Friday, June 2, 2023

Jalen Hurts adamant about what he wants to see from Eagles offense this year

Jalen Hurts hasn’t been one to hide how he’s had a different play caller since he was in high school. The last time Hurts had the same play caller for consecutive years was his father, Averion, back when he was playing at Channelview High School in Texas.

That changes with the Philadelphia Eagles this year, as offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will be calling the plays for the second consecutive season. To say Hurts is excited would be an understatement. 

“We’re definitely excited to see some consistency with the play calling and the fundamentals and how we execute our plays — everybody being on the same page,” Hurts said to CBS Sports HQ at Eagles camp Tuesday. “That’s the main thing I’ve been preaching. Forget all the different factors that may change. How can we be on the same page? How can we communicate? How can we be consistent?

“I think having the same people around helps that a lot.”

Even though Hurts experienced a different play caller every year since his freshman season at Alabama, he hasn’t used that as an excuse. Hurts continues to develop as a passer and strives to be better an every aspect of the game. The adversity has helped make Hurts the leader he is today. 

“I don’t think I was missing anything. I think everything happened the way it was supposed to,” Hurts said. “For me, I think timing is everything. That goes to show for any great team, for any great dynasty, any great thing out there — it takes time. With that time, you have to communicate, you have to do your job, you have to hold each other accountable so you can be on the same page.

“That’s what we’re striving to do here. Just communicate, get on the same page, go out there and execute.”

Hurts is just the second quarterback in Eagles history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 750 yards in a season — the eighth to reach those numbers in NFL history. He’s also the only quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in his first 20 career starts (he’s started only 19 games in his career). 

Hurts led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10) despite playing the final quarter of the season on an ankle that needed surgery — just the second quarterback in league history to have 750-plus rushing yards and 10-plus rushing touchdowns in a season. He’s also the youngest quarterback in Eagles history to start a playoff game (23 years old). 

That playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just motived Hurts, who finished 23 of 43 for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception (60.0 passer rating). The Eagles faced a 31-0 deficit after three quarters in that one, as Philadelphia had 12 yards after its first three possessions and 118 yards in the first half. Hurts missed open receivers and was late on a myriad of throws early in the game.

Hurts learned a lot from the playoff loss, part of his development as he strives to take the Eagles to the next level. He’s determined to build off last year’s success. 

“We’re just hungry going into this year,” Hurts said. “We have the guys we have, we’ve experienced the things we’ve experienced. Now we want to learn from it. Whether it’d be from Week 1 last year to the last game last year, there’s a lot to learn from and grow from. 

“We have more experiences in our bank. We have to use them.” 

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