While Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni still hasn’t named Jalen Hurts the starter in 2021, we all understand what’s happening here.
The Birds want to build their program around competition but there’s no doubt that Hurts will be the starter this season and free agent signing Joe Flacco will serve an important role as a veteran backup.
Flacco, 36, once said in Denver that it wasn’t his job to mentor Drew Lock and even during his introductory press conference in Philly didn’t want to label himself that way, instead saying that every QB in the room helps each other.
But longtime NFL veteran Matt Schaub, who was teammates with Flacco in Baltimore in 2015, thinks Flacco can have a very positive impact in Philly this season.
“I think he’s going to be a great presence for Jalen, a calming, steady influence,” Schaub said on the Eagle Eye podcast this week.
Schaub, 39, retired this offseason after 17 seasons in the NFL as a two-time Pro Bowler. He’s been a starter, he’s been a backup, he’s seen it all in the NFL. Schaub has also been in a quarterback room with Flacco, so he knows what the Eagles are getting.
And even though Flacco has talked about competition, Schaub acknowledged what everyone knows: Flacco’s the backup.
“He’s going to compete. Joe’s a competitor,” he said. “I know all things are saying that there’s going to be competition and you have to have that to make everyone else better on the football team, but it is going to be Jalen’s spot. I like Joe’s just calming influence and the way he can help Jalen through the ups and the downs. Joe had them throughout his career but, hey, he’s a Super Bowl MVP, he had one of the best runs a quarterback has ever had in the playoffs back when they won it in 2012.
“I think Joe can be a great influence on Jalen’s development. And it’s nice when you’re a young quarterback, when you have a veteran presence that’s been there, done that, walked that line and has seen it all and been through it all. That can only benefit Jalen and his development and everyone on the football team.”
While Schaub thinks Flacco will be able to help Hurts as Hurts enters Year 2 of his young NFL career, he also pointed out that Flacco will be able to help the rest of the young players on the team, including rookie DeVonta Smith.
“Just think about a lot of the young players,” Schaub said. “Jalen’s going to have so much on his plate to look at himself and work on his own game but you have a lot of young football players that a Joe Flacco in a backup role can help during the week, during the gameplans, during training camp, guys on defense, guys up front, guys on the outside like DeVonta Smith and how he’s going to translate into the wide receiver position to just jump into the No. 1 receiver role.
“There’s so many ways that he can help the football team behind the scenes. No one’s going to see, no one’s going to hear about it other than players talking to the media about him or coaches. But he can really impact that locker room in a huge way.”
In addition to Flacco, Schaub also gives his take on Hurts, a fresh start for Carson Wentz, memories of Mike Vick and more. Check out the full interview with Schaub here.
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