Yes, it’s a great thing that the Eagles were able to beat the Jets 33-18 to keep themselves in the thick of the NFC Playoff race. Yes, the offense moved extremely well against a very bad defense especially in the passing game. No there should not be a QB controversy or debate.
The latest questions added to the Eagles locker room began the minute Gardner Minshew led the Eagles offense to 400+ total yards and only one punt the entire game. Minshew was very good against the Jets on Sunday completing with a QBR of 78.4, and a completion percentage of 80%.
The comments surrounding his performance though are being way overblown and yet another indictment on a front office that continues to show the lack of a plan, and a lack of understanding of the NFL’s most important position.
Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman have prided themselves in their ability to draft, develop and succeed with different QB’s. Foles, Vick, McNabb, Wentz, and Hurts have all had success despite being different brands of signal callers.
But the more we see guys like Gardner Minshew look competent, the more we need to question exactly what the overarching plan is.
Indecision on what makes a franchise QB
Let me ask you Eagles fans. What do you want in a franchise QB? What do you expect? Do you want a Mahomes type player who has a great arm but makes really weird decisions at times? A Lamar Jackson who struggles to throw but finds ways to win until the playoffs roll around? Or how about a Manning-like pocket passer who cannot escape poor OL play?
In reality, Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie don’t even know what THEY want. The idea that a franchise QB must be certain way is a dumb thought because franchise QB’s can be found with different skillsets.
They had a pure pocket passer in Nick Foles, but they wanted more of a big arm QB who can be a freak athlete at times and win in the pocket. So Wentz came in. Then Wentz couldn’t hide the deficiencies of poor OL play because he wasn’t mobile enough, so they wanted a Russell Wilson type player. Insert Jalen Hurts.
But Hurts has shown issues in the passing game, and even though a lot can be chalked up to lack of experience, people in the front office is clearly unsure of what they have in him.
In reality, Hurts can absolutely be a franchise QB. He has all the intangibles needed for the position, he has the right attitude, and can develop into a better passer. But we don’t even know if Lurie and Roseman will even let him develop, and that’s the time bomb Hurts is working against.
The Toxicity of the QB Factory
So like I mentioned, there’s confusion up top. So they keep inputting different names and faces within the franchise.
They had Nick Foles, but then they signed Mark Sanchez to back him up. They gave Chase Daniel $7 million in guarantees to back up Carson Wentz. They gave Wentz a long extension, but then drafted a Jalen Hurts in the second round a year later. They had Hurts, but then traded for Minshew because…they felt like it.
That’s not a good enough excuse. And it shows they clearly have no problem recycling QB’s to find the immediate fix. But what does that say to all the other QB’s that can potentially be free agents or available via trade?
What does it say to Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers or even Deshaun Watson that Roseman may only want them for a year before he dumps them for a shiny new toy?
There’s a reason most of these great QB’s haven’t been reported to have any interest in Philadelphia. It’s not coaching, or talent around them. It’s because of a lack of patience. We can talk all about the deficiencies of Hurts, the 2022 QB class or trading for another QB, but there’s a reason that there is a real lack of sustained success, and it starts up top.
This next point is more of an overall encompass of the real issues within the Eagles organization.
The big reason why there’s been so much uncertainty within the QB position is because Roseman and Lurie are looking for quick fixes to make the playoffs, win a bad division, or to save jobs.
In reality, Sirianni’s “Flower” rant is very similar to Dick Vermeil’s “Last 5 players on the team” rant in 1974. It’s about the developing the team and players you have and making them into a cohesive unit that wins consistently.
But that goes against everything Roseman and Lurie expect in their football team. They don’t care for development or improvement. They want to win. And they want to win a certain way. It’s not about making the most of the talent around the organization and building a gameplan around their skillsets. The players must fit the prototypes built by Roseman and Lurie.
Ride with Hurts – Remember Expectations
Quick poll, did anyone honestly think this team was going to be a playoff team with Hurts and Sirianni in year one together? The honest answer is 0.
No-one thought the offense would be as dominant as they have been this season. Forget the fact it’s been mostly on the ground, the team has been racking of wins because Hurts has taken care of the ball and made the right decisions at the right time.
When Donovan McNabb was in his first full season as the starter, he completed under 60% of his passes and didn’t hit the 220 yards mark in 12 of the 16 games he played. Those weren’t dominant passing numbers, but the Eagles racked up wins and made the playoffs while most didn’t really expect that.
Eagles fans – are you comfortable turning to a brand new QB next year if Hurts leads them to the playoffs? No. Hurts needs time to develop, and once he does, the Eagles offense, front office, coaching staff and fans will all be better for it.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire