The time bomb is officially ticking. The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves between a rock and a hard place. While patience continues to be preached when it comes to the development of Jalen Hurts, the limit of that sentiment is beginning to be tested.
In part, this is because the team continue to reel in an alluring trio of first-round picks. While the 2022 QB class may not be as tantalising as those from years’ past, that’s more than enough to at least get their foot in the door when it comes to negotiating a potential trade for a big name. Compounding that is the continued inconsistency of Hurts himself.
2021 was always destined to be failure by design. A rookie Head Coach and his youthful staff were bought in on the back of a catastrophic season and asked to save the day. Their mission statement would see the development of Jalen Hurts sit at the epicenter. The former second-round pick replaced Carson Wentz in the latter stages of the 2021 campaign and the team were suddenly in a spot where they could spend an entire season to see what they have. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking good.
We’re now approaching the halfway point of the season and Hurts looks like exactly the same quarterback he did prior to the season opener. He’s a bright young man with all the tools needed to grow into a viable NFL starter and will flash some incredible athleticism with beautiful deep balls. Unfortunately, those moments often come at the back of blowout games in a bid to fight to the final whistle, and after three quarters of errors, missed deep shots, inaccurate passes, and a failure to see the entire field.
The problem that Hurts has is one of backing up his words. He says all the right things. Week after week, rent is due, the toilet is flushed, and the mindset is reset. He can clearly lead a team and galvanize a locker room. That’s great, but if he trots out onto the field seven days later and plays the exact same game again, does it really matter?
There has to be a significant step forward, or at least a minor sense of improvement on a weekly basis. The footwork that Nick Sirianni referenced all offseason has been hard to spot because he’s escaping out of the pocket at the first opportunity. His ability to scan through reads is invisible because he’s not peeling off of his first read. These are very basic and coachable things, but they’re not being worked on, or at least, results aren’t being yielded. If this is a coaching issue, the Eagles need to work out whether or not they’re prepared to double down on Hurts one more time.
If it truly is a one-year timeline for the Oklahoma product to earn his stripes, then this has to be worrying. The same concerns that hovered over the head of Hurts coming into the season are more than bearing down on it right now. The Eagles don’t really have much to play for and they can happily spend the rest of the year evaluating Hurts. But at some point, there has to be a conclusion to this experiment and unfortunately for Jalen, if the conclusion is inconclusive, that’s going to tell the Eagles all they need to know.
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