When Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman used a second-round draft pick over former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts in April, NFL team fans were livid.
Hurts was runner-up for the 2019 Heisman Trophy in his Oklahoma transfer season, but Eagles supporters thought Roseman could get an impact player with the 53rd selection, not a backup for the big-money quarterback who Philadelphia already had.
With injuries to offensive linemen and wide catchers seemingly a contributing factor to the Eagles ̵
But Philadelphia manager Doug Pederson doesn’t, at least not regularly.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has an efficiency score of 63.9 in 2020, the worst in the NFL for 33 players with enough passes to qualify. After throwing seven interceptions in 2019, Wentz launched six in three games in 2020, the most in the NFL.
During an appearance Monday on “Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team” at WIP-FM in Philadelphia, Pederson was asked what it would take to try another quarterback.
“You’re not going,” Pederson said. “That’s a gut reaction. It’s a reaction to things that sometimes are, you know, the aura out there. Right? That’s not what we internally believe, and we’ll keep improving. Carson is our quarterback. we’ll fix it, fix it, and, you know, we’ve got a long season.
“Listen, we’re only halfway through the game, for heaven’s sake. The whole division isn’t playing great football right now, so, you know, we’re not that far off.”
After taking some rookie lumps in 2016, Wentz had pitched for 10,409 yards and 81 touchdowns with 21 interceptions from 2017 to 2019. Prior to last season, Philadelphia had signed Wentz for a four-year, $ 128 million contract extension.
But this season, the Eagles lost to the Washington Football Team 27-17 and the Los Angeles Rams 37-19 before drawing Sunday 23-23 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Those teams are 1-5 in their other matches in 2020.
“(Sunday) was tough because we lost (tight end) Dallas Goedert in the ninth game of the game, and then (wide receiver) DeSean Jackson comes out, and obviously, those are two big guys that we have a game plan for,” Pederson said. “And then you start moving some pieces and it gets difficult. Look, I’ve always said before that it’s not a boy. We need to make sure everyone is following the line and doing the right things, doing their job in a particular match, be it the offensive line, the runners, the receivers, the closed shots, everyone, the quarterback – we’re all in that. This is not just one guy. There are some plays (Wentz) probably would like and would like to get back into the game and maybe it makes a difference, but we will continue to move forward. “
Pederson said there were some things the Eagles could have tried to make Wentz lose control.
“I think one of the ways we do this and really a little bit maybe to clear his mind is to play fast, is to play fast, where players don’t have to think, they just react,” Pederson said at his lecture. monday print. “This has been a recipe for us over the years, and it’s something we may have to rely on a little more. We’ll take a look at the game plans and make sure maybe there aren’t many moving parts or stuff from the game. point of view of a quarterback who has to get us in and out, just do more of the run-it game variety where you don’t have to think about a lot of things and just somehow help him clear his mind and let him play and do the works that we know it is capable of doing “.
Hurts was an inactive game day in the Philadelphia season opener, with Nate Sudfeld serving as the reserve quarterback. In the last two games, Hurts has held that role.
Against the Rams, Hurts took the field for three games, lining up with the running back and wide receiver as bait. On Sunday, he played three shots again, lining up with the quarterback for the first time and recording his first NFL stats.
Hurts ran an 8-yard run for a first down and switched to a running back before a fumble on a zone reading lost 3 yards.
And so Hurts took to the field in the NFL before his former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa backed Hurts as a freshman in 2017 before stepping in after half-time in the CFP championship match to rally the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 overtime win against Georgia. In 2018, Hurts backed Tagovailoa and came off the bench in the fourth quarter to rally Alabama to a 35-28 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game as a last hurray before the transfer.
Tagovailoa entered the NFL as the fifth player picked in the 2020 draft, but did not play for the Miami Dolphins. Instead, Tagovailoa was the backup of 16-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
During her press conference on Tuesday, Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was asked if she thought it would be a good idea for Miami to install a game package for the novice to give Tagovailoa a little experience.
“I think this is a question for (head) coach (Brian) Flores,” Gailey said.
Gailey said Tagovailoa is doing just fine right where he is.
“There have been a few times where he said, ‘Yeah, we did something like that,'” Gailey said of Tagovailoa’s adaptation to the Dolphins offensive playbook, “but each offense is unique, and it’s actually a language and it’s a learning process he’s going through. The great thing is that he sits there and listens to one of what I think are the greatest minds in football and that’s Fitz. He listens to him talk about defenses, talk about protections, talk about all that kind of thing about soccer you don’t really get in college, so here’s a different game than it was in college. So far he’s picked it up very well. But he still has something to learn, and I think he’d tell you the same thing. “
Philadelphia visits the San Francisco 49ers in the Sunday night game for week 4 while Miami hosts the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.
Mark Inabinett is a sports journalist for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @ AMarkG1.
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