August 16, 2016
On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles traded OT Dennis Kelly to the Tennessee Titans for WR Dorial Green-Beckham. As is often the case when the Eagles make a noteworthy roster move, Howie Roseman will talk to the media about said move.
While fielding questions about Green-Beckham's checkered past, Roseman brought up Brian Dawkins, seemingly out of the blue. Roseman was asked what made him think head coach Doug Pederson could keep Green-Beckham on the straight and narrow.
"Obviously, it's an organizational decision here and it's on all of us; it's on all of us to rally around these guys and give them the support system," said Roseman. "On a different note, today we hired Brian Dawkins full-time to help in this regard. His title is 'Football Operations Executive' and he's going to help in player development. His week here [when he joined us as a scout] we saw the contributions he can make to our football team. And we're not putting it on Brian either; it's on all of us. But we feel like we're going to get a structure in place that we're going to give these guys the best chance to succeed."
Huh? Just over two weeks ago, the Eagles hired Dawkins to be a part of their scouting department. In this new role, it would seem like Dawkins will be responsible for helping players with off-the-field issues? Or maybe the Eagles will just promote Dawkins every time they do something questionable to distract from that questionable thing? Or maybe the elevation of Dawkins will be a built-in answer anytime they add a character-concern player, as in, "No worries, Dawk will fix them?"
At any rate, this offseason, the Eagles added a number of character concern players in the draft, including RB Wendell Smallwood, CB Jalen Mills, and DE Alex McCalister. Here is what their draft profiles said about each of them in regard to off-the-field incidents on NFL.com:
• Wendell Smallwood: "He had showed promise as a true freshman, as well, (39-221 rushing; 11-132 receiving, one start in 12 games), but he nearly was untracked in the following offseason after being arrested on a warrant for a witness tampering charge. Smallwood was accused of telling someone to recant their statement accusing one of his friends in a fatal shooting case. The charges were officially dropped when his friend pleaded guilty in the murder case, allowing Smallwood to continue his football career."
• Jalen Mills: "Though scouts will love his versatility, they have questions about an arrest for second-degree battery of a woman in the summer of 2014 (the charges were eventually reduced to a misdemeanor and he was assigned to a diversion program)."
• Alex McCalister: "He tied for the team lead with 6.5 sacks in 2015, even though he only played in nine games due to injury, missing the final three regular season contests with a foot injury and earning his second suspension of the year before the bowl game for violating team rules. McCalister was actually dismissed from the team at the end of the year, causing him to declare himself an early entrant for the 2016 NFL Draft."
And here is part of Green-Beckham's draft profile prior to the 2015 draft:
• Dorial Green-Beckham: "Considered a problem child at Missouri. Suspended twice by Missouri and arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents. Kicked off team at Missouri in April 2014 after details of his alleged role in an alleged burglary were released by Columbia, Mo., police. He allegedly shoved a female student down some stairs during the alleged incident, but no charges were filed. Missed entire 2014 season."
In recent weeks, Nelson Agholor was accused of raping a stripper, Nigel Bradham was arrested for allegedly assaulting a cabana boy, and Lane Johnson may soon be facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
So I guess if there's a team (other than the Dallas Cowboys, of course) that needs someone to yell at their problem-child players, maybe this move makes sense for the Eagles.