Saturday, May 28, 2022

Nick Sirianni reaffirms commitment to Jalen Hurts as Eagles quarterback in 2022: ‘He knows that he’s our guy’

Jalen Hurts is going to be the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback for the 2022 season. The Eagles — once again — are committed to Hurts after striking out on trying to acquire Russell Wilson earlier this offseason.

Hard to blame the Eagles for seeking one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in the prime of his career. That didn’t affect Hurts, who head coach Nick Sirianni wants to lead this team this year — and potentially beyond. 

“I couldn’t be more excited about Jalen Hurts, again, the type of player he is, the type of person he is,” Sirianni said at the NFL annual meetings Tuesday. “I know he’s going to continue to develop because of who he is, so I couldn’t be more excited to work with him. I know he knows that. 

“I know that he’s excited to work with us to build on the good year that he had last year. He knows that he’s our guy, and we show him that with our actions day in and day out.”

Regardless whether the Eagles could upgrade at quarterback, their commitment to Hurts was a formality after Wilson refused his no-trade clause to go to Philadelphia. There’s little reason for the Eagles to move on from Hurts this early in his development anyway, as he’s just 23 years old. 

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Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards with 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions for an 87.2 rating on the year, and he’s just the second quarterback in Eagles history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 750 yards in a season — and the eighth to reach those numbers in NFL history. He improved as the season went on, completing a season-high 66.7% of his passes for 709 yards with three touchdowns to just one interception for a 101.3 passer rating in the final three games he started. 

Philadelphia finished with a 9-8 record and a playoff berth, one year after it went 4-11-1. Hurts is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in his first 20 career starts (he’s only started 19 games).

There are plenty of areas of Hurts needs to improve on, as he was 24th in the league in deep-ball throws (passes over 20 yards) at 34.7%. Hurts was 12th in the league on intermediate throws at 58.8%. Hurts had the eighth-worst completion percentage in the league in throwing under pressure from a clean pocket at 43.7% and completed just 55.4% of his passes when blitzed (fifth-worst in NFL). 

“We’re going to work like crazy to get our pass game where we want it, to get it better,” Sirianni said. “That needs to be better. You want to make sure you’re not deficient in any area because then, obviously, the teams that are game-planning against you will have an opportunity to take advantage of that.

“We’re trying to make things that maybe we’re not where we want to be or up to our standard. We’re always trying to get better at those things.”

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