Eagles

Minshew explains asking Sirianni about starting job

Eagles

After the Eagles’ win over the Jets in early December, there were plenty of people in Philadelphia wondering if Gardner Minshew had a chance to wrestle the starting quarterback gig away from Jalen Hurts.

Minshew was apparently one of those people.

Minshew on Saturday night confirmed a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that he went to meet with Nick Sirianni after the Jets game and asked what it would take for him to become the starter.

“Yes, that was pretty much it verbatim,” Minshew said. “One thing this coaching staff is big on is transparency and knowing where you stand, so I was going in there, and I am a competitive guy. We are all competitive guys that want to play.

“I was asking what it took and he said we are solid right now. I respect that and I am going to do everything I can to put myself in that position at some point.”

READ: Nick Sirianni explains why he rested Jalen Hurts vs. Cowboys

Of course, nothing ever came of that meeting with Sirianni other than a solid no from the head coach.

The Eagles were and remain (at least for now) committed to Hurts as their starter. So Minshew went back to the bench and Hurts then quarterbacked the Eagles to three straight wins to put them in the playoffs.

Last week, Sirianni wouldn’t confirm the meeting with Minshew but he certainly didn’t deny it.

 

“But I will say about Gardner, he is a competitor,” Sirianni said. “He is locked in, whether he's the backup, whether he's playing. The guy is going to prepare like crazy, no matter what the situation, and he's competitive.

“Of course, every backup that we have on this team, if they didn't want to be the starter, I would have an issue with them being the backup.”

It seems like Minshew and Sirianni handled this situation well. And with how competitive Hurts is, he probably handled it well too … as well as you can handle it when someone is coming for your job.

You can see it from Minshew’s perspective. He’s a veteran quarterback who has had success in the NFL before. And he had a good game against the Jets, completing 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Though Sirianni — publicly and privately — never wavered. The job belongs to Hurts.

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But with the Eagles’ already in the playoffs and Hurts still working to get over his ankle injury, the Eagles made the decision to rest Hurts on Saturday night and start Minshew. They told Minshew early in the week that he was the guy against the Cowboys.

The Eagles lost 51-26 with their backups, but Minshew was fine. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 186 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception and even led the Eagles to a touchdown on the opening drive.

“I’m grateful for every opportunity that I get,” Minshew said. “I do not take lightly that scarcity of it, how hard they are to come by. So, any experience that I can get, I’m grateful for and hopefully grow and get better from it.”

Minshew, 25, will be back on the bench next weekend as the Eagles play in the wild card round and then we’ll see what his future holds.

The former Jaguars’ sixth-round pick is under contract in 2022 with a base salary of under $1 million. So the Eagles, who obviously value the backup QB position more than most teams in the NFL, might be inclined to simply keep Minshew as their backup next year.

Or maybe they trade him to a team that thinks he has a chance to be their starter.

“I think I’ve learned a lot this year,” Minshew said. “We have a great coaching staff, good guys around me. Taking a different seat this year, different perspective and I think that’s a good thing to learn sometimes. You see things a different way when you’re not in there and I think I’ve gotten better this year and I’m grateful for the experience.”