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June 04, 2024

6 takeaways from the Eagles' assistant coaches' media availability

Among other assistants who spoke to the media, Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland discussed Cam Jurgens' future at center and how much he learned from the now-retired Jason Kelce.

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Jeff Stoutland

The Philadelphia Eagles made five assistant coaches available to the media on Monday — Jeff Stoutland (offensive line), Doug Nussmeier (quarterbacks) Clint Hurtt (defensive line), Christian Parker (defensive passing game coordinator / defensive backs), and Bobby King (linebackers).

Why just those five guys and not the others you might ask? 🤷‍♂️. Anyway, here are my biggest takeaways.

Everyone is in lockstep that Jordan Davis must be in better playing shape this season.

"The number one thing for him is just being in the best shape that he can possibly be in, and he's taken huge strides with that this offseason," Hurtt said. "It's a work in progress but he's off to a really good start. If he's in great condition and he can play all out, you know, I'm not using bad language, but '..... to the wall,' if you get my drift on that, then he's going to be a hard guy to block. He's a huge man, long arms, strong, he can get up and down the line and make tackles. The number one thing is conditioning. Can he be in great shape? We're off to a nice start with that."

#JimmySays: If you're scoring from home, that's now Davis' positional coach in Hurtt, his defensive coordinator in Vic Fangio, and Davis himself who have said this offseason that Davis' conditioning must improve. There's little doubt that Davis can be a great player if he's in good shape. We've seen the flashes. Is he going to live up to his enormous potential, or just be an 'OK' player who can't stay on the field for long stretches in-game and over the course of NFL seasons? The 2024 season is a big one for Davis in finding that out.

What must happen for the Eagles' offense to be a "clean operation?"

"When you talk about 'clean,' we talk about procedures and how we do things," Nussmeier said. "It starts with communication — the communication from Kellen Moore to the quarterback, from the quarterback to the offense. There's pre- and post-snap communication that goes on with every snap. So we try to keep that concise, try and keep it direct, so that you don't have miscommunications. Because obviously miscommunication can create big problems for you."

#JimmySays: During Kellen Moore's opening press conference he repeatedly referenced having a "clean operation." It seems like the new offensive staff wants to make the communication aspect of quarterbacking easy on Jalen Hurts so that he and the talent around him can just make plays.

Where will Cooper DeJean be playing?

"Coop is very versatile," Parker said. "I think he plays with good vision to the ball. I think he has good ball skills. We've moved him around a little bit. He can handle it mentally, and I think that as we move on from this phase and onto training camp he'll have a home. But he's playing corner, he's playing nickel, and he's handling those things well. We'll continue to put more on his plate and see how he handles it."

#JimmySays: The Eagles are flush with outside corners in Darius Slay, Quinyon Mitchell, Isaiah Rodgers (more on him in a second), and Kelee Ringo. My bet is that DeJean's NFL career starts out in the slot, especially with Avonte Maddox playing some safety.

Where will Isaiah Rodgers be playing?

"We're in the educational phase of what we're doing, so he's only been outside," Parker said. "As we move on if he's a guy we want to [also play in the slot], you only have so many reps in the offseason, so for him it's really just maximizing his primary position right now and then as we move forward we'll see."

#JimmySays: Rodgers is 5'10, 170, and he has good short-area quickness, so he has a body type and skill set typically suited for the slot. However, he has mostly played on the outside during his NFL career, and he played on the outside in the two OTA practices open to the media. His primary position with the Eagles will be on the outside.

Jeff Stoutland seems excited for what Cam Jurgens will be at center.

"Cam Jurgens was brought in here two years ago so that if Jason Kelce retired we'd have a guy we really identified as a top level center in our opinion," Stoutland said. "Many of you have heard me talk about 'critical factors.' Each position has a list of these factors, and for me, that's everything. I'm not deviating from that. I've been doing this for 40 years now. All of the good players that I've ever coached had the same [traits]. And I'm like, well why don't I just build a list of these factors and then go by that when evaluating players? Cam just so happened to check a lot of the boxes — foot and body quickness, powerful, great core strength, he's got the ability to communicate.

"When we moved him to guard, I wasn't sure if he would be able to... because we weren't evaluating him for that spot. I was real impressed with the job that he did there, his physicality and all that. And I know somebody is probably going to ask, 'How did that help him, playing next to Kelce?' That's the question, how great that was for him, to actually be on the field and playing in games, hearing what Kelce is saying and how he's saying it, being right there next to him. I think that was a tremendous help."

#JimmySays: It's still hilarious to me that some draft analysts were projecting the Eagles to select a center in the first round of the 2024 draft.

How did Bobby King end up coaching for the Eagles?

"Head coach called me, interviewed, and got the job," King said.

#JimmySays: True story.

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