The Eagles have given Jalen Hurts the offense of his wildest dreams, but now he has to step up

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates his touchdown during the game between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 21, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

This year’s Draft was always going to be centered around one man – Jalen Hurts. The Eagles QB made enough of an impression in 2021 to convince Howie Roseman to not only give him another chance, but to build the offense in a way that’s clearly featured him as its pinnacle. It’s now down to the QB to step up.

DeVonta Smith
A.J. Brown
Zach Pascal
Quez Watkins
Dallas Goedert
A dominant offensive line
The league’s best rushing attack in 2021

This offense is arguably one of the most explosive in the NFL and inarguably one of the most exciting as far as the long-term future is concerned, but this goes far beyond efficiency and star-power.

Not only do the Eagles have a ticking time bomb on the offense, but the majority of key pieces added over the last two years have been done so with Hurts in mind.

DeVonta Smith – teammates at Alabama
Landon Dickerson – teammates at Alabama
A.J Brown – on the record today as calling Jalen his best friend
New TE Grant Calcaterra – played with Hurts at Oklahoma
New RB Kennedy Brooks – played with Hurts at Oklahoma

So Jalen Hurts now has a team full of buddies that also happens to be incredibly explosive. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that excuses stop here.

There is no reason for Hurts not to take a huge step forward in 2022. In fact, it should be expected. Anything less than a significant leap in his overall QB play will not be satisfactory. We know he’s an amazing playmaker and a brilliant leader. But as a quarterback, a lot of the traits that haunted his first four games in 2020 were still prevalent in 2021.

His accuracy is sporadic when going long, his shorter passes often lack velocity, he struggles to come off his first read, and is tentative to step up in the pocket and commit to a throw. These are all correctable traits and ones that if worked on, could easily see him move into the upper echelon of NFL QB’s. The front office believes he can do it, as does the coaching staff, the fanbase, and Hurts himself. But if he doesn’t, then Howie’s left with a conundrum.

Two first-round picks currently reside in the 2023 NFL Draft war chest. That should be enough for Howie to make a move for the quarterback of his choosing in what promises to be a much more promising signal-calling class.

The Eagles have done everything in their power to give Jalen Hurts the offense of his wildest dreams. It’s now down to Jalen Hurts to prove that he was worth that investment and can take a step forward. There is currently no better situation for Hurts in the NFL than surrounded by his friends in an offense this potent, and a coaching staff this supportive. If he can’t take that leap here, then Howie will ultimately have his answer and be left with an offensive shell that’s good enough to incorporate any quarterback in the league and make them better. If he can take that leap, then this Eagles offense is one that’s built on chemistry as much as it is star-power, and could be primed to take over the league.

Jalen Hurts has always bounced back in moments of adversity, but the pressure now on his shoulders may be unlike anything he’s experienced thus far. It’s all or nothing. Boom or bust. Time to ball out.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire