INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Berry was poised, thoughtful, impressive. He spoke like a veteran general manager, to the point where you could almost forget that at 32 years old, he’s the youngest general manager in NFL history and the guy charged with fixing the Cleveland Freaking Browns.
It’s a tough task but if Berry is able to pull it off, maybe he’ll do it with some of the lessons he learned from Howie Roseman and the Eagles.
Berry was with the Eagles for just one season but at the combine, he listed the three main things he learned under Roseman in 2019:
1. ”No. 1, it's really being aggressive in every area of player acquisition, whether it's trade, the UFA market, obviously in the NFL draft.”
2. “The second is the value in terms of getting to know your locker room at a personal level.”
3. There’s a difference between simply acquiring talent and constructing a team, “making sure you have the right mix of skill sets and people in the locker room that ultimately drive toward championship-level football."
Berry was with the Eagles for just one season and the Eagles created the position of Vice President of Football Operations for him, so it’s hard to say just how much impact he had during his time in Philly.
And when asked about the influence he had on the Eagles in his time there, Berry deflected and just talked about the collaborative effort in the NovaCare Complex.
Without knowing the depth of his involvement or influence, it’s also hard to say how much the Eagles will miss him. But we do know they reportedly blocked him from talking to the Panthers about a job that didn’t include final say on the roster. So it’s also pretty obvious the Eagles wanted to keep Berry but weren’t going to hold him back from a true general manager job.
“I thought Andrew was great in Philadelphia, was great to have him,” Roseman said.
But Roseman also indicated that the Eagles are not going to replace Berry with an outside hire, instead touting some internal people. Roseman spoke about wanting some folks already in the building — he named VP of player personnel Andy Weidl specifically — to grow.
"But what we had done, we had opportunities over the last year to add some people and now it’s their turn to kind of step up," he said. "I think we have really good depth in the organization. We’re going to give people some increased roles like you’ve seen with Andy. Some publicly, some people that we’re going to grow in our organization to give them the next opportunities."
In each of the last two offseasons, the Eagles have lost key executives to general manager jobs elsewhere. First, Joe Douglas left to take the job with the Jets and now Berry left for Cleveland. That’s the price of success; when a team is good, they lose coaches and executives. The Eagles will happily take that trade off.
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