A curious strategy being used by NFC East teams regarding their starting quarterbacks this preseason.
Of course, Jalen Hurts played one terrific series in the Eagles’ first preseason game. He completed 6-of-6 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. He played a mere 3 minutes, 47 seconds.
We haven’t seen Hurts since — unless you count the quick shot on television of him on an exercise bike at the Browns game.
He is not expected to play in the final preseason game Saturday in Miami. Check out the Eagles depth chart to see who’s next in line to play after Hurts and Minshew.
If that doesn’t strike you as enough live work, well, that’s on coach Nick Sirianni, who famously hasn’t overworked his team this preseason.
Sirianni has emphasized the importance of last week’s workout sessions against the Browns and this week’s sessions against the Dolphins.
Several times when asked times about starters playing against the Browns, Sirianni said it depended on how the practices went.
The sessions must have gone well because no starters saw the field.
Remember last year: Hurts took ten snaps in preseason, came out firing on opening day, and lit up the Falcons. Hurts threw for three touchdowns and completed 27-of-35 passes for 264 yards in a big win over Atlanta.
“Again, when you come out here, you’re just trying to make steady improvements and that’s what we are trying to do,” Sirianni said. “It’s good to come out and get competition against another team.
“I wouldn’t say we learned anything or anything like that. Just like, ‘Hey, here is what we needed to correct from yesterday.’
“It’s just like any other practice setting. Here is what we did well, here is what we need to correct, and you have the same meeting that you do after practice.”
Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, like his boss, is all-in on the joint practices.
- “I love the joint practices, to be honest,” Steichen said. “It breaks up camp. Gives our guys another opponent, and it’s really all about competing and going out.
- “You get two practices and obviously they are in a controlled environment, but you know, you get that true competition, the situations you can set up with them, script it, and then sometimes you have the call-it periods …
- “For Jalen, same thing, just treat it like a game-like atmosphere, just like we do at practice [at training camp].”
They are doing things differently in Dallas. Quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t played a minute in the Cowboys’ first two preseason games, even though he is fully healthy for the first time in two years.
He is expected to play some in Dallas’ final preseason game Friday at home against Seattle.
“I feel like we have one of the best people at that position, and one of the best people that a team has in the NFL,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told the Dallas media about Prescott. “He’s a big part of my optimism.
“Well, I don’t want to see him throw a ball halfway the length of the field and strain something out here the third day. And, so, that’s for starters right there, and I don’t think we’ll see that.”
JONES, WENTZ PLAY BOTH GAMES
The Giants and Commanders have played their starting quarterback in both preseason games.
New York’s Daniel Jones is having an excellent preseason, with the caveat it’s mostly against second-stringers.
Jones, the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft, is playing for his Giants future. The Giants declined his fifth-year contract option, so it’s all on Jones.
In his two games under a new coach and offensive coordinator, Jones has completed 20-of-26 passes (76.9 percent) for 185 yards, with one interception. The interception was a pass thrown right on the money that was deflected instead of caught by rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger.
Carson Wentz has good numbers but spotty play in his first two preseason games with Washington.
He has completed 16-of-22 passes for 138 yards. Washington media said he has been cautious with the football, throwing no interceptions.
Wentz also has been erratic. He led a commanding drive in the first game against the Panthers but looked below-average at times.
“I’m my biggest critic,” Wentz told the media after being asked about his inconsistent play.
“I come back after practice and I’m kicking myself over one, two, three, four, five plays.”
Washington is Wentz’ third team in three seasons, which means his third offensive system in three years.
After his flame-out with the Eagles, he went to Indianapolis for an unsuccessful season before joining Washington for 2022.
With so much change, it makes sense for Wentz to get more playing time. Playing two games isn’t absurd — the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes played in both of his games.