donahoe has been evaluating players for the past several drafts, doing reports on 200 guys this year alone.

It is interesting to see Donahoe hired by Roseman.  If you asked Tom back in 1995 about a GM with Howie’s background, Tom would have likely snickered in a derisive fashion.  Everything I’ve read about him over the years is that he is an old school guy.  You work at BLESTO, then for a team, then get promoted, and then promoted again, and become GM at age 50.  And you must have an extensive football background.

Tom is desperate enough to get back in the league that he put his ego aside and said thank you when Howie threw him a life preserver.  From Howie’s perspective, it helps his credibility with old school football guys to hire one of their own.  That’s smart.  Howie will always have those who look down on him because of his background.  Well…if you can’t have that, hire guys that do.  And Tom is a sharp guy when it comes to evaluating players.

One interesting angle on this…Chris Mortensen is practically Donahoe’s girlfriend from time they spent together at ESPN.  When Tom was fired by the Bills, suddenly Mort had anti-Bills info for a couple of years.  I think the bias has died down a bit.  With Donahoe on board, we do need to pay more attention to what Mort says about the Eagles.  He now has a very good source.

* * * * *

The hiring of Ed Marynowitz is interesting.  He was working at Alabama and heading up their recruiting efforts.  He’s going to work on the Pro side of things here.  Clearly the Eagles feel like he can evaluate players.  You would just think that he’d be ideally suited to scouting college prospect and not pro players.

The fact that he was the Director of Player Personnel for ‘Bama shows you that he has some administrative capabilities as well.  That makes me wonder if his hiring isn’t being done as a safeguard against losing Louis Riddick in the future.  Riddick has proven to be a very good Director of Pro Personnel here.  The next step for him is a GM job.  If he does leave, we need someone who can take his place.  Enter Marynowitz.

As an added bonus, Marynowitz can help with scouting college players.  Pro guys do some reports to help with the draft.  Marynowitz has known a lot of these guys going back to high school.  He can help with a lot of background stuff.  And he knows the SEC like the back of his hand.  That is the top conference for finding NFL talent.

* * * * *

The other hires were less noteworthy.  Jake Hallum is another old school football guy.  He was a scout here from 1995-1999.  He is in his 70’s (almost as old as Les, Domo, and Roobs!).  I would love to go ask him what the grade was on Jon Harris in 1997.  I wonder if Jake had a heart attack when Ray Rhodes told the room that Harris was going to be the pick.

I talked earlier about Howie and the old school football guys.  Well, Howie has a little Moneyball to his game.  Alec Halaby is a Harvard grad who studied English and economics.  Jake Rosenberg is a Penn grad who also studied economics.  You can bet they’ll be doing some interesting reports for Howie.  I have no problem with this kind of stuff being mixed in.  I will only get worried if Scott Hatteberg is atop our list of key free agents next March.

Rosenberg’s primary job is helping with the salary cap and the financial side of things.

* * * * *

Les Bowen asked Howie about whether anyone would get Ryan Grigson’s old gig of Director of Player Personnel.  Howie said no.

You have to understand that the title and the job are different.  Grigson had that title as a promotion.  He was essentially the Director of College Scouting with a couple of extra powers. Now we have Anthony Patch as the Director of College Scouting.  Where Grigson was 2nd only to Howie, now you have a more a more traditional set-up.

GM – runs the team

Director of College Scouting – handles the college side of personnel

Director of Pro Scouting – handles the pro side of personnel

Those are the 3 key jobs.  Calling someone the Director of Player Personnel is done generally in one of two instances.  First, it is a title given to someone on a team that doesn’t have an outright GM.  Some organizations don’t like the title of GM.  It conflicts with a coach or owner who is involved with decision making.

Tom Heckert was the Director of Player Personnel here under Andy Reid.  There was no official GM at the time.  It was him and Andy.  Tom got promoted to VP of Player Personnel and then later they finally broke down and named him GM.  Just titles.  His job didn’t necessarily change all that much.  He got paid more and had more power, but that’s it as far as I know.

With Howie as GM there is no need for someone to be the Director of Player Personnel.  That title will be given to Louis Riddick or Anthony Patch if the team feels like it is a move that has to be made to keep them around.  And that’s the other time the title is used…as a promotion.  Again, the actual duties don’t change all that much, but it looks good on the resume and it comes with a raise.

* * * * *

I’m leaving this post with just the scouting stuff.  I’ll get back to the OTAs and other topics later this afternoon/evening. story with full details on the hires

34 Comments on “Some Scouting Changes”

  1. 1 Sam Lynch said at 12:13 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I swear, if you go back through the archives, Jeff Lurie will be quoted in 1998 as saying that they hired Modrak because they wanted to get their own version of Donohoe. He was what the team was aspiring to.

    A lot changes in 14 years, eh?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:27 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I found some old Eagles Digests recently. I’ll look through them and see if I can find something on that.

  3. 3 Derek / IgglesBlog said at 12:31 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    “Who knew that a lengthy comparison of Mike Labinjo’s NFL career vs Tony Hunt’s would be so time consuming?”


  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 1:02 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    How dare you call my bluff !?!?!

  5. 5 Derek / IgglesBlog said at 1:10 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Well now I’m just sad.

    Guess I’ll go back and see if anything’s changed in his wikipedia entry since the last time I looked.

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 8:41 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Wow, it is like The Blues Brothers. If we can just get that guy who talks about sandwiches here you goes will have the band back together.

  7. 7 Kirk Belmont said at 1:16 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I have liked the articles Daniel Jeramiah has writen for He has some really interesting stuff.

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 1:18 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    He is an Appalachian State graduate. Would you expect anything less?

    He left scouting because of the travel. He’s got young kids and wanted to spend time with them. Scouting is tough on guys with families … at least the ones that like their families.

  9. 9 Anders Jensen said at 2:17 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I could imagine, but it might be because he is new and still got the scouting angle, but he seems to wright more quality stuff and less controversial stuff then his colleges

  10. 10 A_T_G said at 8:46 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Wright, colleges? Are those Appalachia jokes? I’m glad to see you took it a step above focusing on the number of teeth.

  11. 11 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:18 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    once again, i love your writing tommy. thanks for working in a quick refresher history lesson in with your current news recap. gives it a nice perspective.

  12. 12 austinfan said at 1:46 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Donohue is kinda bizarre, but Howie is feeling very secure these days, as he should, he just had the best offseason (starting last August, think about it) that I can remember, he’s on a serious roll.

    Overall, Eagles must have one of the deepest scouting groups in the league, they bulked up when Licht came on board, and even with the defections, may actually have more people – a lot of teams try to cut costs in the front office which is kinda silly (hmm, let’s save a few hundred thousand by skimping on the guys gathering data to make information on a $120M player budget, sorta like trying to balance the budget by cutting the IRS so we can reduce tax collections).

    Hallum sounds like a favor to an old Eagle guy, Halaby and Rosenberg are simply to remove mundane tasks from Howie’s plate. “Saw an interesting article on some flaky Eagle website run by a guy with a pudding and PBR fetish, go check it out.”

  13. 13 89tremaine said at 1:54 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Tommy – this is the wrong place to ask this, but figured it was easier to post in the most recent article. What do you think the odds are of Graham becoming the starter at DE this year? My thinking is that he could play the run better than Babin on first and possibly second down and then Babin comes in on 2nd and long and 3rd down to rush the passer.

    I know Graham struggled as a rookie in this regard, but he was great versus the run at Michigan and I’d expect (hope?) that he’d be able to make the transition during this offseason.

  14. 14 TommyLawlor said at 2:00 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Graham can be the starting LDE if he wins the job. I know that is a trite answer, but it is the truth. The player who does the best will get it. Chances are that will be Babin since he is so good in Wash’s system.

    Remember that the DEs in the Wide-9 are taught not to focus on the run. Their primary job is to get after the QB. This isn’t a conventional scheme because of that.

    I do think Graham can be a solid run defender.

    I am interested to see if Cox gets some time at LDE vs teams who are running on us.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 2:25 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    @ A-Fan…

    It has always bugged me when people call Eagles cheap and then don’t pay attention to things like the size of the Scouting Dept. Lurie gives them lots of resources. They don’t cut corners like some teams.

    Not sure what to make of Hallum. He did work for NE and we know the Eagles love the Pats castoffs. Can’t hurt to have someone with his pedigree around. Young scouts like Brett Veach can learn a lot from him.

    Flaky Eagle website? I prefer half-awesome, half-mega-awesome. Crappy is also an acceptable answer.

  16. 16 Eric Weaver said at 2:05 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Seems Brett Veach will have to wait another year for a potential promotion.

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 2:19 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    He’s young. No need to give him a promotion yet. Let him scout for a couple of more years before making him Asst College Scouting Director or anything like that.

  18. 18 Steve H said at 2:37 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Hey this is off topic but heres a quote from Big Red about Brandon Graham that I saw over on BGN:

    “I think he’s done well. It looks like he’s in really good shape and there is zero effects of the knee right now. He’s moving fast. I don’t know if you’d call it a chip on your shoulder, but he wants to do well. He wants to prove that he’s a quality NFL player and I think he’s on a mission to do that.”

    The interesting part is the zero effects of the knee, now we know that microfracture surgery can prevent someone from ever getting back to 100% athletically, but Big Red says zero effects… is that just typical coach speak or is it a sign that the surgery was successful to the extent that he will regain 100% use of the knee? Could be great news for his career if he doesn’t suffer any lingering effects from the microfracture surgery.

  19. 19 iskar36 said at 2:49 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    It’s good to hear that, but I would say it is probably mostly coach speak at this point. I don’t think AR is necessarily trying to hide the truth, but the reality is until the players put on pads and actually do some hitting, it will be hard to really see how Graham’s knee holds up.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 3:15 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Reid wouldn’t say that unless he felt it was true. He’s putting Brandon out there with no excuses when he says that.

    Had Reid hedged and said “He looks great, but he’s still working on a knee that underwent microfracture surgery so we’ll just have to wait and see”…something like that would have made me nervous.

  21. 21 Steve H said at 9:26 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Thats kind of what I was thinking Tommy, Reid isn’t one who is careless with his words to the media. Hopefully thats the truth, let BG have a chance to show he can play!

  22. 22 ACViking said at 2:56 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    RE: Modrak as the Next Donahue – circa 1998

    T-LAW (a/k/a “Sheriff”):

    Here’s a great July 1998 article from by Phil Sheridan

    The title: “Modrak’s Challenge: Fit Eagles Into Steelers’ Mold The New Director Of Football Operations Comes From A Club Marked By Stability And Success.”

    The link is here:

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 3:24 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Great find.

    Modrak was crucial in getting this franchise headed in the right direction.

  24. 24 nopain23 said at 3:21 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Off Topic
    Am I the only one who thinks the best news to come out of OTAs and minicamps etc. is that there are…NO INJURIES!!!!!!!!….no acls,Achilles,hamstrings….everyday the iggles get by with no injuries I breathe a bit easier…..

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 3:27 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    What about Keenan Clayton?

    j/k It is good to have the guys all intact.

  26. 26 eaglesfanbig5 said at 3:37 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I know we are in a good place contract wise after reading the post on bloggingthebeast about having our team set for next couple years on offense and with the majority of our players but moving forward who would you rank importance wise as the guys who need to be extended next? I would have it as

    1) Maclin
    2) DRC
    3) Nate Allen (I am expecting the best Nate this season)

  27. 27 Anders Jensen said at 4:00 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    DRC is more important then Maclin next year consider he is a FA and Maclin will still have a season left

  28. 28 Chris said at 4:08 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    While I agree with you that DRC is more important than Maclin from a positional standpoint, Maclin has produced more consistently over his career to this point than DRC. I think his contract will be more difficult to agree upon than DRC who if handled before this season or at the start of the season should be able to get completed at a cheaper price than Maclin who has done nothing but produce in the NFL. We also always have the option of franchising DRC if need be. At the end of the day we need to get both of them signed this year in my opinion.

  29. 29 A_T_G said at 12:51 AM on May 26th, 2012:

    I don’t know. I see it the other way. Maclin was consistent. Both sides can agree easier on what he should be worth. DRC has a pro bowl in his past and some less than stellar play. The two sides could easily each focus on the part that helps their case, leaving a big gap in the middle.

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 5:00 PM on May 25th, 2012:


    DRC is going to be a FA at the end of the year. This is a passing league. CBs are critical. While you can find WRs (Cruz), most good CBs are guys that were early picks.

    Mac is very important for continuity and for being a high character guy. In terms of what he does on the field…mixed bag. He showed big signs in 2010. Last year he took a step back, but had some crazy circumstances. If he builds on 2010 and has a breakout year… this could all change.

  31. 31 D3FB said at 6:33 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    Interesting note from the Chung Video on

    When talking about Bell, he mentions that “All guys learn different ways just like in the classroom, you gotta figure out how they learn and then teaching them is no problem” or something to that effect. This quote more than anything else makes me very happy that he is in our organization and being groomed to take over for Mudd. Speaking from experience this quote is dead on, and I’m sure D3Keith will second my opinion. I have seen some guys that you can install all you want on the whiteboard but until they get out on the field and get the reps they just dont get it. On the other hand you have guys who are more cerebral and don’t just need to know what to do but why your doing it etc. I expect great things from Chung in the future.

  32. 32 GeorgeFleep said at 7:25 PM on May 25th, 2012:

    I came across this and made me laugh. Twitter feud sparks fight at eagles practice (was from last year):

    If you are on twitter i have made lists:
    1- Eagles parody accounts:!/GeogleFleep/eagles-parody
    2- Eagles beat writers/insiders accounts:!/GeogleFleep/eagles-reporters-writers
    3- Eagles players:!/GeogleFleep/eagles-players
    4- Eagles official twitter accounts:!/GeogleFleep/eagles-official

    Lists are good so you see everything that is put out. I do not usually search for articles anymore they just show up on twitter. Follow these lists if you have a lot of people you follow or just want to make sure you get all the info, links, or whatever.

  33. 33 GeorgeFleep said at 8:01 AM on May 26th, 2012:

    5- Eagles Articles:!/GeogleFleep/eagles-articles

  34. 34 AnotherAndyR said at 10:22 AM on May 27th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy:

    How long does it take a scout/GM/coach to master the draft process? I’ve recently shown that four of the Reid’s first six drafts were below average, but four of the next five were above average. I can certainly imagine that Reid might need many years to master the process, but I don’t know how important his role has been, nor how much continuity he’s had with the rest of the staff. Here’s a link to my study: