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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Howie Roseman wrapped his arms around Doug Pederson on the
sideline in the final minute of Philadelphia’s lopsided win over Minnesota in
the NFC championship game and flashed a big smile.image

The most criticized team executive in the city engineered a dramatic
turnaround.

After finishing last in the NFC East last season Authentic
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 , the Eagles (15-3) are in the Super Bowl
against the New England Patriots (15-3).

Article continues below ...

Radio hosts, columnists, writers, fans and even bloggers are not blasting
Roseman anymore because he made all the right moves to build a team that’s one
victory away from the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.

It’s been quite a journey for Roseman, the once-exiled executive vice
president of football operations.

Roseman rose from being a non-paid summer intern in 2000 to youngest general
manager in the NFL at age 34 in 2010. But in January 2015, Roseman lost control
of personnel decisions in a power struggle with former coach Chip Kelly.

Owner Jeffery Lurie elevated Roseman to his current position, but gave Kelly
full control on the draft, trades and all player moves.

Kelly bombed and was fired less than 12 months later. Roseman Authentic
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 , after spending a year self-reflecting,
regained control over personnel decisions. He hired Pederson to coach and Joe
Douglas to be vice president of player personnel and quickly began undoing the
mess Kelly created.

Roseman traded players Kelly signed to horrible contracts – DeMarco Murray
and Byron Maxwell – and built enough assets to help the Eagles move from No. 13
in the draft to the second spot. With the second overall pick in 2016, the team
selected Carson Wentz from North Dakota State.

Wentz is the main reason Philadelphia was in position to get to the Super
Bowl. He had an MVP-caliber season before tearing his ACL in Week 14 when the
Eagles secured the NFC East title.

The Eagles didn’t crumble after losing their franchise player because they
have a solid backup in Nick Foles . Kelly traded Foles, one season after he was
offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl. Roseman brought Foles back last March, giving him
an $11 million, two-year deal to provide insurance behind Wentz.

Foles shredded the Vikings and their top-ranked defense last week.

”It’s a credit to Howie and Joe to bring a guy like that in here who is very
capable of getting the job done,” Pederson said.

Many of the players Roseman acquired before the season made big plays in the
38-7 rout over Minnesota. He signed wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey
Smith, running back LeGarrette Blount and cornerback Patrick Robinson to
team-friendly contracts in free agency. They combined to score Philadelphia’s
five touchdowns.

”He’s a very Cheap
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 , very smart guy,” Lurie said. ”In the role
today to be in charge of football operations, it is so much more than simply
what has been in the past decades with scouting. Scouting is a big part of it,
but you have to manage in so many ways short-term needs, midterm needs,
long-term needs.”

The Eagles entered the season with modest expectations, but Wentz was
spectacular and the defense was excellent. After a 7-1 start, Roseman bolstered
the offense by getting running back Jay Ajayi from Miami for a fourth-round
pick. Ajayi has become a valuable addition.

”We found ourselves in an interesting situation where this is Year 2 of the
plan but we have a quarterback that was advancing by leaps and bounds and a team
that was playing great Authentic
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 , great defense, and an offensive line that was
really good,” Lurie said.

”We thought: `Why can’t we win it all?’ We took an approach where we were
going to do everything possible that could help our team this year, and at the
same time not relinquish any options going forward. I think that was the key to
the strategy. We were aggressive at the trade deadline because we thought we had
a chance. Normally you wouldn’t do that, but we thought we had a chance.”

Other key starters Roseman acquired in trades or free agency since reclaiming
his role as personnel boss: defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, cornerback Ronald
Darby, safety Rodney McLeod, Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks Steelers
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 , left guard Stefen Wisniewski and kicker Jake
Elliott. He also drafted starting cornerback Jalen Mills in the seventh round in
2016 and starting left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai in the fifth round that
year.

The Eagles have overcome season-ending injuries to Wentz, nine-time Pro Bowl
left tackle Jason Peters, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, return
specialist/running back Darren Sproles, special teams captain Chris Maragos and
kicker Caleb Sturgis because of the depth of a roster Roseman put together.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter:
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