PHILADELPHIA – Anyone looking for a specific checklist on what Jalen Hurts must do to prove he can be the Eagles quarterback of the future as the present-day starter won’t be getting one from Howie Roseman.
The Eagles general manager was asked by SI.com Eagle Maven on Wednesday after Day 1 of training camp if there are any tangible benchmarks he wants to see Hurts achieve, but Roseman said nothing about wins and losses or touchdowns to interceptions or turnovers.
The GM said he wants to make sure the offensive line stays healthy because it all starts there.
“When we look at our team this year and talk about what we're really excited about, it starts with the O-line,” he said. “Obviously, part of our lack of success last year was the O-line and the injuries that they had. We have a lot of resources at that position, it's really important to us as we build our team.”
Then, Roseman mentioned the skill players surrounding Hurts.
“Most of these guys, the receiver group, the running back group, besides Zach, the tight end group, those are young guys,” he said. “They get a chance to grow and build together.
But it starts with the offensive line, making sure we're looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying can we fairly evaluate the quarterbacks because of who is protecting them and the weapons they have around them.”
WHAT ABOUT WATSON?
Of course, Roseman was asked about the always-swirling reports about the Eagles’ interest in Texans QB Deshaun Watson.
Watson’s name wasn’t mentioned and Roseman spoke very generally about various positions.
“I think our job is to always evaluate every option at every position,” he said. “We're always constantly doing that and looking about what's going on in the league. We do that before the draft, we look at next year's draft classes at every position and try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses.
“That's what we are doing during this time period. We’re watching tape on guys, we're looking at guys and we're making sure that we're ready, one in case of injury, and also for any position that trades become available, being ready for that. I'm obviously not going to talk about anyone who is property of another team.”
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So, the Watson rumors don’t figure to go away anytime soon.
Roseman did expound somewhat on his confidence level in Hurts.
“Obviously, we did a lot of work on Jalen coming out,” the GM said. “We drafted him in the second round. You look at what he’s done, we talk about the jump from year one to year two. This guy has done everything possible to put himself into a successful position with his work ethic, with his studying habits, with his leadership.
“I think for us, like coach (Nick Sirianni) said, we're looking for him to grab the reins and go and follow him as it goes. That all comes out here as we start practice and as we start the pre-season and training camp.”
WHAT ABOUT JASON PETERS?
The last time the Eagles had a training camp without the likely Hall of Fame left tackle showing up was 2008, the year before he arrived in Philadelphia after a trade with the Bills. There was one other time in that span, and that was 2012 when Peters was rehabbing an Achilles injury.
“Everybody knows about his ability to play, an eventual Hall of Famer, probably the best player I played with, just a tremendous, tremendous player, but he never really got the credit he deserved from a leadership standpoint,” said center Jason Kelce. “He might not have been the vocal guy, never really liked talking to you guys (the media) much, but he loved talking to young guys, he loved staying after practice and working with young guys, he loved talking in the weight room, he was around the building constantly.
“To have a guy that’s been around that long, to see how much he put it into, how much not just physically but mentally how available he was to the organization in the building and to teammates, that’s rare to find especially in an older guy. We’re going to miss all of that.
You’re not going to be able to replace it.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This is how ya’ll do it, ya’ll just outscream each other?”
– QB Jalen Hurts, about halfway through his first in-person press conference since being drafted last year as reporters do what they always do during press conferences, shout out questions then either yield to another question or keep pressing forward and hope someone else yields.
BY THE NUMBERS
There were a few from Day 1 of Eagles camp:
90: percent of Eagles players vaccinated, or approaching that number
6: Players out with injuries including WR Jalen Reagor (limited, lower body), WR Quez Watkins (day-to-day, still completing physical), OL Isaac Seumalo (hamstring, week-to-week), CB Shakial Taylor (lower body, day-to-day), DB Nate Meadors (hamstring, week-to-week), WR Greg Ward (non-covid illness, day-to-day).
3: Players put on reserve/covid list. They were linebacker Alex Singleton, safety Andrew Adams, and defensive end Matt Leo.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.