Eagles

Eagles

Everybody else figures Paul Turner has done everything he could possibly do.

Everybody other than Paul Turner.

“My opinion, I’m just never satisfied,” Turner said. “I feel like I did OK but I feel like there was more that I could have done, and there’s a lot more that I want to continue to do.

“That’s the goal, just to go out there and work hard each and every day and try to improve, and that’s my focus from here on out.”

Turner finished an exceptional preseason Thursday night with another monster performance in the Eagles’ 14-6 win over the Jets at the Linc (see Instant Replay).

He caught six passes for 66 yards and returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Turner finished the four-game preseason with an NFL-best 17 receptions for 165 yards.

“He doesn’t look real intimidating,” Jordan Matthews said. “He could walk by you in a supermarket and you coud go, ‘OK, there’s another guy.’ But he can go out here and play some football.”

Has he done enough to earn a roster spot?

What else could he have done?

“I don’t know if you can make a stronger case,” quarterback Chase Daniel said. “I saw a stat on our video board that said he has the most catches [in the NFL] in the preseason, and a 70, 80-yard punt return showed his speed a little bit.

 

“He’s done everything, especially as an undrafted rookie free agent, that you could ask for. He’s put it on tape. ...

"Unfortunately, I don’t make those decisions, but I absolutely believe he deserves a spot on this team.”

We know Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff and Dorial Green-Beckham will be here (see 10 observations).

It’s hard to imagine Turner, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Louisiana Tech, won’t join them on the final 53-man roster.

“He plays ball, man,” Matthews said. “He’s a ballplayer. Sometimes we make the game too complicated, and the guys who just go out there and just play ball lots of times do the best.

“He’s not the first guy to be assuming and do well in the NFL. First couple days, I’m watching this guy and I’m thinking, ‘This guy is good.’ We’re doing 1-on-1s and he keeps getting open, keeps getting open, and he’s right there in the slot with me, man, this guy has some skill to him, and keeps going, keeps going, keeps working, and you can’t help but pull for him.

“I definitely want to see him on this team. All those things are up to the coaches obviously, but the kid’s worked hard and hopefully he’s with us.”

It’s rare for an undrafted rookie wide receiver to flourish like Turner. It might be the hardest position for rookies to learn, other than quarterback, since offenses are so much more complicated than in college.

But Turner has done it.

“I just knew if I could get in the playbook, like I had a chance to do, things would come easier,” he said.

“I had guys like Jordan and Josh who just helped me when I didn’t know things and I could call them at any time, and I think that’s what helped the most, and I think understanding the playbook is what allowed me to play at a faster pace.”

Turner stands only 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, and ran a 4.55 at the NFL Scouting Combine.

So far, it hasn’t seemed to matter.

“If he goes to the combine, he’s going to be one of the bottom-tier guys in most of the categories,” tight end Zach Ertz said.

“He’s short, he’s not tall, he’s not that fast, but the best attribute is that he’s a really good football player, and I think he’s got a great chance to make this team, but I think he’s going to be successful wherever he winds up.”

 

The Eagles brought in several undrafted rookie wide receivers this summer, and each of them showed flashes.

But Turner just seemed to show them every day.

“It’s just his everyday consistency,” Ertz said. “That’s something a lot of times with the rookies, one day they’re good, then you don’t see them for a few days.

“But every day Paul makes a catch that sticks with you. ‘Man, this guy’s got some pretty good hands.’ Obviously the guy is battling his butt off, whether it’s special teams or offense, and I think his consistency is what’s really stood out to a lot of the guys.”

Final cuts are scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.

Turner has to stay.

"He's done everything we've asked him to do," head coach Doug Pederson said. "He's making it hard on us, and that's what I've challenged all the young guys [to do] ... make it hard on myself and Howie [Roseman] and the personnel staff when we have to make these decisions by Saturday at 4 o'clock. 

"He's put himself in a good position and we just have to continue to evaluate and see how it shakes out."