Howie Roseman preaches patience after Donnel Pumphrey makes Eagles' 53-man roster


After Donnel Pumphrey's dismal showing in four preseason games, there were plenty of people ready to give up on him. 

Howie Roseman wasn't one of those people. 

Roseman traded up to take Pumphrey in the fourth round this spring and a bad month of games wasn't going to be enough to throw in the towel. So despite a paltry 1.9 yards-per-attempt average on 26 carries in this preseason, Pumphrey made the Eagles' initial 53-man roster on Saturday (see full roster)

Many fans called for local product Corey Clement to make the team over Pumphrey. That didn't happen. Instead, both made the roster. 

Roseman on Saturday afternoon preached patience with Pumphrey. 

"We're in a unique industry where there's really no patience," he said. "There's no other industry where you take a guy out of college and if they don't look exactly like you're hoping a month in, you're looking to dump them. We want to develop our players. We trust our evaluations and our scouts. And we want to give guys time that we believe in."

Pumphrey certainly didn't do anything during the preseason to suggest he's going to be a good NFL player. He carried the ball 26 times for 49 yards and his longest run was five yards. He caught 13 passes for 72 yards, an average of 5.5 yards per attempt. And as a punt returner, he looked like a liability. 

But, like head coach Doug Pederson did Thursday night after the preseason game against the Jets, Roseman made sure to point out that a lot more than the four preseason games goes into the evaluation. The team tries to look at what the player did in the spring and summer, throughout training camp practices, and even how they project. 

"I'd say Pump … it's funny as you go through the whole offseason with him and he's a guy that was getting first-string reps and everyone was talking about how excited they were on him," Roseman said. "And we spent a lot of time scouting this running back class, scouting him in particular. And he's got a body of work."

Along the same lines as Pumphrey, fifth-rounder Shelton Gibson also made the roster despite a really rough beginning to his training camp. Gibson dropped many balls this summer, and although he rebounded some, he probably didn't outperform a couple players who were cut in order for him to keep his space. 

But the Eagles invested a draft pick in Gibson and, just like Pumphrey, weren't ready to give up on him just yet.   

"We want to take these guys and understand they need some development," Roseman said. "We're going to try to be patient with guys we think have talent."

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