Christian Hackenberg grateful for second chance with the Eagles

Ed Benkin
August 13, 2018 - 3:59 pm
Then New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) makes a pass over Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Winston Craig (74) during second half at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 31, 2017. On Aug. 12, 2018, Hackenberg was signed to the Eagles.

© Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Christian Hackenberg is choosing to move forward. It's probably the best approach for the former Penn State standout.

Hackenberg was taken in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, but his time in North Jersey did not go well. Hackenberg was never able to climb the quarterback depth chart with the Jets and did not play in the regular season during his two seasons with the team.  

Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders in the off-season, but Oakland waived Hackenberg in June. The Eagles signed Hackenberg on Sunday, and the former Nittany Lion was on the field watching practice Monday morning. For Hackenberg, this chance with the Eagles represents a clean slate.

"I'm not going to really dwell on the past," said Hackenberg. "I've had a lot of time to reflect and a lot of time to work this off-season. That's been my focus, and I'm just happy to be here and living in the moment." 

Hackenberg knows he will be fighting a numbers game with the Eagles. Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are entrenched as the team's top two quarterbacks, while Nate Sudfeld and Joe Callahan are fighting to fill out the rest of the quarterback depth chart. For now, Hackenberg is not worried about the depth chart and is excited to work with his fellow quarterbacks along with the highly respected Eagles coaching staff.

"It's been impressive what they've done since they've been here," Hackenberg said. "Their tutelage has shown on the field. Carson's played really well. Nick played incredible. It goes down the line with that, so I'm really excited for the opportunity. I've only been here for a couple of hours, but it's been awesome. It's been a really receptive room."

Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh is quite familiar with Hackenberg. His next task will be to get his new quarterback up to speed with three games remaining in the preseason. Hackenberg has plenty of catching up to do with Sudfeld and Callahan already settled into the playbook.

"I recruited Christian when he was in high school and I've known his family for a long time," said Groh. "He's had his struggles since he's gotten into the NFL. We're just looking forward to working with him. We've got to spend a lot of time, once the meetings are over, with one-on-one time trying to catch him up. You try to shrink the playbook for him and make it more game-plan specific."

Hackenberg may not be ready to play on Thursday when the Eagles battle the Patriots in preseason action. He will likely at least be ready by the third week of the preseason when the Eagles visit Cleveland. No matter when he steps on the field, Hackenberg is happy to have another chance after an anxious off-season.

"It was my first training camp I hadn't been in since I can remember in some form," Hackenberg said. "It was tough, but being able to finally get that call and come in and do things puts things in perspective. You take things for granted so many times in your life. You don't miss it until it's taken away from you for a little bit."