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Nick Sirianni anticipates Eagles starters will play in first preseason game

Although, the head coach only expects them to play one or two series.

The Eagles were back at practice on Wednesday, and head coach Nick Sirianni talked about their (tentative) plan for Friday’s preseason opener. He also gave an update on Jason Kelce and who will step into his role, as well as spoke about the importance of the relationship between Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Gannon.

Here’s what else the head coach had to say:

On Jason Kelce’s elbow

Sirianni talked a bit about the decision to clean out Jason Kelce’s elbow, and he noted that the veteran center was having some discomfort and since they still have time before the season, they thought it would be best to address it now. The coach didn’t want to put a timetable on Kelce’s return but said they were hopeful for Week 1 — and also pointed out that Kelce has 120 consecutive starts, so if he’s close, Sirianni would bet that he’ll be out there.

While Kelce is sidelined, rookie Cam Jurgens will get the center reps with the ones. Sirianni said Jurgens has been a sponge behind the veteran, and said he’s done a nice job picking things up and has been trying to get as much information as he can.

On Friday’s preseason game

Sirianni made sure to point out that they don’t have to finalize their decision until game time, but as of Wednesday, they are thinking that the starters will play one or two series in Friday’s preseason opener.

He also talked about how important the preseason games are for the coaching staff to strengthen their communication and get everything in place once the season starts. The head coach said that he wants his players to get better everyday, but also expects himself and his coaches to get better everyday, too.

Sirianni is never one to downplay how important these preseason game are for young guys and for guys trying to secure a roster spot. He loves watching guys have good practices but then go out and have a really impressive performance during a preseason game. For the coaches, it also provides tape from a different stage to correct mistakes and praise their successes.

On Gannon and Hurts’ relationship

After Tuesday’s practice, quarterback Jalen Hurts spoke to the media and mentioned how he and DC Jonathan Gannon talk everyday. The QB said that it’s important to him to have a good relationship with the defensive coordinator, and he asks Gannon a lot of questions.

Sirianni echoed the importance of that relationship on Wednesday:

“One of the reason’s Jonathan [Gannon] is here is all the back and forth that I’ve had with him over the three years in Indy about different styles of defense and what he’s seen, or a question I have about a defense to get our team ready. It’s the same thing with Jalen [Hurts]. They talk back and forth, and I think that’s what good teams do.”

Other notables

  • Things are still day-to-day with DeVonta Smith, but they’re hopeful he’ll be back to practice soon. Sirianni mentioned how important Smith is to the organization and the offense, and they don’t want to rush things, but he is getting more comfortable by the day.
  • The head coach said that Gardner Minshew is running the offense really well thus far in camp, and he’s had some interceptions that weren’t his fault. Still, like everyone, Sirianni wants Minshew getting better everyday, but he expects him to play well during the preseason.

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