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April 29, 2020

Eytan Shander: Drafting Jalen Hurts puts more pressure, criticism on pretty much everyone

Opinion Eytan Shander
102919HowieRoseman Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles GM Howie Roseman.

OK, Howie. Now what? 

After selecting Jalen Hurts so high in the NFL Draft, you have to find a way to use him this season. Sitting on the bench ice cold this year simply won’t cut it. You, Doug Pederson and Andy Weidl took a young man with tons of promise at the QB position and are going to reduce him to Taysom Hill. 

Beyond the personal injustice this is to Hurts himself – the kid should be starting Day 1 in a pro-style offense – there are mountains of pressure building on everyone involved. No shoulders go untouched here, not even Carson Wentz. If Wentz can’t play, that’s on him. If Hurts can’t make throws or be a competent backup, that’s on him. If this thing blows up, it’s on the three dominant members of the front office. I guess, the one person we can’t blame in this mess-to-be would be the owner.

What happens now is on everyone involved and it begins with the people who brought Hurts to Philadelphia. We know – or at least we should by now – that it’s not Howie Roseman taking over the draft board like a belligerent Chip Kelly. Seeing Hurts on the field will be a combination of coaching staff (Pederson and Press Taylor) and front office (Roseman and Weidl) responsibility. Roseman wasn’t really clear on the current situation between his top two QBs on WIP and it’s important to remember this moment if things go bad. At the same time, we should be able to recognize – in hindsight if it works – this was a move that could save the franchise, but only if things go terribly wrong first.

All I care about is moving forward, but I can’t help shake how this thing plays out with the Eagles. You can reach whatever rational...

...or not so rational...

...conclusions you want about the pick, but the ONLY thing that matters from here on out is how the team handles Wentz. 

No, not his ego so much as his body. Roseman can’t contradict himself by saying they can no longer invest money in the most “important position in sports." Nope. They should have signed Joe Flacco or Andy Dalton at this point, guys who at least you know can throw, and not subject a young man fresh out of school to this nonsense.

Let’s just walk through the logic of the short-term reasoning for drafting Hurts so high. You are being told they need insurance for Wentz this year — right, no argument here — but that insurance is someone yet to take an NFL snap. 

This isn’t Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovaila coming in with a first-round grade. There’s also the ridiculous notion put out by Adam Schefter on how the Eagles were worried Wentz would get COVID-19. Beyond the sheer irresponsibility of putting that draft strategy on only the Eagles – it might make sense if, like, Detroit took Tua at No. 3 – it further reinforces the need to have an NFL-ready seasoned player as the backup.

This is the recipe for a disaster. There are plenty of people who wanted Nick Foles over Wentz — they are the same ones yelling at the top of their lungs how much the team needs Hurts. They will be the ones halfway through telling us “I told you so” before it becomes painfully obvious how much time Hurts needs to be a star NFL QB.

One of two things will happen, and they seem fairly obvious to me. First, Wentz won’t go down, the Eagles won't make the playoffs, and we will question how Hurts even helped the team this year. We will all then question the front office and coaching staff for not adding depth or a starter at another position. The other is actually much worse and would bring us right back to downtown Controversyville, a place we know all too well.

MORE: Eagles 2020 draft grades for every pick

Don’t let anyone off the hook here, including the starting QB. Wentz needs to play and make throws, no matter who is behind him. Hurts isn’t even getting a real offseason, let alone preseason, so don’t expect anything from him. Yes, that’s the biggest problem with him backing up Wentz. Doug and Press wrote a big check of confidence in THEIR abilities to be creative, with both Hurts and the offense as a whole this year. Don’t forget that if we are watching awful first halves. 

Finally, don’t forget both the internal confusion and external rage this decision caused. That’s on Howie Roseman and Andy Weidl. Of course, if this thing works out, just reverse everything I said, praise them, and call me an idiot.

P.S. -- Thanks, Howie, for taking a wide receiver in the first round! Looking forward to watching Jalen Reagor do some work out there. If you remember, Newy Scruggs and I called this one earlier in the week. 

Coping with the COVID-19 Virus from Wuhan

I want to keep this as open of a forum as possible. Please send any questions you have to my DM on Twitter.

Dr. Aryeh Shander MD, FCCM, FCCP, FASA

Director of TeamHealth Research Institute; Emeritus Chief Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, Englewood Health; Courtesy Clinical Professor, UF College of Medicine; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Pop Culture Pick of the Week

Tom Hanks – Oscar Winner

I’m going to wait until Westworld is over before doing a comprehensive recap of the season, and why I will be inevitably be disappointed with stuff moving forward. Instead, I’ll give you an easy way to win some money. 

On the global market, you can take Tom Hanks at +650 to win best actor at the 93rd Academy Award. I haven’t seen the movie — nor do I even know what it is — that he will be nominated for, but I can tell you he’s winning the award. He could be the worst actor in the group but surviving COVID-19 as a huge celebrity will not be forgotten. Maybe they sneak in some lifetime achievement award, but as the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar – combined with the virus – he’s a shoe-in. Place the bet now before the odds start dropping, thank me later with a tweet.

Personal Note

Hey, so I have a new show. Thanks to Jakib Media and SB Nation Radio (Gow Media) for allowing me to take my show to the next level… The Second Level to be exact. My new midday show airs 11 a.m.-1 p.m. from Monday-Friday on SB Nation Radio. The best way to listen is download the app or go to Please follow/subscribe to my Twitch channel so you can watch everything for free!

I’m still hosting Monday-Wednesday from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio the Gambler, writing the weekly column here, and appearing on FOX29’s Good Day. If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for your time. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of currency we have, and I’m grateful you can allocate some of yours on my work.

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Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan on SB Nation Radio (Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; weekends from 6-9 p.m.) and @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.). You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day.

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