Jarrett’s Role Still A Mystery

It’s tough to tell whether Jaiquawn Jarrett feels any sense of urgency this summer.

After this morning’s practice, I stopped the Eagles’ second-year safety and asked him a few questions about what he hopes to prove in the next few weeks, and whether he thinks he’ll compete for a starting spot.

“It’s all about competing. That’s what I’m here to do,” Jarrett said. “I’m going to compete for the starting spot. Each safety here’s going to compete for the starting spot. We’re all going to push each other and make each other better.”

A second-round pick out of Temple in 2011, Jarrett didn’t make much of an impression as a rookie. While the Eagles struggled to get quality play at safety all season, Jarrett saw significant action in just four games, all in the second half of the year.

We’ve often heard coaches and players reason that the lockout-shortened offseason made it tough on rookies and new acquisitions, but what specifically kept Jarrett from contributing more?

“Hesitation,” he said. “When you’re too hesitant and uncertain, you’re not able to play as fast as you want.”

Jarrett spent the offseason learning the playbook and said he expects “big things” in 2012. Then again, those are the types of quotes you get from just about every player at training camp.

“I want so see now that he understands the defense, and normally when you understand something, it slows down for you a little bit and then your strengths show. So I’m looking to see those things,” Reid said.

Howard Mudd shared a similar sentiment about eliminating doubt earlier this week when asked about last year’s first-round pick, Danny Watkins.

While Watkins is penciled in to start the season at right guard, Jarrett’s role remains very much a mystery.

“I thought he was very aggressive with himself both mentally and physically during the offseason to get himself right for this, so now it’s time for him to show,” Reid said.

Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen are currently the Eagles’ first-team safeties. And as I noted in an earlier post, Jarrett, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Colt Anderson will likely be fighting for two roster spots. Considering the Eagles used a second-round pick on Jarrett, they’ll likely give him every chance to make the team. But clearly, nothing is guaranteed at this point.

“There’s always pressure,” Jarrett said. “If there ain’t pressure, then something’s not right.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.