Eagles fans are very excited about the 2022 NFL season. And rightly so! The Philadelphia front office made a number of significant moves to help improve a roster that was good enough to qualify for the playoffs last season.
However, one of the biggest remaining concerns has to do with the quarterback’s appearance for the team.
Which, you know, is never perfect.
Until proven otherwise, the question remains: Is Jalen Hurts good enough to be the Eagles’ captain? Can he lead them into the depths of post-season?
There is certainly reason to believe the 23-year-old can improve. But it’s also fair to wonder what its ceiling is and whether it’s actually much closer to it than most people would like to admit.
Concerns about harm do not seem to be confined to skeptics outside the organization. Very attached to the team*, Derek Jean had some interesting things to say on that front during his recent appearance on JAKIB Media’s Sports Take alongside Rob Ellis and Barrett Brooks.
GUNN: I know it’s a controlled environment. And like I tell you guys all the time, I don’t get too excited about OTAs, mini camps, even boot camp. Because it is censored.
But when I asked a few people in late May about where Jalen Hurts was in his lead, one said “Let me give you a script of what he went through in one day of practice. It’s a 10-play script. He had three choices, four completed, And three sacks.This was the series of his ten plays, okay.
I followed, “So what are you thinking?” And the answer was, the straight answer was: “He has ways to go.” And it’s not very encouraging when you hear all this off season news [about how] He’s working with this quarterback mentor, he’s working on his mechanics, and he’s got a second year in Nick Sirianni’s playbook.
Brooks: That’s the OTAs when I heard that?
Jen: Yes. Yes, these are OTAs.
Brooks: I hate that you told me that, Gunner, and I don’t want to believe it. And I literally said it so I know you’re not lying to me.
Jen: Yes. So, have you heard the same thing?
Brooks: Yes, I did.
Jen: Look, okay. So, you know what I’m talking about. And I’ve said this in the records many times: First of all I want to see Jalen Hurts’ success because all the negativity surrounding him right now. “it’s bad.” You hear more of the word “he’s bad” than “he’s the quarterback, the answer.” Because of the way this young man carries himself, I want to see him succeed because of it.
But when I get that breakdown, I’m saying, if he’s doing it in a controlled environment, what’s he going to do when he has to make decisions in a split second? Because he won’t be playing much in pre-season. You can forget about it.
Ellis: Not at all. I’m with you. You’ve been through this inner struggle because you want this guy to succeed if he’s on your team. He’s that kind of person, he’s that kind of person. Goal …
Brooks: You’re fine. I want him to do that too.
Ellis: The goal…
Jen: But do you see Barrett starting to smile? do you see? Barrett started smiling because as soon as I said that because he knows what I’m talking about.
Ellis: This is J-Lo but.
Jen: That’s a big goal. That’s a big goal with this medium.
Ellis: We’re talking about this Sir Mix-a-Lot. To my old school folks.
Brooks: Bertha’s goal.
Jen: That’s a big goal with this quarterback, man. And this organization is not very comfortable now with Galen Hurts.
Now, there’s plenty of time between now and the training camp and the regular season. But, as of now, the results were inappropriate for this guy.
So, let’s break down a few things and give ideas about this dialogue in bullet form.
- The timestamp given by DGunn is noteworthy. He said he reached out to acquaintances in “late May.” At that point, the Eagles had held at most one OTA practice since their first session on May 31. Of course, it’s possible that DGunn checked in with his sources again after more OTA practices and the feeling he heard hasn’t changed. But perhaps too much is done from one training series.
- I think we can all agree it’s not the biggest deal if Hurts has a bad OTA practice. It’s not perfect, no, but it’s far from a huge problem.
- Hurts had two good overall OTA performances in two of the six total practices that were open to the media. The first one was very strong the whole time while the second started slow but ended stronger. Bleeding Green Nation detailed how Hurts showed “encouraging signs. ”
- DGunn’s line about how “this organization is not very comfortable right now with Jalen Hurts” makes me believe the concern is not limited to one bad practice in late May. DGunn is not known for being hyperbolic and throwing things at the wall.
- The idea that the Eagles have reservations about Hertz is not far-fetched. The likes of Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni were openly very grateful to him. But you know the saying “Watch what we do, not what we say”? The Eagles had a real interest in trading for Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson this off season. (None of the players wanted to come to Philly.) They acquired Gardner Minshew last year. They gave a big UDFA bonus to quarterback Carson Strong, which many thought was a renewable prospect. They made a deal for the 2023 first round pick and the 2024 second round pick which gives them ammo for the possibility of pivoting to their next off-season QB position. The sum of these actions is hardly the whole team screaming at Herz. And that’s a good thing at the moment, it’s not like he’s eligible to sign until after this season. They are not necessarily committed to it after 2022.
- Clearly, Hurts can silence his skeptics by holding back this season. We’ll see if he can rise to the challenge. The pressure builds once bootcamp starts in about two weeks.
* Previous Gunn Breaking Eagles news examples include, but are not limited to, this isAnd the this isAnd the this isAnd the this isAnd the this isAnd the this is.
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