Eagles want these four things from their QB; how does Jalen Hurts stack up? – Philadelphia Eagles Blog

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When assessing quarterbacks, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and his team look at four important characteristics, he said. Decision-making, accuracy, creativity, and leadership are among them.

Those evaluators are useful to know because they may help you grasp what the Eagles’ coaching staff is looking for in expected starter Jalen Hurts.

In training camp, how is the second-year quarterback doing in those areas? Let’s have a look at what we’ve got.


Between now and the regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12, Sirianni said this would be the staff’s primary emphasis with Hurts (1 p.m. ET, Fox).

He wants Hurts to find a balance between freelancing with his legs and playing with rhythm while remaining inside the offense’s framework.

“I realize that being able to move around and create plays is an important aspect of his game. A sensible man, on the other hand, avoids all extremes “Sirianni said. “It can’t all be scrambling, and it can’t all be rhythm. ‘Hey, what’s the happy medium there?’ it’s like.”

With training camp reaching the two-week mark and Thursday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers rapidly approaching, it’s fair to say Hurts hasn’t found it yet (7:30 p.m. ET).


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At times, the Eagles’ offense has seemed lethargic. While there are many variables at play — it’s a new scheme, important players like DeVonta Smith and Brandon Brooks have been out with injuries, and the defense has been playing well — Hurts’ timing and decision-making have played a role in the lack of fluidity in certain areas. A few poor interceptions have occurred.

Straddling the line between being a playmaker and running the system as intended is nothing new, including in Philadelphia. Former starting quarterback Carson Wentz fought that fight, as did Michael Vick before him. It’s not an easy balancing act, but the scales are tipped too heavily in the playmaker direction for Hurts.


This is dependent on the kind of throws we’re discussing.

Hurts has a reputation for throwing deep balls. He has a penchant for hitting his receivers in stride with touch, even from distances of more than 40 yards. Given that, it’s maybe not surprising that he was tied with Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, Las Vegas’ Derek Carr, and Houston’s Deshaun Watson for the most 30-plus yard completions (nine) from Weeks 13 to 17 last season.

Hurts has been more inconsistent with his short and midrange throws. There are times when he becomes hot, like as when he is a streak shooter, and others when he is cool. It is not unusual for him to sail by. Part of the answer may be found in the basics. The coaching staff is “crazy” with Hurts’ footwork and having it “synced up with the play,” Sirianni said earlier in camp. “We are far from where we need to be,” Sirianni remarked in late July, despite improvements. “The drop will tell you when the ball should go out as you read the defense,” Sirianni said, adding that Hurts’ improved footwork on drops could assist him with accuracy and timing.

Hurts completed 52 percent of his passes for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions in four games as a rookie. Given that he was frequently racing for his life behind an injury-riddled offensive line and would throw the ball away to prevent bad plays, that completion percentage is a bit deceptive. However, there is still space for development.

the ability to invent

To show he’s “the man” in Philadelphia, quarterback Jalen Hurts has to improve on his throwing statistics from last season (52 percent completion rate, 6 TDs, 4 INT). Icon Sportswire/John Jones

Hurts excels in this area.

According to the Eagles, his talents were on full show Sunday at the team’s open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, which drew almost 26,000 people. Hurts raced to his left to escape traffic and flipped a 50-yard pass downfield to wide receiver Quez Watkins, who pulled it in with a leaping grab over safety Anthony Harris, eliciting the loudest applause of the night. Hurts may have been able to throw in time to a different target under the basket, but it wouldn’t have had the same outcome.

Hurts, the team’s second-round selection in 2020, demonstrated his dual-threat abilities as a rookie, replacing Wentz for the last quarter of the regular season. Between Weeks 14 and 17, he had the second-most rushing yards (272) of any quarterback, trailing only Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (336), and was one of four quarterbacks in 2020 to record multiple games with 400-plus total yards, joining Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, and Arizona’s Kyle Murray.

In Week 15, Hurts established the rookie club record for most touchdowns in a game with four (three passing, one running) against the Arizona Cardinals.

Hurts thrives at prolonging plays and making something out of nothing, but the training camp atmosphere isn’t always suited to showcasing his talents. Hurts’ ability to get away from defenders has created a gray area in evaluating the offense-defense battle during camp.

Sirianni devised a system in which the winner of each play during team exercises is awarded a point, and the totals are tallied when the coaching staff reviews each rep on video to determine which side of the ball had the better day. Given Hurts’ skills, it’s not always a simple procedure.

“‘That’s an offensive win?’ [defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon] stared at me after a couple of plays. ‘Jonathan, you guys have that pocket push, but Jalen has a really unique skill set of being able to scramble and make the play,’ I stated “Sirianni said. “So I didn’t call a sack on a few of them because there was adequate protection there, and Jalen raced to make a play on a third down. I’m happy he can run since it’s not something everyone can do.”

As the Eagles warm up for their first open practice at the Linc, Jalen Hurts collides with Miles Sanders. pic.twitter.com/JXx8cpAOHs

August 8, 2021 — Tim McManus (@Tim McManus)


Hurts seems to have a lot of it.

From the start of his rookie season, his teammates have referred to him as a “natural leader.” His calm confidence, authority, and responsibility pull them in. They are certain that he will not be overworked and would treat everyone equally.

Hurts was even inducted into Lane Johnson’s Bro Barn’s elite offensive line fraternity.

“Since he’s been here, he’s been fairly steady,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “He’s a fantastic leader with a fantastic attitude.” He just cares about one thing: winning. He just wants to compete and defeat the squad on his opposite side. And you can sense it on a daily basis. You can sense his dissatisfaction when things don’t go his way.

“Jalen’s intangibles are fantastic. I like how he approaches his job. And I don’t believe that has changed at all. Now it’s just a matter of learning new plays, coaches, and everything else, so we’re all beginning again. But his work ethic, as well as who he is as a person, will get him through.”

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