The Eagles held their first training camp practice on Wednesday and Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni both spoke to reporters before taking the field. They talked a bit about the structure of this year’s camp, along with their impressions of certain players and position groups, including Jalen Hurts and the roster depth at safety.
Here’s what the pair had to say:
On the training camp structure
Sirianni said that they’re always looking to adapt what they did in the past, so there are some differences in the schedule this year to make things better for the players — to make sure they’re ready to play and to make sure they’re healthy to play.
They didn’t have much information about future padded practices, but Sirianni explained that some of the changes they made to the schedule was based on the science and stats behind soft tissue injuries suffered during previous camps in Philly and throughout the league.
On Jalen Hurts
“NICK SIRIANNI: You can see that he’s another year into it, that the decisions are being made quicker and faster each time he gets a rep at it. Just like a lot of quarterbacks in this league, right, they get better with their decision making over time. And so, you’re definitely going to see that. You’ll still see his playmaking ability with his feet. I saw a more accurate passer in OTAs, and now he’s got to go and continue to improve every single day. I really thought he had great progress in OTAs and he’s gotta continue to ride the momentum of that through training camp each and every day.”
Sirianni was wearing a shirt with Jalen Hurts’ face in the middle, but shot down the notion that it was done to show his and the team’s support of the starting quarterback. He explained that it was something his brother did as a college football head coach, and it’s just a way to connect even further with his players.
On James Bradberry
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: This is a guy we spent a lot of time evaluating as he came out — we didn’t have a second round pick that year. Competed against him in Carolina and the Giants. Had a lot of respect for the player and the person, and was excited to get the opportunity to get him into Philadelphia. Obviously, you’ve seen him going against the guys in the NFC East, which is a big part of us. You know, the NFC East is our first goal the coach outlines with the team.”
On Jaquiski Tartt
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: We always try to keep looking at our boards. Our scouting department does a great job of keeping our boards updated and telling us who those top guys on those lists are, and he kept kind of showing up. And he’s a guy who’s played seven years on a very good defense in San Francisco, played at a high level, played in big games, has the right temperament. So, we’re excited to add him to the team as well.”
On the safety position
“HOWIE ROSEMAN: I don’t know that I ever look at our depth chart and feel content. I think it’s a situation because of the nature of this game where you’re always kind of looking forward to what’s next, and have to look forward to what’s next. I think we talk about safeties — a guy that we spend a lot of time talking about this offseason was Marcus Epps. A guy who — nobody works harder than Marcus. Here’s a guy who, obviously, last year played in a rotation with those guys and you want your young players to step up and develop more. That’s why we have a player development program. That’s why we have these coaches.
So, with him and the veteran guys we have, plus we have a couple of young players in that group. K’Von [Wallace] needs to take a bigger step, we brought in some young players, as well, behind those guys. You know, it’s like every position, we’ll evaluate it and we’ll constantly be on the lookout to improve the roster.”
- When asked about how things are different heading into Year 2 under Sirianni, Howie noted that you never know how someone is going to handle adversity, but he was really impressed with the head coach and his staff who took a 2-5 team — and Eagles fans who were not happy about it — and turn things around and made it to the playoffs.
- Sirianni later said that they were happy to have AJ Brown and he’ll fit it well with what they’re trying to do.
- The head coach was also asked about the offensive line, and he specifically pointed out Isaac Seumalo and how he’s been with that group for a “long, long time” and he’s looking forward to having him back. He’s also looking forward to the competition among the rest of the guys competing for a spot, and noted that the more positions they can play, the better.