Doug Pederson is banking on Jalen Hurts to provide an offensive lifeline

NFL: OCT 18 Ravens at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrates after a two-point conversion in the second half during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles on October 18, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

On Sunday afternoon the Eagles will be taking on the New Orleans Saints but with a new QB at the helm. While this may not be news to you, there’s more than meets the eye to the benching of Carson Wentz and the drafting of Jalen Hurts…and Doug Pederson will be very much at the center of it all.

The Eagles found success in 2017 when they relied on their RPO style plays that defenses couldn’t stop. It helped Wentz be the electric player that he once was and allowed Foles to succeed shogun to deliver a Super Bowl to Philly. Now, three years later, the Eagles head coach has found himself in a do-or-die predicament.

Doug Pederson’s redemption now relies on the shoulders of the Eagles 2nd round pick, Jalen Hurts. Even though the move has created a division within the Eagles fan base, there is a pretty big upside to the starting of Jalen Hurts.

The good news is, the transition seems to be going smoothly. Doug Pederson had this to say about it on Friday:

They have embraced this change, this opportunity for him, and that’s what good teammates will do, right? They’ll support the guy that’s in there and they’re supporting him and doing a great job there. 

Jalen is a natural leader. We saw that obviously talking to his college coaches, whether it was Alabama or Oklahoma. Just a natural leader, and now that he’s in this position, you can see he’s coming out and really talking to his guys and talking to [C Jason] Kelce and wanting to understand. [He’s] asking really good questions in the meeting, not only to Press [passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor], but also to me and to Stout [offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland], and really wants to gather all the information he can.

Hurts was the best dual-threat QB in his entire draft class which leads to the rebirth of Pederson’s RPO style offense. With 1,298 rushing yards for the Sooners last year, he brings with him a very new and explosive dynamic that Wentz and Foles couldn’t. Hurts is a natural playmaker with the ball in his hands and is crafty in the open field.

If Pederson can somehow manage to extract Hurts for all of his potential, then not only does Doug save his job but he may also fall upon the perfect QB for his offense. With a running back like Miles Sanders behind him, the speedy Jalen Reagor on the outside or in the slot, and Fulgham’s ability to go up and get after the ball at his disposal then the sky’s the limit for Hurts to succeed sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, if Hurts fails then this could accelerate the firing of Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman. It could also mean that the Eagles need to focus on Wentz from here on out with whoever they bring into the building. All in all, there’s a bigger chance that Hurts can succeed and his big-play ability allows a huge upside to this pivotal risk.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

More from our Sister Sites