Eagles coach Nick Sirianni talks ‘Tush Push’

Not many plays in the NFL are unstoppable, but there is one that the Eagles use that is pretty close. The ‘Tush Push,” as it is affectionally called, is impossible to stop.

If it’s one yard or less, more than likely, the Eagles are using a quarterback sneak with a little push from behind.

Last season, the Eagles ran 41 QB sneaks, and Philly converted 37/41(90%). Again, that play is pretty much impossible to stop.

According to CBS Sports, Philadelphia’s success marked the first time in 15 years a team has topped 20 first downs on quarterback sneaks,

In their win over the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday night, Hurts scored two touchdowns using the ‘Tush Push.’

As they continue to prepare for their road game against the Buccaneers on Monday night, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was asked about the play’s origin.

“It works, and we just keep doing it,” Sirianni said on Saturday. “I don’t remember if we saw this — I know Reggie Bush did it to Matt Leinart a long time ago, right, in Notre Dame versus USC. There is not a rule against it, so that’s what we do.

“I don’t know what the origin is except for when it works; we just keep rolling with it.”

Many think it’s the push that makes it impossible to stop; however, Sirianni says it’s more than that.

“Yeah, not everyone has [C] Jason Kelce, [G] Landon Dickerson, [C/G] Cam Jurgens,” Sirianni said. “Not everybody has [T] Jordan Mailata. Not everybody has [T] Lane Johnson on the other side. Not everybody has that type of quarterback.

“We noticed that last year when people were making maybe some big deals about it. There are a lot that are unsuccessful. You guys know who the teams were that were, and I don’t know exactly the teams that were successful and the teams that weren’t successful.

“But there is clearly a talent to it that our guys have because it’s not as — maybe it’s automatic right now for the Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s not automatic around the NFL, which is where you get — when you hear about it; obviously I get prepped for these things, and I hear about — Bob [Lange] will prep me for questions like this…

“Now, we did a lot of studies on everything in the off-season to help ourselves be even better at it, but it’s about those guys up front. It’s about Jalen [Hurts]. I think we would be pretty successful without the push, but we’re just pushing them sometimes to give that extra thump.”

The NFL is a copycat league, so you are starting to see other teams try to emulate what the Eagles are doing; however, as Sirianni said, not many teams have a tremendous offensive line like Philadelphia, and most don’t have a quarterback that can squat 600 pounds. 

The only thing that could stop this play is the NFL. Over time, you wonder if the league will change the rules, which could happen, but for now, the ‘Tush Push’ is alive and well.

Eagles’ Sirianni on passing game: ‘We’re not in a panic mode’

Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles offense was prolific. Philadelphia finished the season with a franchise-record 477 points, including club records in total touchdowns (59), scrimmage touchdowns (57) and rushing touchdowns (32).

In addition, the Eagles’ 32 rushing touchdowns are tied for the fourth-most in NFL single-season history.

However, the Eagles have gotten off to a slow start this season on offense, especially in the passing game. In 2022, after two games, Hurts averaged 9.2 yards per completion; after two games this season, he’s averaging 6.5 yards per completion. 

Fortunately, the Eagles ran for 259 yards against the Vikings last Thursday night, and more importantly, they are 2-0 as they prepare to battle the Buccaneers on Monday night in Tampa.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni explained what’s going on with the team’s passing game.

“We’re not in a panic mode or anything like that,” he said. “Have the pass numbers been down? Yeah. Does the defense play into that? Of course, it does. Fortunately for us — and not everybody has this luxury — but fortunately for us, we’re able to win on the ground, and we are able to win in the air, and so you are able to balance off what the defense does.

“I thought [Offensive Coordinator] Brian [Johnson] and the offensive staff did a phenomenal job of saying, ‘hey, okay, they’re packing this in the middle of the field right here and keeping all these guys high and having this three-down front. All right, cool. You guys are doing that. We’ll do what we have to do to win the game.’

“So, [QB] Jalen [Hurts] was, what? 18 of 23 in that game, so he was completing a high percentage of his passes. It was just, hey, we had 48 runs to 23 passes. Well, of course, your run stats are going to look different than pass stats, and it’s going to appear that your pass stats may be down. Was our first game our best game passing the football? No. But there were some similarities in that game plan as well.

‘Again, we are talking about a two-game sample size. We’re just going to keep doing what we need to do to put the guys in position to succeed, and that’s our job as coaches. We know for sure that we have the right guys in this building to go out and execute against the defenses that we see.”

To Sirianni’s point, there’s still a lot of football left. In addition, most of the starters did not play in preseason for the Eagles, so there could be some rust at this point. Moreover, they have a new offensive coordinator, Brian Johnson. The Eagles have so much talent on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the passing game, so it might take time, but in the end, this offense and passing game should be just fine.

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘I think we are a work in progress’

For the second week in a row, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts did not have his best game, but just like in Week 1, he and his teammates found a way.

Hurts completed 18 of 23 passes for 193 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. In addition, he ran for 35 yards and added two more touchdowns on the ground as the Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings 34-28 in the team’s home opener on Thursday night.

“For us, we found a way to get it done,” Hurts said after the win. “The reality is that the league is different from moment to moment. For us, we just continue to grow. Obviously, there were a ton of guys that made plays out there, not just myself. But there were a lot more plays out there for us to make.”

While Hurts has not been putting up eye-popping numbers, he’s getting the job done. In fact, Philadelphia has won 19 of its last 20 regular-season games Hurts. Since 2021, Hurts’ .750 winning percentage (24-8) leads all NFL quarterbacks.

After two weeks, teams are trying to limit the big plays this offense got last season in the passing game. The offense does not look entirely in sync; at this point, Hurts believes the team is finding its way.

“I think we are a work in progress,” he said. “What better way to be a work in progress than sitting on two wins out of the gate in ten days, or however many days it was. We strive for progress, not perfection. Obviously, we all have a standard for ourselves. Obviously, we demand the most of ourselves because of everything that we go through together, all the work that we put in together, and all of those things. We are going to continue to keep chipping away.

“In fact, the same things that I’m saying now I’d be saying if we lost. But the reality is winning is the only thing that matters, and everything is done with winning in mind. For us, we just want to continue to grow as a team, continue to develop, and find that identity for us and continue to grow together.”

In the second half, cameras caught an animated A.J. Brown talking with Hurts on Philly’s sideline. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was seen saying something to both guys. Brown did not speak after the game, but Hurts explained Brown’s reaction.

“I think everybody wants to make plays, and everybody wants to contribute,” he said. “I have no worry about him; he’s a great player, a great teammate, a great friend, and we’ll do anything and everything to win.” 

Sirianni says things will remain private.

“The conversations we have on the field are going to be private, and the conversations we have in our locker room are going to be private,” Sirianni said. “You don’t need to know what was going on right there.”

It’s all about getting wins, and that’s what the Eagles are doing right now, winning. As the schedule toughens up, this team will have to better if they want to continue winning.


-Philadelphia rushed for 259 yards and 3 TDs on 48 attempts, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. It was the 2nd-most rushing yards of the Nick Sirianni era (since 2021), behind a 363-yard performance on 11/27/22 vs. Green Bay. The Eagles’ leading rusher was newcomer D’Andre Swift, who totaled a career-high 175 yards in the win.

-D’Andre Swift’s 175-yard effort marked his fifth career game with 100+ rushing yards and was the most by an Eagle since LeSean McCoy on 12/8/13 (217 yards). Swift’s last 100+ yard game was on 9/11/22 vs. Philadelphia with Detroit (144 yards).


DeVonta Smith registered 131 yards and 1 TD on four receptions (32.8 avg.). It marked the 2nd-most receiving yards of his career (169 yards on 9/25/22 at Washington).
Smith became the first Eagle to record multiple 50+ yard receptions in a single game since

DeSean Jackson accomplished the feat on 9/8/19 vs. Washington. Smith caught a 54-yard reception in the first quarter to set up a FG by Jake Elliott that gave the

Eagles a 3-0 advantage early in the game. He also hauled in a 63-yard TD from Jalen Hurts during the third quarter to make it a 27-7 score.

Eagles sneak by Patriots in season opener

It wasn’t pretty, and it was not a masterpiece, but in the end, the Philadelphia Eagles(1-0) got by the Patriots(0-1) 25-20 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. 

The Eagles led 16-0 in the first quarter and held on late.

Here are three observations from Philly’s win over New England.

-Jalen Hurts did not play one of his best games. Hurts was 22/33 for 170 yards and a touchdown and ran for 37 yards; he did have a big fumble, which almost allowed the Patriots to come back late. It’s only one of 17, so you can’t read too much into Hurts’ performance, but the offense did not have much of a rhythm.

-Eagles rookie DT Jalen Carter looks like a special talent, and he recorded his first career sack late in the fourth. On his first defensive snap, he got a hit on Mac Jones. Philadelphia may have gotten the steal of the draft.

-Jake Elliott is a weapon. He made all four of his field goal attempts, including 56 and 51-yard field goals. Elliott has made two 50-plus-yard field goals in the same game for the second time in his career. He did miss an extra point, but he made up for it.

The Eagles don’t win this game without the play of Elliott.


Again, there was not much great from the Eagles, but these are the games good teams find ways to win. Going forward, you expect Hurts and the offense to be better. He was under duress at times in this game and was sacked three times, but it’s only one game, so you expect things to get better for this offense and team.


Jalen Hurts has won 18 of his last 19 regular-season starts.

The Eagles made it a 10-0 score in the first quarter when Darius Slay intercepted Patriots QB Mac Jones and returned it 70 yards for a TD. It was the longest pick-6 of Slay’s career. The takeaway was his 3rd career INT-TD, having previously done so on 11/21/21 vs. New Orleans (51 yards) and 12/9/18 at Arizona with Detroit (61 yards).

Nick Sirianni is 3-0 in season openers for his Eagles career, all on the road.

Eagles LB Nakobe Dean left in the second half with a foot injury and did not return.

Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was honored at halftime by the Patriots.




Eagles’ Sirianni on team’s running backs: ‘It’s a deep group’

The Philadelphia Eagles running back room will look slightly different in 2023 and deeper.

Last season, Pro Bowl running back Miles Sanders was the leading rusher for the Eagles; Sanders moved on and signed with the Carolina Panthers in the offseason. 

With Sanders gone, Philadelphia signed running back Rashaad Penny and acquired D’Andre Swift from the Lions. Philly re-signed Boston Scott to go along with Kenny Gainwell.

According to the depth chart, Swift is the starter, but expect Penny, Gainwell, and maybe even Scott to get a decent amount touches in 2023.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni says he’s still determining how he will use his running backs in 2023, which he discussed on Tuesday.

“It’s a deep group,” Sirianni said. “And we’ll see how it goes. Really, the running back room can go — I’ve said this to you guys before — the running back room can be either way. It can be by committee. It can be with one guy that’s taking all the carries or a majority of the carries.

“And so, we’re excited that a lot of different guys can do it. We were capable of that last year, in my opinion, as well, and I think you saw a little bit more of that in the playoffs. But [Former Eagles RB/ current Panthers RB] Miles [Sanders] just had a tremendous year last year. But we were still capable of doing so.

“So, we’ll see how it plays out. I can say it’s by committee, and then somebody gets hot, and we stick with them. We’ll see how it plays out. But what I love is the depth in that room and the capabilities of the guys in that room.”

Sirianni believes the depth the Eagles have at running back will make the team less predictable.

“I don’t think it’s like you force anything because I think they’re all good at inside zone,” Sirianni said. “I think they’re all good at pin/pull schemes. I think they’re all good at toss/crack schemes. I think they’re all gap schemes. I think that gives you some flexibility and some abilities to say we’re not predictable going in because they all have a very wide, broad skill set.”

The Eagles were great on offense in 2022, and if this team stays healthy, they could be even better in 2023.

Emergency third quarterback rule explained

In last season’s NFC Championship, the San Francisco 49ers lost both quarterbacks to injury. San Francisco did not have a quarterback; ultimately, they would fall to the Eagles.

In May, NFL clubs approved a rule that permits each team to dress a 49th player as its Emergency Third Quarterback. The following procedures are in place for use of an Emergency Third Quarterback in a regular or postseason game.

Here’s all you need to know about the Emergency Third Quarterback:

Q:     What is an Emergency Third Quarterback?

A:      A club may designate a bona fide quarterback as an Inactive/Emergency Third Quarterback for a regular-season or postseason game. The player must be listed on the Gameday Administration Report that is submitted prior to or at the 90-minute meeting, subject to the following:​

  1. The Emergency Third Quarterback must be on the club’s 53-player roster; the player cannot be an elevated Practice Squad player. The club’s starting quarterback (QB1) and its backup quarterback (QB2) must also be on the club’s 53-player roster.

  2. A club must have two bona fide quarterbacks on its 47/48-player gameday active list to designate an Emergency Third Quarterback.

  3. A club cannot designate an Emergency Third Quarterback if it has three or more bona fide quarterbacks on its 47/48-player gameday active list.

    Q:     When is an Emergency Third Quarterback permitted to enter a game?

    A:      An Emergency Third Quarterback is permitted to enter a game only if the club’s two active quarterbacks are unable to play either by disqualification or injury, including for example, if QB1 is unable to play and QB2 is being evaluated for an injury.

    Q:     After an Emergency Third Quarterback enters a game, are QB1 or QB2 permitted to return to that game?

    A:      Yes. If either QB1 or QB2 are evaluated for injury and cleared to return, either may re-enter the game.

    Q:     Are teams allowed to list players who play other positions as an Emergency Third Quarterback?

    A:      No. Players who play positions other than quarterback are prohibited from being listed as an Emergency Third Quarterback. For example, a tight end who wears jersey No. 80 is not eligible to be designated as an Emergency Third Quarterback under this rule; however, such tight end is permitted to play quarterback in a game if listed on the gameday 47/48-player active list (unless the Emergency Third quarterback is in the game).

    Q:     Before the game, are Emergency Third Quarterbacks permitted to participate in warmups?

    A:      Yes. A designated Emergency Third Quarterback may participate with the club’s active players during the official team warm-up period.

    Q:     Can the Emergency Third Quarterback enter a game after coaches remove QB1 or QB2 for poor play (coach’s decision)?

    A:      No. The Emergency Third Quarterback cannot enter the game due to the club benching QB1 or QB2.

    Q:     What if QB2 is unavailable for other reasons, such as an equipment issue?

    A:      The Emergency Third Quarterback cannot enter the game if QB1 is unavailable and QB2 has an equipment issue that requires him to come out of the game. If such a situation occurs, the club can use another player on the active list at quarterback or can take a timeout.

    Q:     Are clubs allowed to use this new rule to develop quarterbacks?

    A:      No. The Emergency Third Quarterback rule is not intended to be a developmental tool to provide a player game experience.

    Q:     What are the procedures when a club brings an Emergency Third Quarterback into a game?

    A:      To enter the game, the Emergency Third Quarterback must report to the referee; this is not required after every play, only when there is a situation that requires the Emergency Third Quarterback to enter or re-enter the game. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be assessed if the Emergency Third Quarterback does not properly report to the referee upon entering the game. The referee will confirm with the head coach that QB1 and QB2 are currently unable to participate, but it is not the responsibility of the referee to determine the legitimacy of the injury or medical examination. The referee or a member of the officiating crew will notify the opposing head coach that the Emergency Third Quarterback has entered the game and the referee will make a public announcement to that effect.

    Q:     Are clubs allowed to play an Emergency Third Quarterback in non-traditional fashion (i.e., Wildcat formation)?

    A:      No. An Emergency Third Quarterback who enters a game must line up under center or in shotgun and must take the snap. No other player may take a snap if the Emergency Third Quarterback is in the game. An Emergency Third Quarterback is permitted to quick kick, but is not permitted to line up as the punter or play on special teams.

    Q:     What is the penalty for violations of these procedures?

    A:      An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be assessed if the club violates any aspects of the above procedures.

    Q:     Does the Emergency Third Quarterback have a radio in his helmet?

    A:      Each club may designate three offensive players to use Coach-to-Player (C2P) communication devices. It is the club’s choice as to whether it designates its Emergency Third Quarterback as one of its three C2P designees. If a club elects to not list its Emergency Third Quarterback as one of its three offensive C2P designees and the Emergency Third Quarterback is required to enter the game, the club must communicate play calls using other methods (i.e., the quarterback going to the sideline, hand signals, substitutions, etc.).

    Q:     What are the procedures for either QB1 or QB2 returning to the game after a club uses its Emergency Third Quarterback?

    A:      If either QB1 or QB2 is cleared to return to play by the medical staff, such player must re-enter the game by reporting to the referee. At such time, the Emergency Third Quarterback must be removed from the game and is not permitted to continue to play quarterback or any other position. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be assessed if QB1 or QB2 does not properly report to the referee upon re-entering the game. The referee or a member of the officiating crew will notify the opposing head coach that QB1 or QB2 has re-entered the game and the Emergency Third Quarterback has exited the game. The referee will make a public announcement that QB1 or QB2 has returned to the game and the Emergency Third Quarterback has exited the game.

    Q:     If either QB1 or QB2 re-enters but later can’t continue due to disqualification or injury, is the Emergency Third Quarterback allowed to re-enter a game?

    A:      Yes. The Emergency Third Quarterback remains eligible to return to the game if another Emergency Third Quarterback situation arises.

    Q:     What is the definition of a bona fide quarterback?

A:         For the purposes of the Emergency Third Quarterback rule, a bona fide quarterback is defined as a player who wears a jersey number authorized for a quarterback and (a) is an established quarterback (e.g., someone who has customarily played the position in past professional or college seasons); or (b) is a player who takes regular-season snaps only at quarterback during at least three consecutive weeks of practice, including any week the player would be listed as an Emergency Third Quarterback.

Eagles’ Roseman talks Siposs, Barnett, Morrow, & more

On Tuesday, the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles announced their initial 53-man roster after trimming their roster before the 4 P.M. deadline.

Philadelphia’s initial 53-man roster does not include a punter after they waived Arryn Siposs. The third-year punter struggled in the preseason and Philly made a move for now.

“Well, a lot of these guys that we brought that we cut today, we’re interested in bringing back,” Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said. “We have a practice squad.

“We’ve talked about the roster being 69 guys as opposed to 53 and having flexibility in those spots. I think when you look at Sip [Siposs], obviously, the season didn’t end for us the way that we wanted to, and he would say the same thing but also have confidence in his abilities.

“We’ll just see what happens here in the next 24 hours with him and a bunch of these other guys. You know, try to bring some of these guys back and give them a chance to continue to compete for spots.

“We got the activations there on the practice squad as well for other guys, too.”

Philadelphia also released LB Nicholas Morrow, who signed a one-year deal in the offseason with the Eagles. The six-year veteran played with the Bears last season.

“I think when you talk about Zach Cunningham, obviously a productive player in the National Football League, and he came here a little bit late in camp and had an opportunity, and he continues to have an opportunity,” Roseman said. “I don’t know that it’s so much about what Nick did as opposed to being really heavy at some other positions here.

“Again, as we look at the roster, we’re looking at it through the lens of having 69 guys and knowing that there’s some fluid processes on some players and some things. So, we’ll do whatever we can to put the best possible guys on the field for New England and through the rest of the season.”

Also, Roseman addressed DE Derek Barnett, who reportedly was granted permission by the team to seek a trade. The 27-year-old is returning after tearing his ACL last season.

“I think you know us well enough that any conversations we have with players are private,” Roseman said. “Tremendous respect for Derek and the player and person that he is and what he brings to this football team. Love having him here. That’s why we bring him back.

“That’s a position for us, which you see with the 53-man roster, it’s a priority. So, we’re going to keep as many of those guys we possibly can. Last year, we got in a little bit of a bind and had to give up a pick and had to sign guys in the middle of the year.

“So, for us, having those guys lets us sleep a little bit better at night, and Derek is certainly one of those guys.”

In addition, Philadelphia acquired TE Albert Okwuegbunam from the Broncos and a 2025 7th-round pick in exchange for a 2025 6th-round pick. The Eagles now have four tight ends on its roster.

“Yeah, first thing you talk about, Albert, you talk about the physical ability,” Roseman said. “He is 6’5”. He is almost 260 pounds. He runs a 4.4. He’s got a huge wing span. He has really good lower-body flexibility for a big guy.

“We had a chance to watch him together, and obviously, Coach has had tremendous success with that position and some guys who look like this. So, bring him in here. He is 25 years old. We have some people in the building who were with Denver when they drafted him and give him an opportunity.

“That’s not a slight on the tight ends we have here. We think [TE] Dallas [Goedert] is one of the best players at his position in the league, and we have two young players in, [TE] Jack Stoll and [TE] Grant Calcaterra, that we brought in here that we really like.

“For us, any time we have an opportunity to add an offensive player that we think can help us and help our team, we look at that, so that’s the reason we brought him in.”

Below are the players Philadelphia released on Tuesday:

Released the following players:

  • WR Devon Allen

  • LB Quinton Bell

  • QB Ian Book

  • RB Kennedy Brooks

  • DT Robert Cooper

  • WR Britain Covey

  • CB Mekhi Garner

  • G Julian Good-Jones

  • WR Jadon Haselwood

  • DE Tarron Jackson

  • TE Tyree Jackson

  • LB Kyron Johnson

  • WR Johnny King

  • LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams

  • S Tristin McCollum

  • LB Nicholas Morrow

  • WR Joseph Ngata

  • DE Janarius Robinson

  • G Tyrese Robinson

  • TE Brady Russell

  • DT Olive Sagapolu

  • DT Caleb Sanders

  • CB Josiah Scott

  • G Josh Sills

  • P Arryn Siposs

  • WR Freddie Swain

  • LB Ben VanSumeren

  • S K’Von Wallace

  • WR Greg Ward

  • DT Marvin Wilson

 Waived/injured the following player:

  RB Trey Sermon

 Waived the following player from Reserve/Injured with an injury settlement:

  WR Tyrie Cleveland

Eagles’ Sirianni on McKee: ‘He’s put three good games together’

The Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) ended their preseason with a 27-13 loss to the Colts at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night. 

In this game, Eagles backup quarterback Marcus Mariota played one series and led Philadelphia on a short touchdown drive, which a 73-yard kickoff return by Devon Allen set up. The drive ended in a one-yard Trey Sermon touchdown run.

Tanner McKee took over from there and played to the end of the third quarter. The second-year quarterback, who has played well this preseason, completed 19 of 34 passes for 158 yards; McKee led the Eagles on two scoring drives, which ended in field goals.

The sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft is progressing nicely, which has not surprised his head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I wouldn’t say anything surprised me,” Sirianni said. “We drafted him because we liked him, and we liked the accuracy he showed on tape. We liked the decision-making he showed on tape, and he’s continued to show that throughout practice and games.

“He’s put three good games together, and so was excited to work with him. Really pleased with how he was this pre-season.”

McKee says the preseason was a great learning experience.

“Overall, great learning experience and a great opportunity,” he said. “That was one of my goals coming into the preseason was obviously get my feet wet, get out, play with my guys, and get back on the football field. I feel like there were a lot of things to learn, especially, I mean, tonight as well, that I’ll have to go watch and improve on, but just thought it was a great learning experience for me, and I was really thankful for that.”

As he enters the regular season, the 23-year-year-old says he has grown as a player and is very confident.

“I feel super confident,” he said. “Our coaches, players, and my ability with sticking to my routine and going out and playing ball. I feel like I play best when I play loose, and everything is second nature. Not trying to think too much, but going out and playing ball and finding my routine in the NFL.”

At this point, McKee is locked into the third spot at quarterback, and he may have outplayed Mariota. Going forward, it appears Philly could have a decent prospect who could ascend to the backup spot next season and be a trade piece down the line. 



Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘Reed(Blankenship) has always had this playmaking ability’

Last season around the time, Eagles starting free safety Reed Blankenship was fighting for a roster spot. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Middle Tennessee State battled hard in the preseason and would make the team. 

In 2022, Blankenship replaced an injured C.J. Gardner-Johnson in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers. In that game, the second-year safety became the first undrafted rookie to intercept the great Aaron Rodgers. 

This season, Gardner-Johnson is gone, and now Blankenship is the starter for the Eagles. 

On Tuesday, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed Blankenship’s rise from just making the team to being a starter in Philly.

“Yeah, it’s funny, I’m looking at my talk to the team for tomorrow night, and there’s some similarities of tomorrow night’s talk and last year on the third preseason game’s talk,” Sirianni said. “I’m looking at Reed’s — because we kind of said, ‘Hey, Reed is going to play in the third preseason game. What are you going to do tomorrow to take advantage of your opportunity and make this team?’ Looking at his college highlights we showed some of his college highlights, and we showed his stats. He had like 419 tackles in five years at Middle Tennessee State.

“So obviously he was all — why I say all that was it was exciting to look back at that and see us highlighting [WR Britain] Covey and Reed and them going out and taking advantage of their opportunities and making the team.

“But Reed has always had this playmaking ability, going back to the 419 tackles at Middle Tennessee State. He just keeps developing.

“One compliment you can give a guy that in our locker room is like, man, he’s just a good football player, and he’s just a good football player, and that’s how I feel about Reed, and he’s continuing to get better. He’s continuing to see everything as a safety and make strides there in his football IQ.

“I’m obviously pleased with where he is right now and the growth that he’s had in the past year.”

Opposite Blankenship is a rotating cast of characters at the strong safety position for the Eagles, but the one constant has been Blankenship. 

What a difference a year makes.

Eagles’ Mariota: ‘I was sloppy’

This offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Marcus Mariota to a one-year deal to be the backup to Jalen Hurts.

In 2022, the 29-year-old started 13 games with the Atlanta Falcons before losing his job late in the season. Some believe Mariota is an upgrade over Philly’s backup from last season, Gardner Minshew.

However, there must be some concerns after his performance against the Browns on Thursday night, where the game ended in an 18-18 tie.

Mariota, who led the Eagles on one scoring drive after playing the entire first half, completed only nine of 17 passes for 86 yards, including a bad interception. The nine-year veteran was off and was not very accurate.

After the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed Mariota’s performance.

“I know he didn’t play the way he wanted to tonight,” Sirianni said. “I wouldn’t say he struggled the last game. You guys might have said that. I didn’t say that. He ran around and made some good plays and moved the ball really well with him in there against Baltimore.

“So tonight, yeah, obviously not up to his standard, but it’s about us finding what works for him. And that’s just us learning him. That’s us working together to figure that out.”

Mariota was not happy with his performance, but he thinks there is time to fix things.

“I was sloppy,” Mariota said. “I can do a better job of getting our guys operating cleaner and more efficiently. But that is what preseason is for. Kind of get some of that stuff ironed out. Clean off some of the rust. We’ll find ways to get better.”

When asked if Tanner McKee, who played well and completed 10 of 18 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland, has a chance to unseat Mariota, Sirianni said the following.

“Way too early on this,” he said. “Marcus is our backup and pleased with the way Tanner is playing.”

Hurts has started the last two seasons. In his first year as a starter, he missed one game due to an ankle injury, and last season he missed two games due to a shoulder injury, so there could be a game or two where Mariota may have to play.

Based on how he’s performed, would you trust him? That’s the question the Eagles will have to ask themselves today and going forward.