Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni does not think Jalen Carter’s poor conditioning coming out of Georgia is a big deal, mostly because it is not.
While much has been made about Jalen Carter’s poor conditioning throughout the draft process coming out of Georgia, his new head coach in Nick Sirianni doesn’t think it will be an issue for his title-contending Philadelphia Eagles.
Sirianni met with the media on Friday ahead of the Eagles’ rookie minicamp. Philadelphia may have drafted magnificently under general manager Howie Roseman’s guidance, but the Eagles are the team in the NFC everyone is hoping to knock down. While adding more Georgia Bulldogs to his roster than Kirby Smart does on National Signing Day, the Eagles are poised to make some noise.
Of course, Sirianni made it a point to not dwell on a player’s conditioning levels at this time.
"“So today was not about finding out what their conditioning level was. Today was about going out there and my coaching points to our coaches were, listen, their bodies are not ready to play yet. This is all about protecting the players while still getting ready to play.”"
Asked about Carter being out of shape, Sirianni added that he had no concerns at all.
Here is why you shouldn’t have any concerns about Carter’s perceived poor conditioning right now.
Philadelphia Eagles HC Nick Sirianni defends Jalen Carter’s lack of conditioning
Personal biases aside, here is what you need to know. Even though the Eagles did move up one spot from No. 10 to No. 9 to draft the best pure talent in the 2023 NFL Draft out of my alma mater, this was always going to be a long-term play for the Birds. In theory, Carter will serve as the future successor of future hall of famer Fletcher Cox in the trenches, who is still playing well.
Carter will be joining an ensemble defensive cast in Philadelphia. Oddly enough, much of the young Eagles defense is composed of his college and draft classmates. Carter, edge rusher Nolan Smith and defensive back Kelee Ringo were all draft picks made by the Eagles last weekend. This dynamic defensive trio reunites with defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean.
Despite Philadelphia losing former defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching position, this is why the Eagles were always going to be by far and away the best landing spot for Carter in the draft. Not only can they handle any perceived baggage in-house, but many of his friends from college are already on the team and will keep him in check.
Because this is a bit of a college football all-star team, an ensemble cast or whatever you want to call it, Carter is not going to be tasked with being an every-down defensive tackle as a rookie. You know what? That’s kind of exactly what he did as a sophomore on the historically dominant 2021 Georgia defense, you know, the one that Davis and Dean both were unanimous All-Americans on.
Not only is Carter going to a franchise that knows what it’s doing, we also need to take into account what he went through personally this offseason since winning back-to-back national titles. Two of his closest friends at Georgia died tragically. He was ripped to pieces throughout the draft process by certain media pundits for having character flaws. Yeah, that will totally eat at you.
Factor in him being the best defensive line talent to enter the draft since at least Myles Garrett, and you can understand why Carter may have flubbed it up a bit with some NFL teams during the interviewing process. Well, guess what? That doesn’t matter. His representation did a phenomenal job of taking care of him, and he still went in the top 10. This is why Drew Rosenhaus is the best.
The best part is Carter can focus on strictly football between now and September to get in shape.