I went to the first preseason game yesterday that saw the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-16. I came away very pleased with what I needed to see. Unfortunately, when it comes to Jalen Hurts, the wider media didn’t share the same sentiment.
On the way back to my apartment, I listened to the postgame show on 94.1 WIP and was honestly shocked and what the broadcasters were saying.
“This game didn’t matter, but Jalen Hurts should’ve been given at least a quarter.”
“He needs more reps.”
Then, earlier this morning, a video clip from First things First the morning of the game went viral for Joy Taylor’s comments.
I was just blown away by both comments on both WIP, and FTF. The thought that the Eagles mismanaged Hurts yesterday is farfetched at best.
There is no QB Competition
This idea that, because Nick Sirianni hasn’t named Jalen Hurts the starting QB for Week One against Atlanta, there is a QB Competition, is completely devoid of fact.
Actions speak louder than words.
Hurts has taken every rep with the #1 offense in training camp, and it was more of the same against Pittsburgh last night. The second-year QB may have only completed 3/7 passes for 54 yards, but the eye test tells a different story. He was calm in the pocket, the ball placement was excellent (two missed deep shots aside), and he clearly had complete control of the offense.
In the preseason, wins and losses do not matter. What matters is how each individual player looks within the play-time he’s given. Outside of two bad drops by Eagle receivers, the first-string offense looked pretty good last night. Hurts was at the center of that.
Actions speak louder than words, and Nick Sirianni’s actions have leaned towards Jalen Hurts being the #1 guy in Philly. His words though, spoke just as loudly after the game.
Yeah, I thought he handled it well. He made a really good check and great throw to Dallas Goedert for a big play. He saw what defense was coming and checked the play. A ton of credit to him for that and making a perfect throw there. I thought he went with where we wanted the ball to go versus the defenses they were running. He had a couple drops in there, so I was really pleased with him.
Then you got to see him, he kind of lost [TE] Zach [Ertz] in the middle there, you got to see him break contain and make a play that way with his feet.
Offensive Line Matters
My father and I continued to have the conversation that WIP started. “Should Hurts have played longer yesterday?”
Sirianni taking out the starting players, including Hurts, was the right move to make, and it really was the only move to make for the simplest reason: the starting OL.
If you are going to run out Hurts as the starting QB, and give him every chance to succeed, you want to make sure you have the best players available with him when he goes out on the field. That means Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, and Jason Kelce need to be out there whenever Hurts is.
The counter point is that if you want to throw Hurts out there for a full quarter, then you’re putting three players who are at the top of their position group in the NFL, with major injury concerns, on the field in meaningless games for no reason.
It’s a risk that just doesn’t make any sense.
All this fanbase should want to see are flashes from Hurts and the #1 offense.
We got that last night.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire