Eagles

Eagles

Where does he fit in? Does he have a chance to make the roster? How can he show the coaches what kind of player he is with final cuts just 2½ weeks away?

All valid questions. And Christian Hackenberg has no answers. 

And he doesn’t care.

Right now his focus is on getting better every day. Everything else? Not his concern.

“Everyone focuses on results,” the newest Eagle said Monday after practice. “Media focuses on results, all these people who aren’t in this really focus on results, but the one thing I found is it’s really cool is kind of falling in love with the process and making sure you master each step, if that makes sense.

“I feel that gets overlooked oftentimes. So (I'm) trying not to get too far ahead of myself and just making sure every day I do everything I can. 

“It just feels good to be back on the field, having pads and cleats and stuff on. That’s what you miss the most, so that’s the coolest part.”

Hackenberg, the Jets’ 2016 second-round pick, signed with the Eagles on Sunday and was in uniform at practice Monday, although he didn’t participate in any team drills. He did throw before and after practice. 

Hackenberg is now with his third team in three months. He said he also had workouts with the Texans and Patriots before throwing for the Eagles on Sunday.

He has yet to take a regular-season snap in the NFL and knows he’s running out of chances.

 

He’s been out of football since the Raiders released him in June, just a month after acquiring him from the Jets in a trade. 

“It was my first training camp I haven’t been in since I can remember,” he said. “It was tough. It puts things in perceptive. You take things for granted so many times in your life and you don’t (appreciate) it until it’s taken away from you for a little bit.

“I understand it wasn’t like a year or anything like that, there are definitely crazier stories. But getting a taste of that, it’s not a good sandwich to bite into. I’m just really happy to be here, smile on my face, and enjoying every minute of it.” 

Hackenberg is only 23 years old and certainly, after watching Nick Foles’ career arc, Eagles fans can understand that not all successful quarterbacks take a traditional course to the right situation.

Hackenberg said he worked this summer with Chicago-based quarterback guru Jeff Christensen, who was actually in training camp with the Eagles in 1984 and 1985 and is widely credited for fixing Jimmy Garoppolo’s mechanics.

“We’ve been out there since the end of January — 85 two-a-days — 86 two-a-days — a lot of things with my feet, cleaning up my footwork, which kind of eliminated inefficiencies with my motion up top and kind of tightened things up and shortened things up and compacted things.

“It’s helped a lot and it’s starting to finally become muscle memory and cement in now. There’s still a lot of room to go so we continue to hammer those things at practice too.”

Hackenberg knows he has a lot of catching up to do just to get to the point where he can get into a preseason game with a basic understanding of the offense.

He missed all the spring workouts and he missed the first three weeks of training camp.

“Obviously, that’s an obstacle,” he said. “I’m going to come in every day and learn as much as I can from these guys, learn as much as I an from Nick (Foles) and Carson (Wentz) and Nate (Sudfeld) and Joe (Callahan) and just hit it hard.

“It’s my opportunity, whenever that comes, whatever this is. I assume they signed me for a reason, so I’m just going to come in and give it everything I have in terms of picking it up and trying to push myself and learning as much as I am mentally and taking that on and also making sure I stay up on everything physically.

“It’s going to be tough, but again it’s a challenge that I’m excited for. It’s better than sitting on the couch.”

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