Part of the Eagles’ continued success over the last decade is their ability to build through the offensive line. The stability they’ve been able to acquire no doubt makes other teams envious, and it likely feeds into fans’ opinions that any lineman take will be the next big thing.
So far, that appears to be what’s happening with second-round center Cam Jurgen. In Friday’s loss to the Jets, Jurgens played 21 pass-blocking snaps (tied for most of all lineman), allowing just a single pressure. He earned a team-high PFF run-blocking grade of 86.0.
However, Nick Sirianni wants to pump the breaks on the hype. Speaking via the team’s website after their preseason opener, Sirianni discussed Jurgen’s comparisons to long-time star Jason Kelce, which he quickly tempered.
“He played a good game. Obviously, I don’t want to compare him to Jason Kelce at this particular time. Jason Kelce has been playing at a high level for so long,” Sirianni said.
“There definitely are comparisons, and we saw that. Any time you evaluate a guy on college tape, you try to make a comparison to paint a picture of what you see. So that was the comparison we saw at Nebraska. And of course, yes, the way he kind of moves around, pulls, gets to the second level, a lot of similarities.”
Sirianni’s Decision To Tamper Expectations Is Smart
As much as coaches love to hype up their players, there comes a time when excessive love isn’t a great idea. Expectations can destroy players from the inside out, as with the case of Jalen Reagor.
Additionally, comparing Jurgens to Kelce off all players is a huge deal. Kelce’s longevity, performance, attitude, and connection with the fans is unmatched. Having to try and match that career is already putting an unfair amount of pressure on Jurgens.
Could Jurgens be a solid center? Yes. Could he perhaps be the team’s next Kelce for the next decade-plus? Also a yes. But declaring that a probability at this point would just be stupid and setting yourself up for a backfire, and Sirianni is taking the correct route in reminding both the fans and media that the young player has a long way to go before gaining that respect.