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March 17, 2020

Eytan Shander: Don't rip Howie Roseman (yet), and coping with coronavirus

Eagles NFL
102919HowieRoseman Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles GM Howie Roseman.

Every year around this time – even during a pandemic – we get all giddy about the possibilities of Howie Roseman signing a big-name free agent. It’s what you do this time of year in the NFL. Even the Browns are getting in on it! 

Everyone’s doing it, Howie, so why not you? Ugh. If you are upset about Howie Roseman NOT doing anything outside of a (pretty damn good) signing of a DT, please shut up. This means social media too. Just stop. 

Has winning the offseason ever worked? Look at 2017, you had a couple of guys go down and it was younger players from the draft stepping up. Seriously, just pipe down.

“But Howie didn't do anything...”

Ok, I will attempt to meet people halfway on one – and only one – thing, Deandre Hopkins. 

Let’s just get this out of the way now as I don’t think it was neglect, moreso nobody having any idea how stupid Bill O’Brien really is. 

I would love to watch Hopkins catch passes from Wentz, just like you and everyone here would love it. But this is not like anything else that went down the first day of free agency, and it's really unlike a big NFL move we’ve seen in a while. Hopkins was traded for close to half of his on-field value, and I’m not too sure most teams had any idea he was really up for grabs. 

You could use hindsight to determine how stupid O’Brien was in making the move, but this wasn’t something hanging out there for weeks. Nor was it anything like Stephon Diggs, who has wanted out of Minnesota for at least a year. He got his wish, and I do not fault Howie for not making that trade. You know why? Because you need to build that specific position in the draft.

“But Howie can't draft...”

Well… there is some truth to this. I am just as frustrated with players coming out of college and asked to play the WR position. Clearly Nelson Agholor didn’t work out the way they wanted, and things aren’t looking too positive for JJAW. So, do we just give up? Sign a bunch of guys to Alshon Jeffery-type deals and find ways to creatively release them in two years? No, of course not. 

I’m not sure why some of you are so intent on running Roseman out of town, even calling him a fluke. The problem with that is then everything is a fluke. The whole 2017 season, from injuries to the damn backup QB coming in and winning playoff games. Nothing seems to be as it was in 2017 anymore, and maybe that’s a good thing.

The best part about these early moves — especially the WR trades — is simple. The Eagles have no other option but to take one of the top wideouts on the board in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the teams who acquired those wideouts will likely look to address other positions with their top picks. Take the Cardinals off the board. Take the Bills off the board. Take Dallas off the board after Cooper returns. All good signs for the Eagles as they try to draft and develop the next star WR. 

Last year was rough watching a bunch of rookie wideouts burst onto the scene. This year we'll watch Wentz and [insert rookie wide receiver here] develop chemistry on the field that should last a decade. Now isn’t the time to rip Howie Roseman — championship teams aren’t built in free agency. What you do is make smart signings (like Javon Hargrave) and draft for need. 

I’ll defend Roseman right up until he takes a TE in the first round, then I’ll join the “Hate Howie” bandwagon. But I want an apology aimed at Roseman for your belligerent 1st day NFL FA takes when he announces via his webcam, “The Philadelphia Eagles are selecting Jerry Jeudy in the first round.” 

Stay safe. Wash your hands!

Coping with the COVID-19 virus

Speaking of washing your hands and staying safe... 

It doesn’t look like any of us are going anywhere anytime soon. While we are nowhere near a drastic and permanent change to our lifestyles, the next 2-3 months will be challenging to say the least. I wanted to bring access to one of the best doctors in the world, who happens to be my father. On top of what you see listed below, he also co-created bloodless surgery, which has had an astounding impact throughout the medical community for decades.

Dr. Shander and I spoke about the COVID-19 virus, what happened, and what to do now: 

Dr. Aryeh Shander MD, FCCM, FCCP, FASA

Director of TeamHealth Research Institute; Emeritus Chief Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, Englewood Health; Courtesy Clinical Professor, UF College of Medicine; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Pop culture pick of the week:

I cracked open the first episode of the third season of Westworld this weekend and I was not disappointed to see some old friends return. I thought they worked Aaron Paul in a little more subtly than I expected, but I did enjoy the backstory.

It felt like half an episode of Black Mirror – although Kid Cudi already being dead was pretty easy to see. Or maybe I’ve watched too many Black Mirror episodes. The best part of this show has always been the trio of Bernard, Dolores, and the Man in Black. I need and want as much of them on the screen as possible, and my fear has always been a third or fourth storyline would detract from their growth. We saw it with Game of Thrones far too often.

The good news is that Bernard is back, and you already see the value of range in Jeffrey Wright. His ability to switch from Bernard to his new identity is seamless, yet you can see the stark contrast in action on screen. Wright is the best actor on this show by a mile, and I’m a huge fan of mostly anything done by Ed Harris. We see Bernard struggle to make it in the “real world” only to head back to Westworld. It appears he’s gathering an army to take down Dolores. As I anticipate Harris making his debut in the third season, I’m left with two questions moving forward:

What role does a sympathetic human – Aaron Paul as Caleb – have in a show that’s made its bones exploring the true depths of depravity that comes with humanity? 

wonder if the core itself of the show will shift, but the first scene of the episode made me think otherwise. What was looked at – I’m sure – by the writers as some “cool” or different way to kill one of the connections between WW and a new tech company, just turned out to be a ridiculous stretch. His death should have come at the hands of Dolores, but that would have been too cliché based on how the scene was playing out. They tried to write their way out of it but turned out having a guy swing a golf club and fall into his pool.

Which brings me to my second question, surrounding Evan Rachel Wood. Does anyone else feel like she is outgrowing the writing for her with each episode? 

I love her on screen, and she has been able to show some range on the show. Maybe Aaron Paul softens her up.


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Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan during the week on @973espn (Mon.-Fri. from 12-2 p.m.), @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.), and @SBNationRadio on the weekends. You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day.

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