“The Question They Needed Answered”
Q&A: Birds Wanted Minshew To Start?
After a big misstep last Sunday against the Giants, the Eagles bounced back commandingly against the Jets in Week 14. The running game continued to dominate, and Gardner Minshew shined in his first start as he helped fuel a 33-18 win.
Former Eagles safety Quintin Mikell and former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant discussed Minshew’s effort, his control of the offense, and why the Eagles played it extra safe in withholding Jalen Hurts (ankle) in the latest “Q&A” on Inside The Birds.
“I think the answer has already been given to us,” Avant said. “Let me tell you why: Jalen Hurts was adamant in his presser on Wednesday that he was going to be ready to play. Jalen Hurts is a tough kid and has always been a tough kid. So if Jalen Hurts thought he could play on Wednesday and he finished the game on Sunday, he could’ve played against the Jets.
“That was one of those, ‘Nah, let’s get you ready for the rest of the season, because if we can sit you against this bad team and then you get the bye week off and you’ll be ready for the rest of the season…’ This was a disguise to be able to play Gardner Minshew and be able to evaluate him. I’ve seen this movie 50 times in the NFL. Fifty!”
While the Eagles might’ve been curious to gauge Minshew’s impact, head coach Nick Sirianni already put any controversy to bed when he confidently stated Hurts would be the starter when healthy.
Avant and Mikell still see it a differently.
“I think the organization kinda tipped their hand on which way they were moving by that decision,” Avant added. “I think it wasn’t because Jalen Hurts wanted to be out of the game, it was because the organization really needed an excuse to play Gardner Minshew, and they got it.
“They saw what he was able to do, and maybe that was the question they needed answered. Therefore, I think they’re gonna move forward with Gardner Minshew.”
Mikell agreed that the organization was looking to see what Minshew brought to the offense.
“I had a feeling as soon as I heard about his ankle, I said, ‘Yeah, they’re gonna sit him. They’re gonna figure out a way to get him on the bench and get Gardner Minshew some reps.’ We’ve seen this game being played our entire career.”
“He [Hurts] was kinda forced into a situation where he had to give up his position and potentially give up his spot [as the starter]. It kinda sucks to see it go down that way.”
Time will tell if Mikell and Avant are correct, or if Hurts gets his chance to lead the Eagles into the playoffs as they enter the home stretch.
– Tyler Strasser (@tylerstrasser7) is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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