PHILADELPHIA — Coach Nick Sirianni said that the Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts has been shining during their offseason training program.
“I’m noticing a big difference,”He told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN. “What I see is a crisper ball. The accuracy I’ve been very pleased with. You can just see him taking strides every single day with his accuracy because of the fundamentals he has with his feet and his upper body.”
Hurts spent part of the offseason working with Southern California quarterback trainers. He focused mainly on his footwork, release, and footwork. Shane Steichen, offensive coordinator said that the results are reflected in the speed of his drops and the timing of his throws.
It’s also great that Hurts has been in the same offensive scheme for consecutive seasons since high school.
“That’s been very pivotal going into the offseason … just being decisive out there on the field, knowing pretty much where I’m going to go with the ball based off the look that they give me,” Hurts said. “There’s a natural maturation there, as I’ve always talked about.”
Jalenhurts is expected to be more for the Eagles in Year 2. He will be their starting quarterback. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Hurts, 23, led Eagles to the postseason his first year as a full time starter in 2021. He threw for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He also led all quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10). He was 26th in completion percentage (61.3), and threw for the longest time (3.1 seconds) of any qualified quarterback. Philadelphia switched to a ground-heavy offense at the halfway point of this season. He finished first in rushing (160 yard per game) as well as 25th in passing (202 YPG).
“We want that to come up,”Sirianni spoke about the pass ranking, noting how it requires everyone from the coaches to tight ends and receivers in order to make that happen. Hurts are required to “make good, quick decisions and having accurate throws.”
“It’s my job to just go out there and play point guard,” Hurts said. “Distribute the ball, get the playmakers the ball, and my plays will come.”
Hurts had a great day at work Friday to wrap up the first week of Eagles’ OTAs. During 7-on-7 drills, the ball came out on time and on target. He was able to hit two 40-plus yard passes to DeVonta and Deon Smith.
His connection to receiver/close friend A.J. Brown needs to be polished, as shown by two downfield attempts that didn’t work out.
“The first one I had to break up on [Darius] Slay and the second one I told him, ‘Anything you do, just overthrow me, I’m going to clear him late,’ as I did, and he overthrew me,”Brown said. “We’re still working and we’re still trying to get on the same page, but we’re really heading in the right direction, so it’s a positive.”
The Eagles have increased their chances of winning the division with the additions of players such as Brown, Haason Reddick, cornerback James Bradberry, and Nakobe Dean, and Jordan Davis, who are both Georgia rookies. The play of Hurts will determine if those expectations are met.
“He just has a relentless effort to be great,” Steichen said. “He doesn’t have an offseason. He’s always on it. He’s always thinking about football. We’re always talking football day in and day out, and he’s continuing to grow as a player, as a leader, every single day. Obviously going into Year 2 in the system, the communication has been great with him in meetings. We’re not starting from scratch anymore.
“I feel really happy where he is at the moment, and we’re continuing our work on that.”