Training Camp is finally upon us. As we get ever closer to the thudding of pads under the Summer sun, anticipation in the City of Brotherly Love is building. Jalen Hurts is at the center of attention as he prepares for his second year in the NFL. Howie Roseman has done a solid job of providing him with a firm base to build on and there’s an energetic Head Coach who wants to get the best out of him. But what does that look like?
“The growth where we want to see is just acceleration in the offense, right?” Nick Sirianni told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just getting better and more reps at the offense. This is the first time we’ve had an 11-on-11 team period, right? These are some of the first times he’s run these plays.”
“I am so confident in Jalen. He’s a gym rat. He’s just thinking about football all the time, that’s what I love about him. He’s going to use those mental reps, that’s for sure. We just got to get him more reps out here on the field.”
Hurts has had an offseason where many quarterbacks would’ve buckled under the pressure. From the departure of Carson Wentz, to endless rumors surrounding the team’s confidence (or lack thereof) in him, Hurts has stayed away from the spotlight and the ‘rat poison’ as his old Head Coach would say, and instead spent his time working with his teammates and with a QB coach.
While Hurts has done all he can to prepare himself for success, there are still obvious flaws in his game that are going to need to be coached. His accuracy was a little too sporadic last year and while his rushing ability is electric, it was leaned on a little too often, although that’s not hard to understand given the shambolic offensive line play he was dealing with.
Anyone could watch tape of the rollercoaster rookie season experienced by Jalen Hurts and see room for improvement, and that’s no knock on the former second-round pick. If he can feel more comfortable scanning through his reads and in passing first, running second, then he could very easily ascend into the upper echelon of quarterbacks. But when asked about what he wants to see from Hurts this offseason, his Head Coach, gave a refreshingly insightful answer.
Sirianni mentioned how every quarterback has their own mechanic and it would take years to iron out how they throw a ball or changing the movements leading up to the ball’s release. Instead, he wants to focus on footwork, which will help the quarterback build a synergy with his receivers on timing-routes, and therefore create that aforementioned comfort.
“What we do with a quarterback is work with their feet, how do their feet correlate with the play, right? This is the drop with the play. The drop will tell you when the ball should be out as you read the defense. As far as fundamentals with his feet, we’re obsessed with it. That’s what we’re doing.
That again comes into the reps on the field. He’s got to get his feet in sync with each play. That’s what we’re working on being on the field, in the meeting room and individually.“
It’s just as exciting as it is rare for a head Coach to give such a clear blueprint for what he wants a player to work on., So, if you want a grading scale for Jalen Hurts when looking at how he plays during the upcoming preseason games, or when scouring the timeline for Training Camp takeaways, don’t worry about the interceptions, the touchdowns, rushing, the fumbles, or the pretty passes. Instead, see if you can pay a little more mind to how Hurts moves in the pocket, how he pops out of a three-step drop, and if he climbs the ladder in the pocket as opposed to immediately looking for a scrambling opening.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire