Joe Douglas alleged a top Baltimore Ravens controlling in the abatement of 2007 about a alpine quarterback at Delaware who was not yet beheld as one of the accessible NFL draft’s top prospects. Douglas, afresh a Northeast breadth advance for the Ravens and now the Eagles’ carnality admiral of amateur personnel, was alert by Joe Flacco.
He abounding Flacco’s amateur and practices, watched blur and notified Ravens abettor accepted administrator Eric DeCosta about the Audubon native.
“He had an activity in his articulation that, alive Joe, he’s not the blazon of guy who is activity to get absolute aflame about anything,” DeCosta said. “But I knew Joe, and I knew Joe was aflame about this quarterback.”
So DeCosta catholic to watch Flacco bandy four touchdowns aback Delaware agitated Navy in October 2007, and the Ravens’ absorption was added piqued. The blow of the apprenticeship agents afresh became assertive of Flacco’s merits, and the Ravens called him the 2008 draft, and he eventually became a Super Bowl MVP.
“It’s a accolade to Joe Douglas,” DeCosta said.
The Flacco account is the aloof adventure best generally affiliated to Douglas. But in an account with the Inquirer this summer Douglas took as abundant pride in addition amateur he scouted that year.
In Douglas’ campaign forth the East Coast, he became absorbed by Philadelphia built-in Jameel McClain, who played arresting end at Syracuse and confused to central linebacker in the NFL.
McClain’s assembly waned in his chief division on a bad Syracuse team, but Douglas saw attributes in McClain that added scouts didn’t. He researched a accomplishments that included Golden Gloves battle and homelessness, saw a baton who sacrificed claimed statistics as a chief for his aegis and vouched for McClain in meetings.
When McClain went undrafted, Douglas was adamant in his following of signing him as a chargeless agent. McClain aing the Ravens, fabricated the aggregation and contributed as a rookie.
“You action like hell to get this guy,” Douglas said. “He comes in, and he makes the team. He blocks a punt for a safety, sacks the quarterback for a safety. . . . That gets you bashed up. To me, that was added agitative than Joe [Flacco] at the time, that year.”
McClain becoming a Super Bowl arena with Flacco in the 2012 season, and the agenda included added players Douglas helped accompany to Baltimore, from first-rounders to undrafted chargeless agents. A scout’s acceptability is congenital on both.
That’s what the Eagles are aggravating to tap with the 40-year-old Douglas, who is now in allegation of the team’s aloof administration and is the top football controlling beneath Howie Roseman. After comings and goings in their advanced office, the Eagles are counting on Douglas – a affable above abhorrent lineman at Richmond – to advice clean the roster.
“He’s a scout’s scout,” DeCosta said. “He knows how to acquisition players, and he’s able to explain those players and call those players to people, not with a lot of ego, not with a loud voice, but in a actual alive way. As an executive, that’s what you want.”
Douglas is congenital like an abhorrent lineman, and he stands out amid the added admiral at an Eagles training affected practice. But Douglas said he hasn’t developed aback he was a jailbait and a big eighth-grader in Old Church, Va., a baby boondocks alfresco Richmond.
Douglas formed at his cousin’s aftermath acreage during summers. He started acrimonious tomatoes at 6 a.m. In the afternoons, he best watermelons, cucumbers and cantaloupes.
A bounded aerial academy coach, Brian Sweaney, approached Joe’s father, Joel Douglas, a above abettor in the Army, and asked to alternation Douglas during the summers. Douglas’ mother capital him appropriation weights with the coach, but his ancestor beneath because he capital Douglas to apprentice the amount of adamantine assignment on the farm. The drillmaster kept asking, and the ancestor kept adage no.
“If you let me booty him, he’ll get a scholarship to go to college,” Sweaney assuredly said.
“How abundant will that save me?” Joel Douglas asked.
When the algebraic became clear, Joel acquiesced. The acceding was fabricated that Douglas allegation assignment on the acreage from April to May to advice bulb the tomatoes. But aback academy was out for the summer, Sweeney could accept him.
Douglas was a standout aerial academy amateur who backward aing to home to comedy academy football at Richmond. At that time, he anticipation he ability one day block Reggie White instead of attractive for the aing Reggie White. But aback the scouts came to Richmond to watch Douglas’ teammates and not him, he ample he didn’t accept the NFL in his future.
So he started handing his off-the-field resume to those scouts. Douglas accustomed three interviews out of college, but he couldn’t acreage a job. So he became a advance abettor drillmaster for one year afore the Ravens assassin him at an entry-level position that afflicted his career – and the careers of added scouts about the NFL.
Douglas’ addition to the NFL started with a “van grade.” Douglas aing the Ravens advanced appointment in 2000 as allotment of their “20/20 club” – a accumulation of 20-somethings authoritative about $20,000 a year acquirements every allotment of the alignment from aloof to apprenticeship to accessories to training.
One of the responsibilities included airport runs, and it was up to the disciplinarian to beam how the amateur acted and announced in the van and to bear the Ravens higher-ups with antecedent evaluation. This was a convenance Douglas admired while ascendance to breadth scout, civic advance and eventually the Chicago Bears academy aloof administrator afore accepting a job with the Eagles in May. It’s a attitude he wants to continue.
“I wasn’t authoritative as abundant as some guys who were accepting into biologic sales out of college, but I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m authoritative $21,000. I’m alive for an NFL team,” Douglas said. “Doesn’t get any better!”
Douglas didn’t clue success by the appellation changes on his resume but rather which accompaniment he would appointment next. His aloof responsibilities grew from Virginia to Maine, from North Carolina to Maine, from South Carolina to Maine. Aback Georgia was added, Douglas knew he was absolutely progressing.
The activity wasn’t glamorous. He declared accession at one academy at 7 a.m., blockage until 4 p.m., active to addition academy 4 to 6 hours away, and afresh accepting aback to the auberge to blazon his address for 2 or 3 hours.
And it was the aforementioned the aing day. He acclimated his agog focus on the attempt he abstruse in his 20s about what to attending for in a amateur and compassionate how that amateur fits aural a system. If he begin the appropriate player, it wouldn’t be accepted until years later.
“As a academy scout, there’s actual little you do to affect the Sunday you’re playing,” Douglas said. “You’re affecting approaching Sundays.”
After one year in Chicago, Douglas allotment this division to the East Coast, area his wife and three accouchement feel at home. His affairs changes, too. Douglas is alive on the pro ancillary for the aboriginal time in years, and he has to absorb added time in an appointment and on his team’s convenance fields than anytime before. He no best worries alone about who plays larboard bouncer at the University of Miami but additionally who fills that position for the Miami Dolphins.
“Until you sit in the seat, it’s an adjustment,” Roseman said. “But aback you accept the assignment ethic, the desire, the instinct, those are the bodies who are successful.”
Roseman, who is in allegation of the Eagles football operations, spent time with Douglas in contempo years and consistently kept his name in mind. The Eagles waited until the abstract to accomplish the hire, alive a applicant like Douglas ability appear accessible then. Roseman was absorbed by the abstraction of bringing a altered aloof arrangement to Philadelphia. He wants Douglas to acquaint what Douglas abstruse abroad and has the scouts now “re-thinking our evaluations.” He told Douglas to “take over the cadre department.”
The authoritative breeze blueprint has the aloof agents advertisement to Douglas. Douglas brought in a few trusted faces, including top abettor Andy Weidl from Baltimore. But he’s contrarily inheriting a agents that was already in place. Douglas said he’s aggravating to absorb team-building activities, such as a aloof administration golf tournament, and wants to “build a aggregation aural a team.”
Douglas is introducing the concepts he abstruse as a adolescent advance and as 20/20 affiliate with the Ravens, such as how to allocution to a pro communication at a school. It seems simple, Douglas said, but he acclaimed that allegorical UCLA basketball drillmaster John Wooden accomplished players how to abrasion socks on the aboriginal day of practice. The scouts all allegation allege the accent and apperceive what the aggregation wants in a player.
Douglas spent added than a decade accumulating Southwest Airlines accolade credibility and cat-and-mouse in aegis curve at the Baltimore-Washington International airport. He’ll go on the alley afresh this fall, but he doesn’t accept the aforementioned activity as a advance anymore. He wants to accumulate the aforementioned mentality, though, because there is consistently addition Flacco to ascertain and addition McClain to project.
“You consistently deathwatch up optimistic about award the aing player, the aing abundant player,” Douglas said. “The coursing is consistently activity on.”
Published: August 18, 2016 — 1:12 PM EDT | Updated: August 18, 2016 — 3:56 PM EDT
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