Eagles coach Nick Sirianni on Jalen Hurts: ‘I notice a big difference’ – Philadelphia Eagles Blog
PHILADELPHIA — The work done by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts over the past few months has shone during the team’s offseason training schedule, according to coach Nick Sirianni.
“I notice a big difference,” he told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “What I see is a sharper ball. The accuracy that I was very happy with. You can see him making progress every day with his accuracy because of the fundamentals he has with his feet and the top of his body.”
Hurts spent part of the offseason with quarterback coaches in Southern California, mostly focusing on his footwork and release. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said the results show in the speed of his fall and the timing of his shots.
It also helps that Hurts is in the same offensive system for back-to-back seasons for the first time since high school.
“It’s been very crucial for the offseason…just being decisive on the pitch, knowing roughly where I’m going to go with the ball based on the look they’re giving me,” Hurts said. “There’s a natural maturation there, as I’ve always talked about.”
Hurts, 23, led the Eagles to the playoffs in his first year as a full-time starter in 2021, throwing for 3,144 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions while leading all quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and in touchdowns (10). However, he ranked 26th in completion percentage (61.3) and averaged the longest pitch time (3.1 seconds) of any qualifying quarterback. Philadelphia switched to a heavy rushing offense midway through the season and finished first rushing (160 yards per game) and 25th passing (200 YPG).
“We want this to happen,” Sirianni said of the passing classification, noting that it takes everyone from coaches to tight ends and receivers to help make it happen. The requirement for Hurts is to “make good quick decisions and have accurate shots”.
“It’s my job to go out there and play point guard,” Hurts said. “Distribute the ball, give the ball to the playmakers, and my games will come.”
Hurts had a good day at the office Friday to cap off the Eagles OTA’s first week. The ball was on time and on point for the most part on 7-on-7 drills. He had a pair of 40+ yard passes to DeVonta Smith and Deon Cain.
His connection to receiver/close friend AJ Brown needs polishing, as evidenced by a pair of field attempts that didn’t sync up.
“The first one I had to break up with [Darius] Kill and the second I said to him, ‘Whatever you do, knock me down, I’ll exonerate him late,’ like I did, and he knocked me down,” Brown said. “We’re still working and we’re always trying to be on the same page, but we’re definitely going in the right direction, so that’s positive.”
The additions of players like Brown, Haason Reddick, cornerback James Bradberry and Georgian rookies Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis boosted the Eagles’ chances of winning the division and raised expectations in Philadelphia. Meeting those expectations largely depends on Hurts’ play.
“He just has a hard drive to be great,” Steichen said. “He doesn’t have an offseason. He’s always on it. He always thinks about football. We always talk about football day in and day out, and he continues to grow as a player, as a leader, every day. Obviously Au beginning of year 2 in the system, communication has been excellent with him during meetings, we are no longer starting from scratch.
“I feel really good where he is right now, and we’re still working on that.”