Eagles 2022 training camp preview: Quarterback

Over the next three or so weeks (basically whenever there isn’t other news to cover), we’ll take a look at every player on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, and how they fit with the team heading into training camp. As always, we’ll start with the quarterback factory.

Jalen Hurts Gardner Minshew Carson Strong Reid Sinnett

Jalen Hurts

On paper, the Eagles have a very potent offense. They have an elite offensive line, a top five-ish type of tight end, the wide receivers are now a strength, and the rushing attack finished first in the NFL in 2021. From a personnel perspective, Jalen Hurts is surrounded by intriguing talent that he should be able to succeed with entering his third pro season.

Hurts will be the most watched player in Eagles training camp this year, which isn’t uncommon for the quarterback position, but this year the attention paid to Hurts will be at a heightened level. Whether the Eagles take the next step as a football team in 2022 will be largely dependent on Hurts’ development as a passer.

This offseason, Hurts put in the time working with outside quarterback coaches. There’s little question about his want to be a better player. To be determined if the extra work can help iron out his accuracy deficiencies. 

It will also be interesting to see if some of the coaching staff’s focus will be on trying to develop areas of his game that were exposed by the Giants and Buccaneers late in the season last year. As a passer, Hurts is more comfortable working the right side of the field, and relying on his running ability as a crutch. It will be interesting to see if/how Nick Sirianni and the Eagles’ staff work on Hurts’ tendencies to avoid the middle and left sides of the field, as well as his penchant for holding onto the ball too long and vacating clean pockets.

Thinking back to 2017, there was an obvious difference in Carson Wentz’s play in camp compared with his rookie season in 2016. It felt pretty clear that he was poised to make a big leap that season, and sure enough, he did (and then some). There won’t be any expectations for Hurts to make that kind of monster leap this season, but certainly he’ll be expected to improve significantly as a passer.

This will be Hurts’ second camp as the unquestioned starter, which could put him in a more comfortable position to improve each day and further cement his status as a team leader, even if there are questions about his long-term future from the outside. 

Gardner Minshew

Minshew is a perfectly good backup quarterback on a low cost contract who the Eagles landed from the Jaguars for the low, low cost of a sixth-round pick just before the start of the 2021 season. He started one meaningful game last season, a 33-18 win over the Jets, during which the results and the stats probably looked a little better on paper than the actual throws.

At the outset of the 2022 offseason, Minshew felt like a possible in-season trade candidate, should a starter go down for an extended period of time with an injury or some other circumstance. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, and since the Eagles didn’t appear to be Super Bowl contenders, getting something for Minshew via trade instead of losing him for nothing in free agency in 2023 seemed logical. 

However, after the Eagles made considerable improvements to their roster over the last few months, it has felt a lot more like Minshew isn’t going anywhere this season. Should Hurts go down, the Eagles can feel confident about winning games and staying afloat with Minshew, especially against (on paper) a weak schedule. They couldn’t possibly have that same confidence with Carson Strong or Reid Sinnett. 

With Deshaun Watson facing a potential lengthy suspension in Cleveland, we might have seen a half dozen “The Eagles should trade Gardner Minshew to the Browns” articles if not for the Birds’ roster upgrades.

Carson Strong

The Eagles signed Strong as an undrafted rookie free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft. In Strong’s three years as Nevada’s starting quarterback, he posted the following numbers:

 Carson Strong Comp-Att (Comp %)  Yards (YPA)  TD-INT 
2019  237-374 (63.4%)  2335 (6.2)  11-7 
2020  249-355 (70.1%)  2858 (8.1)  27-4 
2021  367-524 (70.0%)  4186 (8.0)  36-8 

As you can see, he completed over 70 percent of his passes both in 2020 and 2021.

Strong has good height, a compact delivery, decent arm strength, good accuracy in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field, and he can decisively get the ball out quickly. A highlight reel:

On the downside, he’s not a factor as a runner, and he has potential long-term knee issues, as described by nevadesportsnet.com. Strong’s durability concerns are unquestionably why he didn’t get drafted, because he was otherwise a third- or fourth-round type of prospect.

Sirianni’s training camp practices are already pretty short, and the starter needs all the reps he can get. As such, Strong’s reps could be limited. We might actually see more of Strong and Reid Sinnett in the preseason games than we do in practice.

Reid Sinnett

Sinnett was a 2020 undrafted free agent of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of San Diego University, who did not make the Bucs’ roster out of camp. Thereafter, he toggled back and forth between the Dolphins’ practice squad and their active roster. When Miami waived Sinnett during the 2021 regular season, the Eagles claimed him, after just having traded Joe Flacco.

Sinnett has not yet appeared in a regular season game in his two-year career. It would have maybe been fun to get a peek at him in the Eagles’ practice squad game against the Cowboys Week 18, but Minshew played that game in its entirety.

Given that Sinnett was not on the Eagles’ roster during 2021 training camp, I’d be lying if I said I’ve ever seen him play, so I don’t have any opinion on him that is worth your time. Eagles’ 2022 camp will be Philly reporters’ first look at him, and again, practice reps could be severely limited for the two quarterbacks just trying to make the team.

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