John Clark

Eagles are making sure they have their “Nick Foles" with Jalen Hurts just in case

Eagles are making sure they have their “Nick Foles" with Jalen Hurts just in case

The Eagles needed to make sure they have “Nick Foles.”

The Eagles have made the playoffs three straight years. But they haven’t had their biggest investment and most important player on the field for their biggest postseason games.

Carson Wentz is a great human being and can play at an MVP level. The Eagles have made it clear they are not concerned about his long-term health. We all hope he can be on the field and lead the Eagles to the next Super Bowl. But the Eagles needed to know they have the most important position in sports covered. Without their “Nick Foles,” the Eagles are still searching for their FIRST Super Bowl. Would they have beaten the Seahawks at the Linc in January with a better backup? The defense only gave up 17 points. The offense only scored three field goals. 0-3 in the redzone.

40-year-old Josh McCown played his heart out through a torn hamstring, but if the Eagles had their “Nick Foles,” they could have possibly won, Carson could have returned for the NFC divisional game, maybe they would have won and been in the NFC championship game.

“It's just the insurance policy. No one in the league, no team knows the value of an insurance policy at quarterback more than we do after what we went through in the 2017 season and what we experienced. It's adding a good football player, and we're excited for Jalen Hurts to be here,” Eagles VP of player personnel Andy Weidl said.

Maybe the Eagles don't draft Jalen Hurts in the second round if Carson Wentz was healthy for these last three playoffs. But the Eagles have always tried to upgrade at backup QB. They upgraded from Chase Daniel to Nick Foles before the Super Bowl season. Boy did that pay off.

You can tell the Eagles are enamored and wowed by Jalen Hurts' skillset. The Eagles see where the NFL is going with a dual threat quarterback who can run and throw on the run. See Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, DeShaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson.

I think this was the perfect storm with a dual threat type of quarterback the Eagles see as the future of the league and know they can have him as a backup under a rookie contract for the next 4 years, hopefully develop him into a starting caliber quarterback, and right away utilize him with Taysom Hill type packages and add a new dimension to their offense.

Last June, the Eagles new passing game coordinator Press Taylor said this:

“I do think at some point one of the big things is having multiple people on the field who can throw the ball. I think that’s something [you’ll see] going forward. You’ve seen kind of the Philly Special, all the different versions of double passes, things like that. I think at some point something like that I could see coming into play."

If Jalen Hurts, who plays the most important position in sports, is one of or your highest rated player on your board at 53, what do you do?

I get that a lot of Eagles fans wanted a player at 53 that can contribute right away. I did too. But if the Eagles had signed Jalen Hurts as a free agent and not drafted him in the second round, would you feel differently?

If the Eagles had drafted linebacker Davion Taylor or safety K’Von Wallace in the second round and then drafted Jalen in the third or fourth round, would you feel differently?

Is it the right move? The future will tell if the Eagles correctly valued or overvalued Jalen Hurts in the second round. Is what Nick Foles did for the Eagles worth a second round pick?

There is a shock to this. It is stunning. After investing over $100 million in Carson Wentz less than a year ago.

“When I was hired back in 2016, we were always going to make a point of emphasis to look at the quarterback position and try the best we can to draft quarterbacks and develop quarterbacks. It protects that position. And I've always said to you guys that we're trying to develop depth and competition. I've always told you guys that the quarterback position is never immune to that,” head coach Doug Pederson said.

“I think when you talk about what the ideal situation is, that's obviously winning Super Bowls with our starting quarterback (Carson), getting this kid (Jalen) up to speed, showing what kind of talent that we think he has, and that's a great situation for the Philadelphia Eagles, and that's certainly worth more than the pick that we took him at right now,” Eagles VP Howie Roseman said.

Carson Wentz was probably surprised by this. He watched Nick Foles win a Super Bowl and grew from that and has handled everything in the most professional way. I’m sure this will add even more motivation. The hope is for Carson Wentz to be the starter till the end of his contract and beyond and lead the Eagles to the playoffs and hopefully another Super Bowl. But the Eagles are making sure, just in case, they have their “Nick Foles.”

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Zack Wheeler makes clear he won't miss his child's birth if MLB plays in isolation

Zack Wheeler makes clear he won't miss his child's birth if MLB plays in isolation

Zack Wheeler and his wife Dominique are expecting their first baby in 3½ months. They are seeing the ideas being discussed within baseball about all 30 teams potentially playing in bubble cities at spring training sites in Arizona or Florida. The players would possibly be away from their families and Zack has an issue with that.

"I am not going to miss the birth of my first child. I don't care," Wheeler told NBC10 Friday afternoon. "I'm going to be there for her and the birth of my child. That's a fact. I think anybody would do the same thing. Any dad. Whether I have to come back here (Atlanta) and be with her and miss two more weeks because I have to quarantine to play again, so be it."

Dominique is trying not to think about the possibilities and she's trying not to stress about it. Zack has his mind made up.

"I want to be here with her during that time," he said. "It's something special. You'll never get to experience that again, the birth of your first child. They are saying your significant other would not be allowed to be with you. That makes no sense to me. If we're gonna be stuck in quarantine, then why can't they be stuck with us in quarantine?"

Zack continues to throw at his house in Georgia. He's throwing at about 90+ to keep his arm ready.

"Honestly, I went on Amazon and I bought a pitching net to throw into," he said. But Zack also throws to a friend of his that lives in the area so that he has a real target. 

He spent some time on Friday on a virtual meet and greet with kids at Nemours Children's Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. He was asked by one of the patients about winning the World Series. 

"Now I'm with the Phillies, that's what we're trying to do here," he said. "Bring a championship back to the city of Philadelphia. Hopefully, you guys can come out to the parade whenever we do do that."

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Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

“There’s a whole lot left. That’s all I can tell you. You haven’t seen nothing yet," Sidney Jones said Thursday afternoon in an interview. 

Jones is going into his third real season in the NFL. He has gone through injuries. He’s been a healthy scratch.

Howie Roseman said, “It’s time for him to prove it," and Jones agrees.

“Adversity builds character," he said. "I feel like I have weathered the storm. I am ready to show what I can do and prove it."

Jones is working out in Texas with noted defensive backs trainer Ronnie Braxton. They are working on physical and mental techniques. I asked Jones if his confidence has been affected through his ups and downs.

“It probably could have," he said. "I’m not going to lie. But you’ve got to keep pushing through it and that’s where I’m at right now, working with everybody in my circle that’s getting me back right." 

Jones is also working with veteran cornerback Chris Harris, who was just named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team. Jones wishes Harris would’ve signed with the Eagles, but Harris chose the Chargers in free agency. 

“Just to be around guys like that and to watch him and watch his moves and see how they go about their business, I can just follow him and pick up tips," Jones said.

Jones is thrilled the Eagles traded for his “boy” Darius Slay. Jones says having Slay with the cornerback will help him, and he says the two have a similar body type.

“Veteran leadership," he said. "He’s been around the game and has experience. I think it’s going to be really good for us."

Jones said the Eagles did not say anything to him after they traded for Slay. The word is Jones and Avonte Maddox will compete for the other outside cornerback spot, and Jones is ready to compete. 

“I am ready," he said. "I don’t think anybody is working as hard as me right now”

How motivated is he?

“I can’t even describe," he said. "It’s not even on the radar. It’s 1,000 times above that. I’m excited, man.”

Jones and his fiancée donated $25,000 to The Philly Pledge, following Rodney McLeod’s lead. Jones wants to help people in Philly, and wants to stay in Philly.  

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