Eagles’ Hurts showing huge improvements, says Sirianni

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Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni has seen a distinct evolution in the playing style of quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is likely facing a make-or-break season with the Eagles, during the team’s OTAs this week.

“The reason we know Jalen is going to continue to get better is because of the character — the football character and the personal character that he has,” Sirianni said. “He’s just the type of guy that’s going to reach his maximum potential because of all the off-the-field qualities he has.”

Sirianni continued the praise of his QB earlier this week.

“I’ve also noticed just the crispness of the drop. It’s been the fundamentals. His fundamentals have improved, and he’s really worked hard at that. He’s working every day to get better, and I’m really pleased where he is right now, but we have to continue to lay the groundwork. [The fact] that he went 11 of 12 (on Tuesday) in 7-on-7 means nothing. He has to continue to get better and better and better. … What I noticed is [that] he’s really seeing where to go with the football and going there quick. 

“But again, have to keep working that because it’s just going to get harder and harder.”

Hurts spent a portion of the offseason with outside QB trainers in Southern California, focusing primarily on his footwork and release, and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said the results are showing up in the quickness of his drop and the timing of his throws, per ESPN

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, who has the second-most receiving yards (830) for Philly last season, has also seen a major change with the 23-year-old signal-caller, pointing to Hurts’ quickness and accuracy. 

“I feel like [Hurts’] balls got a little more zip on it. He’s getting it out a little bit quicker, and you see kind of a 1-2-3 throw. He doesn’t have as many hitches, he’s seeing the game faster, which is really promising,” Goedert said after Wednesday’s practice.

Hurts — the No. 53 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft — sat for 12 games behind Carson Wentz in his rookie season before taking over the starting role in 2021. In his sophomore season, Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions while leading all quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10).

In his final three starts of the 2021-22 campaign, Hurts completed a season-high 66.7% of his passes for 709 yards with three TDs to just one INT for a 101.3 passer rating. The Eagles went 3-0 in those games en route to an appearance in the wild-card round of the playoffs. 

On the other side, Hurts ranked 26th in completion percentage (61.3) and averaged the longest time to throw (3.1 seconds) of any qualifying QB. Philadelphia finished second in the NFC East with a 9-8 record last season. Hurts is 9-10 all-time in 19 career starts for the Eagles.

Philadelphia is searching for its first playoff victory since the 2018 season, and the arrival of star veteran wide receiver A.J. Brown, who the Tennessee Titans dealt to the Eagles in a shocking draft-night deal, certainly helps those chances. Brown, who is heading into his fourth season, joins DeVonta Smith — the Eagles’ No. 10 overall pick in 2021 — in Philly’s passing attack as the top two weapons for Hurts.


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