Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl spent 14 years working together in the NFL. The pair first converged professional in the Baltimore Ravens organization in 2005 when Weidl was hired as an area scout, joining Douglas in the same line of work.
The two worked in Baltimore for a decade up to 2014 before they reunited with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016, spending another four years together before Douglas earned the general manager position with the New York Jets in 2019.
The point is, he knows Weidl, now the Pittsburgh Steelers’ assistant general manager, better than most would. And he knows that the Eagles team that is competing for the Super Bowl tonight has the hallmarks of a Weidl roster, as he told The Athletic writer Mike DeFabo.
“You can see the imprint of Andy’s values” on this Eagles team, he said. “The toughness, the instincts, the competitive nature, guys that love football. You can see that”.
One of the principle scouting and roster-building foundations Weidl focuses on his building from the inside out, which means concentrating on either trench. As DeFabo points out, he was a key cog in the Eagles going after former Steelers defensive lineman Javon Hargrave in free agency, for example.
He also described how quarterback Jalen Hurts fit the mold in what they were looking for out of the position. it took some time for it to bear fruit, but his performance during the 2022 season cannot be denied. And he’s one game away from being a world champion.
A number of people had quite a lot to say about Weidl in DeFabo’s lengthy piece, and perhaps we’ll dig into some of that later on in the week, but for this morning I thought it would be suitable to highlight the influence that he had on turning this previously disassembled Eagles roster into a title contender.
Landing the right quarterback helps, and he didn’t get to have any say in the Steelers drafting Kenny Pickett, so we really don’t know what he would think of him, exactly. But it sounds as though he would, if I’m being honest, with his toughness and perseverance—and success, of course.
Weidl served in executive positions in the Eagles’ front office from his hiring in 2016 until he left to join the Steelers as assistant general manager after the 2022 NFL Draft. He began as assistant director of player personnel before becoming director, and finally vice president of the same department.
Key influences throughout his career, going back to his time as an intern with the Steelers in the late 1990s, include Bill Nunn, Tom Donahoe, and the Ravens’ Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta. That’s not bad company to keep over the years.
Others have already reported that, as he did in Philadelphia, Weidl will be responsible for assembling the Steelers’ draft board, which includes ranking prospects by position and relative round grade. Obviously that’s not the final decision, but he gets the first pass.