Inside The Birds: Cloudiest QB Situation In Recent Memory
As the Eagles head into next season with one of the more unclear quarterback situations in the franchise’s recent history, Howie Roseman is evaluating all options ahead of the NFL Draft.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan look at the quarterback spot as well as receivers and help for the secondary.
Geoff Mosher: “If something were to happen, a trade for Deshaun Watson involving the Eagles, what has to first happen is that Jeffrey Lurie has to be OK with this. And for Jeffrey Lurie to be OK with this it’s not just 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down,' no. Jeffrey, because we know how active Jeffrey is, he's going to have to have a team of people, researchers, security people doing all of the legwork that needs to be done, leaving no stone unturned so that Jeffrey can make a decision based on the facts that he has accumulated. That's got to be Step 1 before anything else can happen. I mean, you know how Jeffery is and how he views public perception and how thorough he is on things like this. He is not going to do anything unless the information he gets makes him very comfortable with Deshaun Watson's character, and only then.”
Adam Caplan: “I've talked to teams that have interest in him, and the way it works is you have your own security team, you've got your attorney or attorneys, you have NFL security you talk to, you have your own law enforcement sources as one team told me. One team said they did their research on it because this one team is looking for a quarterback but had not been mentioned in all the rumors. The Eagles have been mentioned, obviously. It's been out there for a couple weeks. Panthers, a couple other teams. This one team was not but they were talking about internally and they were discussing if they would do anything. And they were not, but the guy told me this is the way it would work if you do this.”
"The stuff that has been alleged against Watson is very serious. Let's not undermine that. It's very serious. We don't know what the truth is, but you’ve got to take the accusations seriously so I don't see how anyone could trade for him based on the accusations. But if you're a team that's interested, you've got to get to the bottom of what’s real. Obviously if you think even one of the accusations is real, you're out.”
Caplan: “Jalen Hurts is in the second year of his four-year deal. I'll say to I'm all blue in the face. He was never drafted to be the starter. I know some people curse me out because of this like I don't know what I'm talking about. Folks, you think I'm making this up?”
Mosher: "Yeah, I've been told the same thing. I can back you up on it. It's true. It also doesn't mean that you and I don't think Jalen Hurts can't be a good player or we wouldn't be happy for the Eagles, it's just the reality of the situation. You need that, that base knowledge, to understand why maybe you see a report of them interested in Zach Wilson or maybe Deshaun Watson or who knows on Russell Wilson or whatever. We just want people to understand why and that's why. I'm just gonna say maybe Jalen Hurts takes the reins for this year and has a really good year and changes their minds – that’s fine, too.”
Caplan: “For the record, I'm not a fan, but I'm with those who say, 'I’d love to see Jalen Hurts play this season so you can find out.' But I also understand from a club standpoint. I know the way it works. Geoff and I've covered this league now for over two decades. I totally understand when you want to know who your franchise quarterback is going to be. Watson's a guy – without the off the field issues, without the accusations – he clearly is one. You just have to invest and you have to look into these things.”
Mosher: The plan was to get Jalen Reagor into the slot [at times], even going into last year, his rookie year. We reported that they wanted him to start off learning Z. That was the plan, but they wanted to be able to move him into the slot in certain formations and packages, because they loved his short-area quickness, his burst over the middle, his ability to run after the catch, the way he's built kind of like a running back, and they wanted to get the ball in his hands fast, not just always downfield. What happened was, he got hurt, so that stunted his development ... and then DeSean Jackson got hurt, which left a void at the Z. So Jalen had to play a lot of Z, and then [Travis] Fulgham was able to play the X and then [Greg] Ward played the slot, but then Jalen got hurt again because he broke his thumb. So he got hurt in camp and hurt the thumb. Every plan that Doug Pederson had for everybody last year basically got ripped up by Week 3 and thrown out because of the injuries to the offensive line and receivers, but a lot of wide receivers will move at times into the slot. That's not news, and nor is it breaking news.”
Caplan: "I'm told that T.J. Carrie, who's a corner these days, [drew interest from Eagles]. I've talked to a coach that worked with him years ago; he actually started the league at free safety. This is the scouting report I got: super smart, high-character guy. He's not a blazer, he's not fast. He's just smart, he'll be in the right place. He's a sub-package player only. You could play him in the slot, you could play him outside. He's a third or fourth corner. At this point, now that we're three weeks into free agency, he's not going to cost you more, maybe a little bit more than veteran minimum, maybe $2-3 million, but here’s the problem, they [the Eagles] have to sign their own rookies.”
Mosher: "Good news because we've been talking about this for a little bit now like, what's going to happen with OTAs? I still think that we don't have all the pieces filled in, but we do know that the NFL has told teams to conduct meetings virtually."
Caplan: "They don't anticipate it'll be the entire offseason so they're gonna ease some of the restrictions. They didn't give the timeframe so nothing is nothing is finalized. This is from the AP story, ‘Nothing is finalized regarding the spring summer programs, and the NFL memo the teams were told that they should be prepared to conduct meetings virtually at least in the early phase of the program, as was expressed during Tuesday's meeting we do not anticipate a duplication of last season's virtual workout program.’ "Great. Because I'm telling you, the second year players – Reagor, [John] Hightower, [Quez] Watkins, Hurts, assuming he's the quarterback, certainly if he's the starter. Joe Flacco, because he's got to learn this offense. A new coaching staff we're gonna see too.”
Mosher: “Do they still have the rule where teams that have a new coaching staff get an extra week of OTA’s?”
Caplan: “Yes you get a week and you also get in earlier to training camp by the way.”
Mosher: "I mean, this has to be a breath of fresh air for the Eagles. A lot of teams definitely but especially for the Eagles who not only have the new coaching staff, but as you were just mentioning a whole slew of second-year players who really need to develop. I mean if these guys do not develop well, forget it. I don't wanna say it doesn't matter what they do in this and next year's draft, but you really need last year's draft to start to kind of mature now and make some impact this year. More of an impact than they did last year, got to have it.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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