By now you’ve probably seen the viral clip of Jordan Davis from Sunday’s practice. Just know that you like it more than he does.
“I hate it, honestly,” Davis said.
In the clip, Davis pushes back fellow rookie Cam Jurgens, who actually holds his own against the mammoth nose tackle. The reason Davis hates that the clip went viral is because it’s supposed to show him dominating his teammate and that simply hasn’t been the case between the two. Jurgens has given the first-round pick all he can handle this summer.
“One rep and it goes viral, whatever, whoopdie-whoop,” Davis said. “But Cam is holding his own. He’s a very good player. It’s good competition. It’s iron on iron.”
And now Jurgens is really going to be thrown into the fire. Jason Kelce had surgery to clean out his elbow on Tuesday morning and while the team is expecting to have the All-Pro back for the opener, it’ll be Jurgens working as the first-team center until then.
These next few weeks of reps — including four total joint practices against the Browns and Dolphins — should prove extremely valuable for the second-round rookie from Nebraska.
“I feel like I get more ready every single day,” Jurgens said. “I’m excited. I’m just ready to play football and hit someone that’s not on our own team. I feel like every day we’re getting better.”
Jurgens, 22, actually began his first training camp working with the first-team offense as Kelce returned from COVID. And now he’s two practices into being with the starters again.
Through 10 practices, Jurgens said he thinks he has definitely been improving. He said he has “supreme faith and confidence” in his teammates on the offense line like Landon Dickerson, Isaac Seumalo, Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. His main goal right now is to make sure they feel about him the same way he feels about them.
“I’m just trying to earn that respect and get that confidence from them,” Jurgens said.
In the first few weeks of practices, Jurgens looks like he belongs. And he’s even given Nick Sirianni some glimpses of the All-Pro Jurgens will likely replace one day.
“I’ve seen him be like a sponge around Jason,” Sirianni said. “There are times out there where, you know, hey, listen, there is only one Jason Kelce, but there are times out there he's doing something and you're like, ‘Wow, that kind of looked like Jason,’ right?
“Cam has done a nice job of picking everything up and he's, again, in Jason's ear trying to get as much information as he can.”
Kelce, 34, has stepped into an important mentorship role for Jurgens. Not only did Kelce play a hand in the Eagles’ drafting Jurgens, but he’s also playing a role in getting the rookie prepared to take over for him when he hangs up his cleats.
That process won’t be slowed by an elbow cleanup. Jurgens expects Kelce to remain very much involved behind the scenes.
“Yeah, he’ll be in my ear,” Jurgens said. “He’ll be in everybody’s ear.”
While there has been no announcement and even though Kelce is coming off an All-Pro season in 2021, it seems very possible that this season could very well be his last in the NFL. The Eagles obviously want Kelce back on the field when they take the field on Sept. 11 in Detroit.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing for Jurgens to get all these first-team reps right now. In a way, it’s setting the Eagles up for the future.
“Cam is strong, he’s stout, he’s going to sit down,” Davis said. “You really have to make sure you place your hands, really, on both of them (Jurgens and Kelce). It’s kind of like a 1-2 tandem. Either way you’re going to get a fierce competitor.”
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