Jalen Hurts is settling into the starting quarterback job well for the Philadelphia Eagles, making sure he's in the best position to thrive when the team opens their season six weeks from Sunday. Hurts has been up-and-down through four practices, with his biggest deterrent converting the makeable throws (exemplifying the accuracy issues that plagued him in his rookie campaign).
Hurts has the leadership part down cold -- and his teammates rally around him. He's working with his receivers after practice to develop chemistry, putting in the extra work necessary to succeed at the professional level.
Yet the Eagles offense has been lackluster through the first week of camp. Part of that revolves around the quarterback, but Eagles coach Nick Sirianni says it's typical for the defense to shine in the early practices (the Eagles aren't even in pads yet).
Sirianni's evaluation of Hurts has been good, even though the live reps may be indifferent.
"Yesterday [Friday] at the red zone practice, I saw some really good, great throws, like big-time throws," Sirianni said to reporters at Eagles camp Saturday. "He had one to Dallas [Goedert] in this corner of the end zone right here, in the right corner of the end zone and he also had one to Jason Croom that he made a play off a scramble. Just seeing that play-making ability, and that was great to see in that red zone day the other day.
"So, just want to continue to cut out any mistakes that he's making and continue to make those plays that he's making and just see how special he is with the ball in his hands."
The Eagles are clearly working on some things with Hurts, which is what the training camp practices are for. As Sirianni says, the Eagles are attacking every snap and every play with their quarterback.
"We're always talking about feet and how his drop correlates with it," Sirianni said. "So, everything we do is going to be to get his feet in sync with the play and to get his feet target line set to where he's throwing the football. That's the most important thing we can do for a quarterback's fundamentals.
"I don't mess with the quarterback up top. He's been throwing this way his entire life. I don't mess with too much of that. Just about the finish, really, up at the top but everything we do fundamentally is going to be with his feet and also ball security and keeping two hands out of pocket and when he is about to move. That is something we have to continue to work on because he has a tendency as he moves to keep one hand on the ball. We've just got to get the two hands on the football as he moves in the pocket. So, fundamentals at every position is critical."
No matter what rumors surround the Eagles and the quarterback position, Sirianni is set on getting Hurts ready for the season. The next month and a half are crucial for Hurts' development -- and the Eagles' 2021 chances at the division title.