We all knew a while ago Jalen Hurts would be the Eagles’ opening-day starter.
But Nick Sirianni steadfastly refused to acknowledge that, even as Hurts took command of the team, got all the 1st-team reps and enjoyed an impressive training camp.
On Tuesday, as the Eagles cut the roster down to 53, the rookie head coach explained why he waited.
And with opening day in Atlanta 12 days away, he did finally end any remaining suspense about the job.
“Nobody else got any reps with the 1’s, and Jalen’s known, ‘Hey, nobody else got any reps with the 1’s but me,’ and Jalen’s our starter,” Sirianni said. “And, really, he’s done a great job.
“We wanted him to take the reins and take advantage of the opportunity he got, and we feel with the preseason he had he did that. I consistently saw a player that got better every day. I consistently saw a player getting better with his reads and his accuracy and his ability to run and when not to run. And so he did exactly what we wanted him to do.
“Again, nobody else has worked with the 1’s so you could really argue that we named the starter a while ago, but Jalen will be our starter and he’s earned that right with a great preseason and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him and in that room in general.”
Hurts, who turned 23 earlier this month, will become the Eagles’ youngest opening-day starter in 36 years, since Randall Cunningham started the 1985 opener against the Giants at 22 years, five months. The only other younger opening-day starter in franchise history was Jack Concannon, who was 21, seven months, when he started the 1964 opener, also against the Giants.
“I’m really excited to work with him because I think he’s got special playmaking abilities,” Sirianni said of Hurts.
Sirianni confirmed that newly acquired Gardner Minshew will be No. 3 on the depth chart behind Hurts and Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl XLVII MVP nine years ago.
General manager Howie Roseman was asked how much interest the Eagles had this offseason in Deshaun Watson, and while he’s not allowed to specifically discuss a player under contract to another team – that’s tampering – he did make it clear that the three QBs now on the roster are the three QBs who will be on the team this year.
“We’re very confident and comfortable with the quarterbacks that we have on our roster,” Roseman said. “Any player that is on another team is property of that team, and we’re going forward with who we got here.
“We’ll see what happens here in the next 24 hours with the rest of our roster, but when we talk about that quarterback room, we think we’ve got a good blend of youth, of experience, talented guys, and we’re excited to start the season and see the players we have on our football team.”
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