Eagles legend Ron Jaworski breaks down Jalen Hurts’ rookie season, future

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Dave Zangaro
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Jaws has 1 big question about Jalen Hurts going forward originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

No one really knows whether Jalen Hurts will become the Eagles’ long-term solution at quarterback.

But a bunch of people are eager to find out.

And you can go ahead and add Eagles legend Ron Jaworski to that group. As a guest on the latest episode of Takeoff with John Clark, Jaws talked about a bunch of topics, including the end of Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson in Philly, a great Kyle Pitts story and Eagles’ draft options.

Jaworski also gave his breakdown of Hurts’ rookie season and the next steps for the Eagles’ second-year quarterback.

Jaws said he was “pleasantly surprised” by how well Hurts played at times as a rookie. But there’s a big question left to be answered.

“I thought when he got on the field, he played very well,” Jaworski said. “Here’s what happens though with young quarterbacks and mobile quarterbacks. They run too quick. He was a one-read guy. If one was there and open, he would throw it and look really good doing it. He wasn’t a progression reader. He got better as his four games went on but he wasn’t there yet. When you’re a running quarterback, you run because you can. I was impressed by those few games because he did make some good throws.

“But when teams start to look at the tape on you, what they do is they know what you want to do and they change their defense to take away what you want to do. That’s what happened to him the last couple of games. Defenses take away the bootlegs, the outside runs, they made him play from the pocket and he wasn’t as effective. The next transition has to be: Does Jalen adjust to what defenses did to him? That’s the big question. Four games is not a big enough sampling.”

In Hurts’ four starts at the end of the 2020 season, he completed just under 52% of his passes for 919 yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. There were plenty of encouraging signs but, like Jaws said, the sample size just wasn’t great enough to commit to him long-term.

This year will go a long way to decide the Eagles’ future.

The Eagles might not be ready to commit to Hurts long-term — heck, they wouldn’t even commit to him being the starter in 2021 this week — but Jaws said he’s heard nothing but positive things about Hurts from inside the NovaCare Complex.

“The people I’ve spoken to have said wonderful things about Jalen Hurts,” Jaws said. “Coaches that are not on this staff right now, where if they wanted to say something negative they certainly could … did not. They spoke in glowing terms about Jalen Hurts, his leadership skills, the type of character he has, how much he wants to be the first guy in, the last guy out, how much he wants to work his butt off.”

If Hurts is going to have success this season, he’ll be doing it in new head coach Nick Sirianni’s offense. Jaworski has seen the framework of the offense he believes Sirianni will run dating back to when Frank Reich and Sirianni were together in San Diego and then again in Indianapolis.

Jaws really likes this scheme for one reason: Balance.

“It’s a rock-solid offense. To me, it’s a staple of football. Balanced,” Jaws said. “Run the football effectively, force those linebackers and safety to cheap up and hit them with the play action passing game. It’s not going to be a wide open, three, four and five wideout look. There’s a physical part of what I saw from the offense Sirianni came from that I really like. It’s going to be a smash mouth football element but built into that are going to be shot plays.”

We’ll see how Hurts fits in soon enough.

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