Inside The Birds: Jalen Reagor Rising; Bummer for Tyree Jackson
The Eagles play preseason game No. 2 Thursday night as they host the New England Patriots for the final home preseason game.
On the latest Inside The Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan discuss the latest from camp, including Jalen Reagor’s surge and Tyree Jackson’s injury.
Geoff Mosher: “Tight end Tyree Jackson is going to be out 8-to-10 weeks with a bone fracture in his back and that causes all sorts of roster questions and development questions, obviously, with him being out with his team. The big picture is that it stinks, the guy was really having a nice camp.”
Adam Caplan: “I really believe that he would have made it had he just continued on the track that he was on. He’s exactly what they were looking for, a guy that they could convert, whether it’s a defensive lineman to a tight end, quarterback to a tight end or whatever it is. This is something they’ve been after for many years and they finally got this one. Look, they tried with Hakeem Butler, it hasn’t really worked yet. Jason Croom was a guy they brought in who was a pretty athletic tight end, but he’s not been able to establish himself and then Tyree Jackson seemingly came out of nowhere and was really the story of training camp.”
Caplan: “From what we understand is on Monday he was super accurate [against the Patriots] and felt he was in a rhythm in team drills. That’s what you want. You just want to start getting the ball out, get into rhythm, get your timing down. It was his best practice, arguably of training camp, and that’s a good thing.”
Caplan: “What we’re told [about] Reagor is his focus. I don’t know the guy but what we hear is when he doesn’t do well, the focus needs to be better, that seems to be his consistent issue. But when he’s focused, sometimes nobody can handle him. You don’t find guys that are 5-foot-10 built like this. He’s just got this build, physically gifted. He was one of the elite explosive receivers […] in terms of the 2020 draft.”
Mosher: “I think there was a little bit too much Quez Watkins love after the preseason game, not that he doesn’t deserve it. He’s had a very good camp and certainly he showed you his speed on that screen, and then even getting open along the left sideline. You started to see the headlines. Is he ready to be a starter? He’s running with the first team now. Is he their second -best wide receiver? I think you and I can both unequivocally say slow down on that because there are still challenges with him like there are the other receivers. He’s right now a guy who is a package player. You get him on the field in certain packages to stretch the field when you want to go deep against certain looks, but he’s not ready to be on the field for 65 to 75 percent of the offense. From what we understand he’s still a guy who has to be coached hard behind the scenes and on the field — alignment, knowing the playbook, being invested, focus…All of that comes into play.”
Caplan: “With Quez, the term that coaches use is he’s a rotational deep threat. That means 15-to-20 snaps a game if he does everything like you’re supposed to. Remember, until coming into training camp, he was on the outside looking in, he needed to earn his way on the roster. You don’t make the team because you’ve had two great weeks of training camp. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to approach your job like it’s your last and have that urgency the coaches talk about. If he continues to do that he’ll be on the team as the fifth receiver, but he’s not going to be a starter. That’s not going to happen. It’s never been discussed.”
Mosher: “We should talk about [Javon] Hargrave because he’s been nothing short of dominant all throughout camp and he was against the Steelers in the preseason game as well.”
Caplan: “Hargrave has been their best player, he’s been the best player in training camp. He is now No. 1 over Jordan Mailata. From what we’re hearing at times he’s been unblockable.”
Mosher: “My sense is definitely that they want him to be able to make the [roster] on merit and that they’re a little disappointed that this far into camp we just haven’t seen enough consistency from him, because he’s got the talent.”
Caplan: “It’s interesting, because if you think about it, he’s not competing against any veterans for that X role. I know that this coaching staff doesn’t like to do X,Y and Z, but fact of the matter is it’s that outside role, they talk about outside receivers. They’ve handed him an ability to start, but he just has not been consistent enough so this is another opportunity.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com.
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