Eagles’ Smith: ‘I don’t care too much about what people say about my weight’

The Philadelphia Eagles got their man on Thursday night in Cleveland. Philadelphia, who had the 12th pick in this year’s draft, moved up two spots to 10 after a trade(Philly sends 12th pick and a third-round pick in this year’s draft) with their bitter rival, the Dallas Cowboys.

After the deal with Dallas, the Eagles grabbed former Alabama WR and 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

According to Smith, he was surprised that Philadelphia traded up to get him. 

“I was shocked that they had traded up for me,” Smith said on Thursday night. “I was really like, if they traded up for me, then they see something that they like. So I was really excited, and it’s a blessing.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman was happy to get his hands on Smith.

“He was very highly rated on our board, someone who we feel like is not only a great player but a great person, will come in and be ready to roll,” Roseman said. 

Before the draft, much was made about Smith’s stature, mainly his weight. The 6-1 Smith weighed in at 166 pounds at the NFL medical re-check in April, but according to Smith, none of that matters. 

“I don’t care too much about what people say about my weight,” he said. “I understand reporters have a job. It’s their job to make a story. I just let them do their job. I can’t get mad at them for doing their job.”

Smith will be reunited with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, his college QB at Alabama, which he discussed on Thursday night. 

“And Jalen(Hurts), that’s my guy,” Smith said. “Been with him in my time at Alabama. Even when I was a recruit, he was the guy trying to get me to come to Alabama. That’s my guy. I have a great relationship, and I’m ready to work.”

Clearly, both the Giants and Eagles wanted Smith, but the Eagles did what they had to do to get their man. Give Roseman credit, he dropped down to 12 after the trade with the Dolphins in May and got picks for next season(2022 first and fourth-rounder), and then he moved up to get a guy who many believe is a game-breaking wide receiver in Smith.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘We’re going to have competition at every position’

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded QB Carson Wentz to the the Indianapolis Colts, the thought was that Jalen Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021. The former second-round pick started four games for the Eagles in 2020 as a rookie and went 1-3.

Hurts threw for 1061 yards with six touchdown and four interceptions last season.

Today, Eagles GM Howie Roseman, head coach Nick Sirianni, and vice president of player personnel Andy Weiland met the media. Sirianni was asked if Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback this season.

Here is what he had to say:

“To name any starters at this particular time, we’ve been working with these guys for two days, right? We’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said. “My biggest thing is competition. Again, we’ve talked a little bit about my core values. It’s my second core value. It’s this team’s second core value. Competition is a huge thing.

We’re going to have competition at every position.”

Hurts, 22 showed flashes in the four games he started, and on the surface, the Eagles were confident enough in Hurts that they willing to move Wentz. Also, you don’t waste a second-round pick on a quarterback if you don’t believe he can eventually be a starter.

Philadelphia signed 36-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason, and Flacco made it clear that he was looking to compete for the starting job.

By not declaring Hurts the starter, maybe this is a way for the Eagles to motivate him, perhaps they’re looking to draft a quarterback with the 12th pick in this year’s draft, or maybe there will be an actual quarterback competition. Who knows.

However, when it’s all said and done, expect Hurts to be under center for the Eagles in Week 1.

Eagles’ Roseman: ‘I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory’

The Philadelphia Eagles ended a disappointing 2020 season by losing to the Washington Football Team 20-14 on Sunday night. With the loss, the Eagles finished the season at 4-11-1. 

You could argue the season went bad back in April when the team drafted QB Jalen Hurts in the second round. After the selection, Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said the following:

“For better or worse, we are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory. We have the right people in place to do that. No team in the National Football League has benefitted more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles.”

On Monday, Roseman talked about those comments. According to Roseman, he now has regrets.

“Of some of the things that I’ve done this season, I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory,” Roseman said. “Really it was just in terms of how — the importance of the position around the league, the importance of the position to this organization, and really a reflection of our experiences with backup quarterbacks when we did that.”

In 2019, the Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension, so it seemed odd that Philadelphia would draft a quarterback the following season. You could argue that Wentz was bothered by the selection of Hurts, and it showed on the field this season. The fifth-year quarterback had his worst year as a pro. In 12 starts, the 28-year-old Wentz threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions(tied for most in the league), 72.8 quarterback rating(second-worst among starting quarterbacks), and sacked a league-high 50 times. All is not on Wentz, but he was not very good in 2020.

When asked if he regrets drafting Hurts, Roseman said the following:

“I think certainly when you talk about Jalen and his talent and his work ethic; it’s all the things that we saw in college in terms of the big picture and how we are building this team, you even see it last night,” he said. “Two teams are playing for a playoff berth with their backup quarterbacks. As we go towards 17 games, depth is important in this league, and I think that’s an important position that you’re trying to find depth and certainly a guy that we liked as a player.”

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Wentz has a poor relationship with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and wants out of Philadelphia. However, according to Pederson, his relationship with Wentz is solid.

“Listen, I’m not going to speak for Carson, obviously, but I can speak for myself and say that, yeah, the relationship is good. It’s fine,” Pederson said. “It’s something that we’re going to continue to build upon, and listen; I know Carson’s disappointed. It’s not the season that he had anticipated. It’s not the season I had anticipated as the head coach. There were a lot of moving parts. It’s not about one guy here. It takes all of us, and that’s something that we’ve stressed a lot here.”

Hurts showed flashes during his four starts, but he did not blow anybody away. If I’m the Eagles, I try to work things out with Wentz. Outside of 2020, he has played at a high level. Other than this season and his rookie year, Wentz has not thrown more than seven interceptions in a season, so you could argue what happened in 2020 was an aberration. Based on how his contract is structured and barring a trade, Philadelphia could be stuck with Wentz until after the 2021 season, when they will be able to get out of the deal without a significant cap hit. 

However, you don’t draft a quarterback in the second round for no reason, so what happens next should be interesting.

Roseman: ‘We need to infuse youth in this team’

The 2019 NFL season ended for the Philadelphia Eagles when they fell to the Seahawks 17-9 in the NFC Wild-Card game last Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Now, with the season over, the Eagles must look to the future, and that future might include more young players. Coming into the 2019 season, Philadelphia had the second oldest team in football, which may have contributed to the number of injuries this team had in 2019.

According to Eagles GM Howie Roseman, the Eagles must get younger in 2020.

“We have a lot to do going forward,” Roseman said on Wednesday. “When we look at our team from 2017 to 2019, we knew that we had one team. Really, a team that we were basically going to stick with. We didn’t have a lot of resources in terms of draft picks. That’s on me. We made trades for some veteran players to go win. We stick to that. We’re glad of those decisions.

“But going forward, we need to infuse youth in this team. We have 10 draft picks. We think we’re going to have 10 draft picks in this draft and we’re excited about that. When we look at what the young players did for our team down the stretch, it’s a great tribute to them; it’s a great tribute to our coaching staff, and it’s a great tribute to our developmental program that we take a lot of pride in.”

Injuries were a big reason the Eagles struggled at times in 2019, and Roseman addressed that issue on Wednesday.

“I think the last part is that we need to look at everything,” Roseman said. “We’ve started that process during the season. As a front office, we have the ability to do that while the coaches are preparing for games. One of the things that obviously has been an issue for us has been the injury situation. When we look at the last three years, in 2017, we were able to overcome it. The last two years, the injuries have really hurt our football team.

“There is a part of that that is natural during the game. Injuries are going to happen. But we have to figure out a way to get better here. We can help from a front office perspective by looking at the players that we bring in. Hope is not a strategy when it comes to injuries. When you bring in guys that are injured, it obviously increases the risk that they will get hurt again.”

To get younger, Philadelphia has to draft better, and Roseman knows that.

“There are a lot of guys who are going to be drafted later than we pick that are going to end up being good players,” Roseman said. “We’re trying to not have many of them, but I think the big thing for us is, because we haven’t had a large number of picks, we have to hit on more of them, and volume is important to us going forward.”

The Eagles are not too far away from contention, and to get back to the top, Roseman is going to have to surround QB Carson Wentz with more weapons. Also, they have to improve the secondary, and bring in another guy that can get after the quarterback. 

Roseman has done it before, and he will need to do it again if the Eagles want to capture a championship next season. 

Eagles’ Roseman: ‘I think we have a lot of talent’

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles finalized their 53-man roster, and Philadelphia, who won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, is looking to get back to that place in 2019.

On paper, it looks good. The offense seems stacked, with the additions of DeSean Jackson, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and most importantly, a healthy Carson Wentz. Defensively, the Eagles look solid, as they bring back Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Malcolm Jenkins.

There is a lot of talent, but will it all mesh? That’s the question Eagles GM Howie Roseman has.

“I think we have a lot of talent,” Roseman said on Saturday. “The question is how we come together as a football team. We started here, and we had an opportunity to talk to the team first day of training camp, and we talked about that there was talent in this room, but we need to come together as a team, and that comes through experiences through the course of the season. That comes from dealing with adversity through the course of the season.

“We think that we have the right character and right leadership on this team, on the coaching staff, and on the field to do that. But now we have to go show that.”

The sky’s the limit for Philadelphia, but in the NFL, stuff happens, injuries happen, and chemistry issues happen. However, if the Eagles avoid those things, the talent is there for this football team to do some amazing things in 2019.

It all starts next Sunday against the Redskins.