An offense will only go as far as their quarterback leads the team. The situation is no different for the Eagles, hoping Jalen Hurts continues to improve and make the franchise a legitimate contender in the playoffs.
Hurts and the rest of the Eagles will report to the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday for training camp, taking to the field to start working on the fundamentals and participating in seven-on-seven and team drills. After starting 19 games in his career, Hurts continues to grow in this position, having moments that make him look like a top-10 quarterback while showing he has areas for improvement.
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One of the people who has followed Hurts closely is NFL Network analyst and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner. Warner told NJ Advance Media that Hurts brings a lot to the table at quarterback, but wants to see him grow in one area specifically.
“I think the hope is that he feels more comfortable playing in times,” Warner told NJ Advance Media. “I think what we know of Jalen is that his skill set lends itself to their running game, reading the zone and his ability to create and make big plays. But I still believe that all of those quarterbacks, come playoff time, have to be able to play inside the pocket. They have to be able to play on time, make the layups, and then allow their special skills to be special. This is the area he needs to improve.
Hurts could take advantage of the Eagles offensive line and its ability to pass protection. According to Pro Football Reference, among starting quarterbacks who played in at least eight games last season, Hurts had the longest time to throw from the pocket (2.7 seconds).
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One example Warner pointed out last year on the “Kurt Warner x QB Confidential” YouTube page was Hurts quickly exiting a pocket formed in the Eagles’ October loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although Hurts was able to run for a first down on the play, Warner pointed to two receivers who were open on the play.
Warner said Hurts was in the same category as Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray as an athletic quarterback, but also said the two flaggers are still ongoing. Warner wants both QBs to show pocket development to help with their short-term and long-term growth.
“You want to see them use their athleticism when they have to,” Warner said. “Instead of trying to live in this world, which is so difficult at this level, you want to see progress with some of these other things to make the game easier to play. They’re so young and have a long way to go. For when those athletic traits start to wane or aren’t as vibrant later in their careers, you can always count on winning with these guys because they’re full quarterbacks.
As for how Hurts and the rest of the Eagles’ offense are doing, Warner said the Eagles shouldn’t feel pressured to throw the ball any further into Hurts’ sole goal entering his third year. Instead, Warner thinks the Eagles should use the same philosophy that got them to the playoffs last year, figuring out how to let Hurts grow while using the weapons around him and creating an offensive identity.
“I think it’s also important not to always force the issue,” Warner said. “Even though they have AJ Brown and they have DeVonta Smith and all these other guns, they showed up last year when they ran the ball first and allowed the passing game to be a play. additoinal. I think it’s important not to think that because Jalen is in his third year and they have talent around him that they should change things up and go back and use the passing game the way they do. did at the start of last season when they weren’t very good. ”
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Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected].