Joe Callahan was arguably one of the Eagles’ most interesting offseason signings.
OK, that’s not true. Callahan’s role as the fourth string quarterback in Philadelphia is pretty straightforward: he’s a camp arm who is here to eat up some reps, especially with Carson Wentz missing practice time as he recovers from his knee injury.
But while Callahan is one of the longest of long shots to make the 53-man roster, I’m interested to see if he can at least be better than Matt McGloin was last summer. Nothing personal, but it was brutal to watch that guy at times.
Maybe Callahan, a native of Absecon, New Jersey, can be the next preseason folk hero in the mold of G.J. Kinne. Of course, there will never be another G.J. Kinne, but Callahan might be able to take second place in our hearts. The local guy angle doesn’t hurt.
On a more serious note, he does have an outside chance to make the team if the Eagles trade Nick Foles and decide to keep three quarterbacks. Very unlikely, yes, but crazier things have happened.
1. Can you sum up Joe Callahan’s time with the Packers? Why did they keep him around for so long?
Joe Callahan’s NFL career has proved a source of great confusion. He didn’t perform particularly well during his first preseason as an undrafted free agent out of Division III Wesley College nor does he possess any great physical traits. He managed to stick around Green Bay as a rookie because the Packers didn’t want to take up a spot on their 53-man roster with a third quarterback and he had practice squad eligibility.
Still, the Packers didn’t plan to keep Callahan in 2017. He struggled moving the offense during his preseason exposure and hadn’t improved physically since his rookie season. Worse, he fell behind undrafted rookie Taysom Hill in the race for the No. 3 job. However, when the Packers exposed Hill to waivers during final cuts, the Saints claimed him, leaving Callahan as the practice-squad quarterback by default.Callahan’s luck finally ran out this offseason. It speaks volumes that the moment the Packers signed an undrafted signal-caller last month, they moved on from Callahan.
2. What are his strengths?
Callahan possesses functional mobility and can extend plays better than a fair number of quarterbacks.
3. What are his weaknesses?
That mobility tends to get Callahan into trouble. He doesn’t have a great feel for pressure and too often takes off when his initial target doesn’t break open. This habit reared its head many times during his rookie preseason and again last year.
4. Did you ever see anything that made you believe he could be more than a third string quarterback?
No. I don’t think Callahan has shown enough to justify a roster spot. I never understood the Packers’ fascination with him, and I don’t see why the Eagles want to give him a look now. Stranger things have happened, surely. But everything Callahan has done in the NFL thus far suggests he shouldn’t make it past final cuts in Philly.
5. How likely is it that some Eagles fans will become Callahaniacs?
Maybe Callahan can win over Eagles fans in an ironic, “human cigar” kind of role?