After quiet summer does Strong regret signing with Eagles?


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Standing in the visitors locker room at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night, 22-year-old Carson Strong made an admission about his summer.

“Yeah, it didn’t go quite as I expected,” Strong said.

On one hand, maybe we all had too high of expectations for Strong in his first NFL training camp; he was an undrafted rookie, after all.

But on the other, Strong’s contract included $320,000 guaranteed because despite concerns about a long-term knee injury, he still threw for over 4,000 yards with 36 touchdowns at Nevada last season. He was considered to be a high-round pick not that long ago.

And then this summer he barely played.

“I think that’s just the NFL as an undrafted free agent, fourth-string quarterback,” Strong said. “It’s not going to be easy for me. I got a long journey ahead if I want to make a career in this league, which I absolutely do and I believe that I can. I just gotta control what I can control, keep getting better every day and do what the coaches tell me to do.”

In Saturday’s preseason finale — a brutal 48-10 loss to the Dolphins — Strong got his most extensive work of the summer. He played a grand total of 7 snaps and completed 1 of 3 passes for 6 yards. In his entire preseason, Strong saw action in just two games, totaling 15 snaps with just four passing attempts.

Head coach Nick Sirianni explained away Strong’s limited playing time on Saturday, saying he wanted to get Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett their snaps.

But what’s worse for Strong is that he barely got any reps in practice either. Jalen Hurts was with the ones, Minshew with the twos, Sinnett with the threes and Strong was often left out completely. There were practices where he didn’t even get a rep in team drills.

So he was relegated to “mental reps,” thinking about what he would do if he was ever in the situation where he, ya know, got to play football.

“I just try to control what I can control,” Strong said. “I would love to go out there and show them what I can do, but like I said I trust these coaches and whenever they feel confident in me to go out there, I’m going to make sure I’m ready.”

When we found out the Eagles gave Strong $320,000 in guaranteed money, many thought he was a shoo-in to be their third-string quarterback. The curious thing here is that it seems like the Eagles never really gave him a chance to compete for that spot. Maybe Strong really didn’t deserve those reps, but it really gives the appearance that the front office and coaching staff were not on the same page.

Still, Strong on Saturday night emphatically said he trusts the Eagles coaching staff and he doesn’t regret signing with the Eagles.

“Absolutely not,” Strong said. “This is a great organization to be a part of, this is a great football team with great coaches and a great owner. It’s a top-run organization from the owner to the GM to the coaches. These guys know what they’re doing. This is a great roster and I’m very happy to have a chance to be on this team and be a part of it.”

Strong really enjoyed being a part of the Eagles’ quarterback room with Hurts, Minshew and Sinnett. He said he learned a ton from all of them, but especially Hurts and Minshew, who have significant NFL experience. No matter what happens, Strong said, he’ll be pulling for those three.

The Eagles and the rest of the NFL’s teams must cut their rosters from 80 all the way down to 53 by Tuesday at 4 p.m. Based on what we’ve seen — or what we haven’t seen — from Strong this summer, he’s not going to be on the 53-man roster. Perhaps, he sticks as a practice squad player.

Or perhaps he ends up somewhere else, where he’s actually given more of an opportunity. If that happens, the Curious Case of Carson Strong will live on in Eagles lore.

“Eventually, I’m going to get a chance in the preseason or a real game, whatever it is,” he said. “Eventually, I’m going to get a chance to go out there and perform. I just have to make sure I’m ready when my opportunity comes.”

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

Contact Us