Last week was a bit different for Nate Sudfeld. As much as he tried to stay the same.
While his normal film study and in-week habits stayed constant, there was one noticeable difference at practice.
With Carson Wentz on injured reserve, Nick Foles is the new Eagles' starter and Sudfeld is the backup. So after spending most of his season without getting many reps in practice, Sudfeld took every scout team rep last week.
And apparently, he looked pretty good.
"To be honest, Nate was turning heads in practice," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "Ask anybody what kind of practice Nate Sudfeld had last week. They'll tell you he was turning heads."
Head coach Doug Pederson agreed with Reich. He said it was probably Sudfeld's best week of practice, although that wasn't an extremely high bar to jump over; he got more work last week than ever before.
But what seemed to impress Pederson about the way Sudfeld's week went was that he took the drill work he gets put through by QBs coach John DeFilippo and used it during practice. Pederson specifically mentioned Sudfeld's anticipation, ball location, accuracy, timing and movement in the pocket.
"So those things have begun to show up in practice last week," Pederson said. "It was a positive thing to see."
While Sudfeld might have turned a few heads, there were plenty of players in the locker room who have seen strong signs from him all season. Trey Burton has gotten scout team reps with Sudfeld before, so the tight end wasn't surprised when Sudfeld impressed everyone.
"He throws a really nice ball, extremely catchable, he's on time a lot," Burton said. "And he has poise back there."
As the scout team QB, Sudfeld's responsibility is to give the right looks to the starting defense. Those guys were impressed too, but Malcolm Jenkins didn't see anything different either.
"He's been getting reps all year," Jenkins said. "He's been giving us good looks all year, so nothing out of the norm. I know a lot of people are looking to see if he responded in any way, but for me, it would be hard for me to say anything has been different than since he's been here."
While some fans have been clamoring for the Eagles to go out and pick up a more experienced backup, it isn't going to happen. Earlier this week, Pederson said the biggest reason for not making a move is "time invested." Basically, it would take so much to get a new guy caught up in the offense and they've already been teaching Sudfeld since he arrived before the season opener (see story).
Because Sudfeld joined the Eagles off waivers after final cuts, he didn't even get to play a preseason game with them. He's an unknown to fans and even to some people in the organization. Last week offered him the first chance to get into a rhythm while taking every scout team rep.
As far as turning heads, does he sense that too?
"I feel very confident in what I can do," he said. "I feel like everybody around me has been great since I got here. As far as just getting more reps and letting them see what I can do, maybe a little bit. It kind of felt like what I can do. I just want to keep doing it one day at a time, one rep at a time."