Has Paul Turner Done Enough to Make Eagles Roster?
Did Paul Turner do enough to make the Eagles 53-man roster?
It was his last chance to show the Eagles decision-makers that he belonged on the team, and all he did was catch six passes for 66 yards, and added to his resume by returning a punt 71 yards for a touchdown in Philadelphia’s 14-6 victory.
Simply put, the undrafted rookie free agent from Louisiana Tech came up big when he needed to most - catching a NFL high 17 passes this preseason.
"I tell you what, he had a great training camp," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson admitted.
"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 and that's what I've challenged all the young guys, really, to make it hard on myself and Howie [Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations] and the personnel staff when we have to make these decisions by Saturday at four o'clock. Yeah, he has put himself in a good position, and we've just got to continue to evaluate and see how it shakes out."
Teammates said after the game that he belonged, the 5-foot-10, 193-pound wide out showed good hands and the ability to get open - something that was apparent fro day one in camp.
Fellow Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews said he was impressed with Turner.
“Yeah, I wasn’t surprised though," Matthews said after the win over the Jets. "Paul, on the second or third day of camp, we were in pads and we were going through one-on-one and he kept getting open, consistently getting open and catching the ball."
"He belongs on that field. I think it is evident to see, and I am pulling for him. I love watching Paul go out there and play.”
With Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and Josh Huff virtually guaranteed to make the team, there does appear to be one spot open for someone else, whether if be Turner or someone from outside of the organization.
With that being the case, Turner couldn't really do much more than he did, and that’s to go out and play well. If this was his only shot — his last shot — he can leave knowing he did what he could to make it a tough decision.
"My opinion i'm just never satisfied," Turner told Comcast Sports Net after the game. "I feel that I did OK, but feel there is more that I could have done. There is a lot more that I want to continue to do that's the goal go out work hard every single day and try to improve and that's my focus from here on out.
Turner finished the preseason with more catches than any other wide out in the NFL with 17.