Matthews: ‘I Really Want’ Turner To Make the Team
Howie Roseman wasn’t hanging around the Eagles’ locker room after the team’s 14-6 win over the Jets in their preseason finale, but if he had been, here’s what he might have heard about Paul Turner:
Said Doug Pederson: “Obviously, his individual performance stood out. He had a big catch. He had the punt return tonight. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s making it hard on us.”
Said Jordan Matthews: “I can’t say enough. I really want him to be on this team. I think that’s the biggest compliment. I know he belongs in this league. I want him in that room with me and these receivers because I know he’s a great player.”
Said Chase Daniel: “I absolutely believe he deserves a spot on this team. … Especially an undrafted player, no one expects anything out of you and he has come in from day one of training camp and day one of OTA’s and worked his tail off. It showed. He’s such a smart, smart receiver and it’s hard to find those type of guys when they’re young and don’t really know the offense. But this guy knows the offense backwards and forwards. And he catches everything literally thrown his way. So that’s really all you can ask for from a young receiver.”
Roseman wouldn’t have heard from Turner, who left the locker room before the media entered, but the rookie receiver did plenty of talking with his play. He led all receivers with 66 receiving yards on six catches, adding in a 71-yard punt return touchdown for good measure. Turner also led the Eagles in receiving in two of the team’s other three preseason games, and he finished first in the NFL in receptions and eighth in yards after the preseason’s conclusion.
But if Roseman caught Turner’s brief post-game interview with CSN Philly, he may have heard answers that only would’ve made him like the undrafted free agent even more.
Are you satisfied you did all you could do to earn a roster spot?
“I’m just never satisfied. I feel like I did okay, but I feel like there was more that I could have done and there’s a lot more that I want to continue to do,” Turner told the network. “That’s the goal, just to go out there and work hard each and every day and try to improve. That’s my focus from here on out.”
As for his punt return for a touchdown, Turner referenced his special teams coach’s “great” game plan and how his teammates blocked so well the field parted “like the Red Sea.” He explained how his confidence grew exponentially because of the other receivers, namely Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff, who gave him advice and helped him learn the playbook.
It remains unclear if Turner has done enough to earn himself a roster spot, but it would’ve been difficult for him to do much more. The only certainty is that when Roseman makes the Eagles’ final cuts to trim the roster to 53 players, it won’t be easy for him to leave off Turner.