By Eric D. Williams
FOX Sports activities NFL Author
Hurts had an early closing and organized for a 6:30 a.m. appointment along with his energy coach to check his max on the hold clear.
Hurts touched his toes a pair instances, took to the platform and popped up 315 kilos to his chest.
“He runs over to the power, and it’s like freezing exterior, and he’s barely carrying any garments, doesn’t stretch or something, and he hang-cleans like 315 — like an ungodly quantity,” recollects Josh Palet, a fellow quarterback and teammate of Hurts throughout their time at Alabama. “And he dropped it and was like, ‘Am I good?’ They usually had been like, ‘Yeah, you’re good.’ He simply walked out.”
Unflappable. Poised. Workaholic. Teammates and coaches use these phrases to explain Hurts.
“He is by no means had a quarterback like me”
Jalen Hurts discusses the expectations that he has for himself and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles traded Wentz to the Colts for first- and third-round picks. The Eagles now have three first-round alternatives within the upcoming draft, however could be sensible to make use of that draft capital to fill non-quarterback wants with the best way Hurts carried out within the second half of this season.
After a 2-5 begin, a scheme change on offense has the Eagles (9-8) again within the playoffs below first-year head coach Nick Sirianni for the primary time since 2019, profitable seven of their final 9 video games.
The maturity and elevated play of Hurts is the central cause for Philadelphia’s turnaround.
In 15 begins, the QB, who starred collegiately at Alabama after which Oklahoma, accomplished 61 % of his passes for 3,144 yards, with 16 landing passes and 9 interceptions. Hurts led all quarterbacks with 784 speeding yards.
In response to Subsequent Gen Stats, Hurts additionally led all QBs in speeding yards on designed runs (337) and touchdowns (eight).
A query heading into the season, Hurts, 23, solidified his maintain on the beginning job. Philadelphia’s run-based offense faces a weak Tampa Bay Buccaneers protection in an NFC wild-card sport (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), because the Eagles attempt to play avoid Tom Brady.
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Sirianni stated he and his offensive teaching workers made the change after his workforce’s Thursday evening loss to the Buccaneers earlier this season, a 28-22 setback in Philadelphia on Oct. 14.
After the defeat, Sirianni took time to self-scout and re-evaluate the offense. The outcome? A shift to extra heavy formations and a floor sport constructed round Hurts’ skill to run the soccer.
In response to Subsequent Gen Stats, the Eagles used at the least two tight ends on 24.4 % of their offensive performs by the primary seven weeks of the season. Since then, Philadelphia has used at the least two tight ends on 41.4 % of its whole performs on offense.
Utilizing these heavier formations, the Eagles have led the league in speeding since Week 8, averaging 190 speeding yards per contest.
Nonetheless, Philadelphia faces a stout Tampa Bay run protection that holds groups to 93 speeding yards a sport, No. 3 within the NFL.
“As an offense, we form of simply revolutionized and advanced, when it comes to who we’re and our identification,” Hurts advised reporters this week. “I’ve stated all of it 12 months, that it’s coming. I’ve stated various things to ignite the expansion and the place we are actually.
“Early on, we form of had been trying to find who we had been, what we needed to do and the way we needed to do it. And now, we’re fine-tuning some issues, and we’ve gotten good at doing numerous various things. It simply comes right down to us, executing our job, understanding our job and doing our job.”
Palet witnessed Hurts’ skill to take over a workforce in school, serving as a 23-year-old walk-on quarterback when Hurts was an early enrollee as a freshman at Alabama.
“From Day 1, Jalen was extraordinarily assured,” Palet stated. “He would inform me issues like, ‘I’m going to be the beginning quarterback, these guys don’t even know.’ And in my head I used to be like, ‘Man, you’re loopy. You’re a freshman. [Alabama head coach Nick] Saban by no means begins freshman quarterbacks.’ However he had excessive confidence. He advised me he was going to be the man, and he grew to become the man. Jalen was extraordinarily, extraordinarily assured, whilst a 17-year-old child.”
He emerged as Alabama’s beginning quarterback as a real freshman, taking up for Blake Barnett towards USC. After fumbling the ball on his first snap, Hurts went on to cross for 118 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-6 runaway win over the Trojans.
Hurts went on to steer the Crimson Tide to a 14-1 document and victory within the SEC Championship sport over Georgia. However he misplaced to the Deshaun Watson-led Clemson Tigers within the nationwide championship.
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Hurts confirmed uncommon poise and beauty in dealing with his benching a 12 months later at halftime of Alabama’s win over Georgia within the nationwide title sport, when Tua Tagovailoa took over.
In his junior season, Hurts proved he didn’t shut it down when Saban referred to as on him to assist lead Alabama to victory over Georgia within the SEC Championship after Tagovailoa’s harm.
“That exhibits his character and simply the kind of man he’s,” stated Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith, who performed with Hurts at Alabama. “He isn’t going to run from any kind of scenario. He’s going to compete, it doesn’t matter what. And it was him simply all the time being prepared any time his quantity is named.”
Hurts transferred the next season to Oklahoma for his senior 12 months, He proved to NFL evaluators that he can nonetheless play, posting 3,851 passing yards, speeding for 1,298 yards and ending runner-up to LSU’s Joe Burrow for the Heisman Trophy.
So, when Hurts supplanted an ineffective Wentz throughout his rookie season in Philadelphia, Palet was not stunned.
“He desires that smoke,” Palet stated. “He got here in [at Alabama] searching for smoke for positive, and I revered it as a result of I used to be like, ‘You’re loopy. Everyone else is means older than you, and so they’ve been right here.’
“The nice factor, too, is he’s very easy to get together with, so the older guys actually preferred him as a result of he was so mellow and so cool. He wasn’t going to be pushed round. So, him appearing prefer it’s his workforce, they had been like, ‘All proper, if it’s your workforce, we’ll act prefer it’s your workforce, too.’
“I knew it was going to occur with Carson Wentz. I used to be like, ‘This is identical Alabama factor once more. Despite the fact that Carson Wentz is the man, he’s going to be the beginning quarterback.’”
Rick Neuheisel, a university soccer commentator for CBS, notes that Hurts confirmed nice resiliency by his stops at Alabama, Oklahoma and Philadelphia — one thing all profitable NFL signal-callers want.
“No one has been extra keen to work and gotten extra from their work in my thoughts than Jalen Hurts,” Neuheisel stated. “I feel he’s going to proceed to evolve and be pretty much as good as folks need him to be. When you coach him with perception, I feel you’re going to get nice outcomes.”
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Sirianni seems to be in it with Hurts for the lengthy haul.
The Philly coach stated he first met Hurts whereas doing his pre-draft homework on the mix when he was the offensive coordinator for the Colts. The 2 had been launched by Payments offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who served because the offensive coordinator for Alabama throughout Hurts’ time there.
“We’re nonetheless assembly each Friday to proceed to attempt to develop our relationship, to proceed that connection and proceed to work on the sport plan,” Sirianni stated. “After which off to my workplace simply to proceed to speak about something exterior soccer, or soccer itself.
“I worth the connection that I’ve with Jalen, and all the gamers that I’ve on this workforce. However there’s all the time one thing particular a few head coach and quarterback relationship that I worth — good organizations have that good, sturdy relationship between the 2.
“That doesn’t imply that we don’t get mad at one another, right here or there. That doesn’t imply that all the pieces is simply good and comfortable always. However he’s superior to work with. I couldn’t ask for a greater man to work with, day in and day trip.”
Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, masking the Los Angeles Rams for Sports activities Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma Information Tribune. Observe him on Twitter @eric_d_williams.
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