Did Howie Roseman steal a quarterback? What about Brian Westbrook’s historic postseason? And an insane Jordan Mailata stat.
It’s this weekend’s edition of Roob’s 10 random Eagles offseason observations!
1. Devon Allen has understandably gotten the most interest when it comes to the Eagles’ 2022 crop of undrafted free agents. But Carson Strong is a fascinating one, too. There are some obvious concerns with Strong. It’s never a good sign when you have two knee surgeries before your 23rd birthday. There are concerns about how his knees will hold up and whether he can move around enough to survive in the NFL. But as an undrafted free agent? Before his knee injuries he was expected to be a first-round pick. Then he went into this draft projected as a third-round pick. And the Eagles got him for virtually nothing. Strong this past year became only the eighth BCS quarterback in the last 20 years to throw 36 or more touchdowns, eight or fewer interceptions, complete better than 70 percent of his passes and pass for over 4,000 yards. He’s got a huge arm, he’s a smart kid, he’s got great size at 6-3, 225 pounds and his production at Nevada was off the charts. Now, he’s still a long shot. The last undrafted rookie QB to make the Eagles’ roster was Brad Goebel in 1991. The last undrafted QB to even throw a pass for the Eagles was Jeff Garcia. But I love the idea of keeping Strong around as the No. 3, giving him time to get healthy and learn the offense, and taking your time figuring out if you have something. If you don’t? It cost you $320,000, which is a drop in the bucket when it comes to finding a quarterback. If you do? You just stole an NFL QB without using a draft pick. Howie being Howie.
2. How good was Mike Quick? During the four years from 1983 through 1986, before the Vet turf began ravaging his knees, Quick averaged 1,161 yards, 17.7 yards per catch and 10.5 touchdowns. No other receiver in Eagles history has ever had one season with those numbers. And that’s what Quick averaged over four seasons. Best in Eagles history.
3. Kenny Gainwell had 544 scrimmage yards and six TDs last year on 101 touches and Boston Scott had 456 scrimmage yards and seven TDs on 100 touches. They became the first NFL teammates in 69 years to each have at least 450 scrimmage yards and six TDs on 101 or fewer touches. The last teammates to do it were also Eagles: Hal Giancanelli (477 yards, 6 TDs, 64 touches) and Don Johnson (666 yards, 7 TDs, 95 touches) in 1953.
4. I don’t think Jaquiski Tartt is a difference maker at safety. He’s got four interceptions, two forced fumbles and four sacks in 80 career games. But he does give the Eagles desperately needed depth behind starters Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris. I still think Rodney McLeod is better than both Tartt and Harris, and even at his age — McLeod turns 32 later this week — I’d rather have him on the field than either one of them. McLeod started off slowly last year coming off that ACL tear, but by the end of the season he looked pretty good. I’m also still not sure Harris or Tartt is a better option than K’Von Wallace. We really don’t know about Wallace yet. With a good summer I wouldn’t be surprised if Wallace moves up the safety depth chart past Tartt and maybe even past Harris.
5. It must be a pretty darn good offseason if all we can find to complain about is a wordmark. What the heck is a wordmark anyway?
6. In the 2006 postseason, Brian Westbrook ran 20 times for 141 yards in the wild-card win over the Giants and 13 times for 116 yards in the loss to the Saints a week later. That makes him the only player in NFL history with consecutive postseason games with 12 or more carries and a 7.0 rushing average. Marcus Allen is the only other RB with two such games in a postseason, but they weren’t consecutive. Allen (8.0) and Westbrook (7.8) are the only players ever to average over 7.0 yards per carry in a postseason with at least 30 rushing attempts.
7. Jalen Hurts Stat of the Week: Hurts is the only quarterback in NFL history with 10 or more rushing touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season.
8. There are 32 modern wide receivers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jordan Matthews had more catches in his first three seasons than 31 of them. Randy Moss had 226 catches in his first three years, Matthews had 225.
9. No quarterback the Eagles are currently expected to face in 2022 won a playoff game in 2021. Four of them lost playoff games (Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill).
10. This is insane, but until 21 months ago, Jordan Mailata had never played football.