Matakevich: Steel City Walker

Joe Walker is nothing special here.

By passing over the consensus national defensive player of the year, Tyler Matakevich, twice in the seventh round, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has made Pennsylvania a battleground state for right or wrong.


Joe Walker

Or, more precisely, an eye test. By, oh, the 14th game of this season, we will probably find out that Roseman needs to be fitted for a new pair of glasses. From Roseman’s subjective view, Walker was the better player.

Forget the fact that a whole bunch of other eyes saw enough of Matakevich to make him both the Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Awards as national defensive player of the year, here are the stone hard cold numbers:



If that was a blind Player A and Player B comparison, most people would pick the guy with 138 tackles and 15.5 tackles for losses over the guy with 87 tackles and five for losses.

Not Roseman, though.

The explanation offered by Roseman for not picking Matakevich was tepid at best:

“He’s a good football player,” Roseman said of Matakevich. “Obviously we had a chance to watch him locally live. Coach [Matt] Rhule is a big booster of his. We know him well. We spoke to him a couple of times today. Happy for him that he got an opportunity in Pittsburgh. A good football player. He was in consideration for us when we were looking at linebackers here.”

Big deal because “in consideration for us” and picking Walker let the entire Philadelphia area know that the Eagles felt that Walker was the better player. The stone cold hard numbers suggest otherwise, as do a whole lot of good football people on both the Nagurski and Bednarik committees.

On the other hand, Roseman is a nerd who never played football. Matakevich will be walking the sidelines in the Steel City long after Walker is back home in Oregon. That’s not a prediction, it’s a promise.

Saturday: Stadium Stompers React To Our Story


19 thoughts on “Matakevich: Steel City Walker

  1. Wise Owl fans realize Temple football competes with the AAC and the Eagles. The Eagles know this and trip Temple up at every opportunity. Those who root for the Eagles and Owls are kissing their sisters. I root for Temple and whoever is playing the Eagles, and I enjoy winning a lot more often.

    • so the Eagles purposely didn’t select Tyler because they don’t like Temple? did u think this one though?

      • not saying that at all; just saying they swung and missed on this one … a better linebacker was available in the seventh round and they did not pick him.

      • whoops. did not know you were replying to dave.

      • That’s not what I said. I said the Eagles compete with Temple Thinking that Eagles would pick an Owl for sentimental reasons is nonsense. I think things through, and I can spell and punctuate.

  2. i wanna start off but saying that their is no bigger fan of Tyler than me. i hope & believe he will do well in the NFL. However I’m not following this thinking that the Eagles owed it to Temple to select him. so the New Orleans Saints should always pick the LSU star? or the Miami Dolphins should always select Miami Hurricanes? and if u think that the Eagles design their draft board to not select Temple players than i have some land to sell u on South Dakota. this is much ado about nothing. congrats to Tyler for being selected by the Steelers. the Eagles didn’t owe him anything. and by the way didn’t the Eagles select the safety Jarrett a few years ago outta Temple? and wasn’t there 31 other teams who could have and passed on Tyler?

    • the point of the story was not that the Eagles owed to Temple, but that Joe Walker was a far inferior pick to Tyler and that the Eagles will find that out. Only time will tell, but there is no possible way Walker is better than Tyler and that includes NFL combine scores as well as film. The Eagles are idiots with that selection.

      • thats just your opinion. we don’t know how Tyler or Walker will turn out in the NFL. And their were many other teams who selected LB instead of Tyler. not sure why all the emphasis/hate on the Eagles. but once again, i wish Tyler the best. maybe both of them will have great careers.

  3. What’s really absurd are the numbers: 1 inch in height and 8 lbs. in weight difference is near nothing compared to the outrageous differences in the on-field stats you show, Mike. Obviously something else is going on with the Eagles and Temple. No, the Eagles are not beholden to pick players from the local college team, but in this case, about this particular player compared to the stats of the player they did pick, well, there’s no comparison. Would TM have played well in the PAC10 is the only question we can’t answer except to say he played great against top teams, top 25 and bowl bound teams. Maybe the Oregon kid is faster, but that would be the only difference that would mean anything. And as far as the Jarrett comparison, he was a questionable pick from the start (especially so high a pick), no comparison to Tyler’s stats. Tyler got screwed with such a low pick and it’s hard to understand how little his stats mean to NFL teams – it’s not like he played for a 1-AA program and only a few games to prove himself. Go figure……

  4. Temple has a better shot at winning the Super Bowl than Eagles. LOL. The Eagles have caught whatever has afflicted the 76ers and now are one of the worst managed teams in sports.

    • Pretty sure it was Howie who drafted that stiff Marcus Smith in the first round because he liked his “long arms.” I don’t think those arms have been long enough to wrap around any NFL ballcarriers yet. Don’t know what about Walker makes him more appealing than Tyler. His 40 time in the combine was about the same (Tyler was faster by a tenth of a second) and Tyler was the stronger player in the weight room. On the field, not even close and that’s the most important area. We’ll probably be talking to Tyler in the parking lot of the Charlotte-Temple game since his Steelers will be kicking the Eagles’ ass the next day at the same venue. Pretty sure Walker will not be there.

    • so let me get this straight, the Eagles who were one of 30 other teams who passed on Tyler r now a terrible organization? so r the 30 other teams also terrible organizations?

      • no, the eagles are terrible for passing on him in the seventh round to pick up a stiff from Oregon. In one year, you will find out I was right.

      • No matter what happens with Tyler year one I can pretty much guarantee he won’t leave to be a firefighter or be picking splinters from his ass with his ‘long arms’.

  5. It’s apparent the NFL player personnel people see things much different than we fans do. And sometimes the fans see things better. Starting with Joe Klecko, the Eagles have missed the boat on players in their very building.

    • Pretty hard to defend the football acumen of an organization that wasted two No. 1s in the very recent past on a guy better-suited to be a firefighter and another who will be picking up unemployment checks soon.

  6. I think Roseman gambled and lost. They wanted him on the cheap, but got an UDFA from Rutgers instead.

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