During a press conference to say goodbye to an all-time great, Howie Roseman couldn’t stop talking about a guy who has never played before.
The Eagles really like Tyree Jackson.
That became clear on Friday when the Eagles general manager talked about the trade of Zach Ertz and, aside from mentioning the obvious, Dallas Goedert, also kept talking about Jackson.
“Then you talk about our young guys, and I think what changed a little for us was the surprise of camp,” Roseman said, “and it was just camp because we didn't see it in the preseason games, was Tyree (Jackson) and just seeing how he's working to get back and the skills that he has in his body.
“We want to make sure that we're going into next year knowing as much as we could. If he's going to look like he did during training camp, like, that's going to be a player for us. But he's got to show it in games. And this is an opportunity for him to come back and for us to see that. We don't think that's just a shot in the dark. We think this guy's got some traits.”
Now, the Eagles didn’t trade Zach Ertz because they have Tyree Jackson.
But getting a chance to find out if they have something real in the 6-foot-7 converted tight end is definitely an added benefit to this trade and it might have helped push it in the right direction. Jackson suffered a fractured back in training camp but is apparently nearing a return.
Jackson, 23, has never played a real game in the NFL. And the former University at Buffalo quarterback began his transition to tight end less than a year ago.
But what the Eagles saw at training camp was too good to ignore. Not only does Jackson have unteachable size and athleticism, but he was also incredibly smooth, caught the ball well, got in and out of his breaks and showed toughness. He has all the makings of a really good tight end. And for an organization that turned a rugby player into a starting left tackle, turning a quarterback into a tight end ought to be light work, right?
The Eagles showed how much they liked Jackson when they carried him on the 53-man roster despite his injury. They did that so they wouldn’t risk losing him and so they could have the option to bring him off IR and play him this season. It appears like the Eagles plan on doing that.
In recent weeks, Jackson has been seen during practice working on a side field with trainers. He’s still on IR, but the Eagles are getting closer to activating his three-week practice window. At the time of the injury, the Eagles said recovery time was 8-10 weeks. The injury occurred on Aug. 17, so eight weeks was Oct. 12. We’re now in the window.
“With Tyree, he's still in his rehab process,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “I don't know exactly when that's going to be. Don't like to put timetables on that, but we're looking forward to getting him back out there and practicing when he's able to.”
In addition to Tyree, Roseman also mentioned the other two tight ends with the Eagles: Jack Stoll and Noah Togiai. Stoll has been on the roster all season as a UDFA but Roseman didn’t seem as excited about him as he was Jackson.
“I think some of the circumstances that changed was getting the chance to see Tyree Jackson,” Roseman said, “and wanted to see him in games as he comes back over the next couple of weeks.”
The Eagles think they might have found something with Jackson. And it’ll be exciting to watch him play when he eventually comes back.
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