After Jalen Hurts plays “one or two series” Friday night against the Jets, that leaves plenty of work for the Eagles’ other quarterbacks.
A typical NFL game has an average of 11 or 12 possessions, so we’ll see Gardner Minshew, and probably former Dolphins prospect Reid Sinnett and rookie Carson Strong. It wouldn’t be unexpected to see Minshew to play the rest of the first half after Hurts, followed by a quarter each from Sinnett and Strong.
Minshew is an established NFL quarterback, ranked in the top five among veteran back-ups by CBS Sports. The Eagles are fortunate to have a guy at QB2 who has won games in the league and for them.
“I think he’s running the offense smoothly,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “He’s had some interceptions that have happened that aren’t necessarily his fault, right, with tip balls, this and that.
“You always want him to keep getting better every day. I know he’ll go out there and play well in the preseason games.
“You also know like, OK, if he has a down day, you know what he’s been in the past. You know that he helped us win a game last year and he’s played at a high level. You know the games he’s played in the NFL, his 42 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and all that stuff.
“I do believe there have been some picks he’s had that aren’t necessarily his fault, but he’s in the process of trying to get better just like we all are.”
Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said about Minshew:
- “The thing about Gardner, he can process it really quickly and he gets the ball out of his hands really quickly. He’s played a good chunk of football and he’s had a lot of experience playing in Jacksonville obviously.
- “But you can see the growth in him in learning our offense too with a year into it, just the decision making and getting the ball out quick.”
BATTLE FOR THIRD QB SPOT
Either Strong or former Dolphins prospect Sinnett will be the third quarterback. Neither has taken an NFL snap. Based on camp performances, Sinnett appears to have an edge.
One will be earning in paycheck in September. One might become trade bait, should they impress in the preseason.
While the second half of preseason games can feel meaningless, to the back-ups on the field they know they can impress the Eagles coaches and their teammates.
Plus, preseason games are golden opportunities to get on film for the other 31 teams.
Eagles fans naturally want their back-ups quarterbacks to succeed to strength the roster but with Howie Roseman as general manager, there is always the possibility of flipping a third-string quarterback for a fourth-round draft pick, or so.
EAGLES PAID BIG BUCKS FOR STRONG
Strong is an interesting prospect out of the University of Nevada. He has a big arm and was undrafted because of concern over a knee injury.
Strong was offered $320,000 guaranteed money by the Eagles, believed to be one of the largest guarantees for an undrafted player.
The Eagles must like his potential. If he had been healthy, draft experts say he would have been selected. Maybe the Eagles got a bargain.
“With any young guy you’re learning a whole new language,” Steichen said. “You got the spring, and then the summer he’s studying, then we come in there on this [camp].
“With anything it’s a transition, from college to the NFL … Obviously we want to keep it to where, hey, let’s get our base stuff in with him, and then once he gets a real good hang of it, then we can start incorporating a lot more things that we do.”
- “I’m just lucky to have a chance here with the Eagles – great coaches, great organization – and so I’m just eager to learn and get better,” Strong told the Eagles’ website.
- “The Eagles are giving me a chance and I can’t be more grateful for that. To be honest, I thought I was going to get drafted … but at the end of the day after the seventh round after talking to the Eagles, I could tell they believed in me and they wanted me to come here and so I’m just happy and lucky to be here.”
Strong’s competition for the third-string job will be Sinnett, who the Eagles acquired off waivers in late October.
“Reid is a really smart football player. He understands the game really well,” Steichen said. “He’s been really good in the meetings. He asks great questions.
“He’s a big, strong passer with a big arm, and he sees it well. So it’ll be good to see him in the preseason this year.”