Prior to the Philadelphia Eagles beginning Phase One of the offseason workout program, Jalen Hurts and Saquon Barkley were getting a head start on the first season together. Hurts and Barkley were training together this offseason in preparation for the year.

First impressions on Barkley have stuck with Hurts. 

"I think he's a hell of a player. He's on this side now so that's cool," Hurts said at the NovaCare Complex this week, via the Eagles. "Even in the short time of us having OTAs, you hear about the type of person he is, the type of leader he is in the room, the energy he brings to the room. That's something that you can appreciate. 

"That's something I appreciate already. Just us competing in sprints or competing on the squat rack or doing things like that, where we're challenging one another. Those are the things that set the thermostat for what the team is supposed to follow."

Hurts has played with a 1,000-yard running back in two of the three seasons he's been the Eagles starter, Miles Sanders in 2022 and D'Andre Swift in 2023. Barkley is expected to be the best of the bunch, based on his talent level and what the Eagles are paying him. 

Barkley is coming off a season which he was the best player on a poor offense, rushing for 962 yards and six touchdowns (3.9 yards per carry) behind the worst offensive line in the NFL. He finished with 1,242 yards from scrimmage in 2023, down from the 1,650 the year prior (played just 14 games compared to 16 in 2022).

Barkley was one of the top running backs in New York Giants history, ranking fourth all time in rushing yards (5,211) and seventh in yards from scrimmage (7,311). He and Tiki Barber are the only two players in franchise history with 5,000+ rushing yards and 2,000+ receiving yards, and Barkley was the quickest player in Giants history to rush for 5,000 yards (70 games). His 35 100-yard scrimmage games in a Giants uniform trailed only Barber. 

This was behind the Giants offensive line. Barkley will be running behind the Eagles offensive line and paired with Hurts, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert at the skill positions.

The stage is set for a big year and Barkley is putting the work in to make sure that comes to fruition. 

"I know for myself and the short notice what type of mentality he has," Hurts said. "We'll continue to just develop what that looks like for us all together. We have a ton of opportunity in front of us but I think the most important thing is the mentality that the people have in the building. 

"You want to get people that have a sense of culture about themselves, have a mentality about themselves and I think that's exactly what we're doing."