PHILADELPHIA - It’s been nine years since the Phillies last made the Major League Baseball playoffs and during that span of ineptitude, they have not had a winning record, managing to achieve just truly average only twice when they went 81-81 in 2012 and 2019.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have had five winning records in those same nine seasons, with four playoff trips, and a Super Bowl title.
It was no wonder that so many summer nights at Citizens Bank Park the past nine years, the Phillies were serenaded with chants of E-A-G-L-E-S.
On Monday night came a different kind of chant.
With not much to cheer about in a desultory 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants that, not so shockingly left the Phillies at .500 with an 8-8 record so far in April, the chants began: “Fire Howie.”
No last name needed, but just in case you don’t know, that would be Roseman, the Eagles’ longtime general manager. The ultimate survivor of three head coaching changes, from Andy Reid to Chip Kelly to Doug Pederson, and of a washout 2017 draft class, which only the first-round pick, Derek Barnett, remains.
There is anger toward the GM that hasn’t existed during his long run in Philadelphia.
The only way he can turn things around is to hit a home run. Make it a grand slam.
What does a grand slam look like?
How about a draft that looks like 2012 when the Eagles traded up to land Fletcher Cox and followed that up by taking Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry, Nick Foles, and Brandon Boykin, with Bryce Brown coming in the seventh round?
That was Andy Reid’s final season and he still retained final control of personnel decisions, but Roseman was given more control over the process that year.
How about a 2013 draft that delivered Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Bennie Logan, and, in the seventh round, Jordan Poyer, who was released here, but has become a star in Buffalo?
Even the 2016 draft has to be viewed through a positive prism. Armed with eight picks that year, Roseman came away with Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, with Jalen Mills and Joe Walker coming in the seventh round.
So, what will it take for Roseman to knock this draft out of the park?
How about Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn at No. 12 followed by a trade back into the first round to land a WR like Terrace Marshall, Kadarius Toney, or Rashod Bateman?
Or this: Jaylen Waddle or Devonta Smith at No. 12 with a trade back into the first round to land a cornerback like Asante Samuel, Jr., or a pass rusher like Jaelan Phillips or Jayson Oweh?
Boom. You can hear Harry Kalas screaming, “Outta Here,” from the heavens.
The home run trot can’t end at home plate, though.
Roseman has to find gems later in a draft where it could be difficult to do so given the pandemic’s squeeze on the 2020 college season and its players.
Asked about not having the annual NFL Scouting Combine this past February due to COVID-19, former NFL GM and current host of a SiriusXM NFL Radio program, Mike Dominik said on Monday that he believes teams will have a more conservative mentality on drafting players they don’t know much about their character.
“The kids who come out of school who have done right or made good choices or whatever you want to say, I think are the ones you’ll be able to push up the board or have the confidence to take in the fourth or fifth round,” said Dominik. “And I think you’ll see flyers in the seventh round, seventh will be workout warriors, guys you’re not sure about the medicals, but you can take and if they don’t have the medical to survive, we’ll move on.
“Maybe look for those guys with really good workout numbers, maybe some of these smaller schools, we don’t have a medical on him, everything sounds good so we’re just going to take him because he has too good of athletic numbers.”
Nevertheless, Roseman has two third-round picks and must hit a two-run shot by going with Payton Turner then Jevon Holland – a pass rusher and safety. Whether he gets them in the third round or moves up to take one. Be aggressive, but then get it right, and these two feel right.
Roseman has 11 picks and not all will be home runs, but he has to get starters now and immediate contributors with more than 50 percent of them.
What he can’t do is overreach for a defensive lineman, like a Christian Barmore or Kwity Paye. If he wants to do that, then maybe trade back a couple of spots.
Whatever he does, he must knock one into the second deck with the bases loaded. Then follow up with another home run.
It’s the only way to silence the “Fire Howie” chants, and maybe even that won’t be enough.
It would, however, be a start.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.