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  • Paul Domowitch

HURTS IS TAKING COACHING CHANGES IN STRIDE

Updated: Jun 15


Paul Domowitch - A look at the Eagles

In his final press conference of the spring, Jalen Hurts confirmed what everybody already knew about the Eagles’ offense: it’s still very much a work in progress. With the start of the regular season still three months away, that’s neither bad, nor good. It just is.


“You want to get to a point where you kind of feel, ‘Hey, I’m going to feel comfortable with this; I’m going to like this,’’’ the Eagles quarterback said. “That time comes when you can rep it, rep it, rep it later on. But right now, it’s been a lot of new inventory in, the majority of it, probably 95 percent of it, being new.’’



After a late-season collapse that saw the Eagles average just 18.8 points per game in their last seven games, including an ugly 32-9 loss to Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, head coach Nick Sirianni, at the behest of owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman, fired offensive coordinator Brian Johnson after just one year on the job and brought in Kellen Moore.


Moore, who is Hurts’ fourth offensive coordinator in his five seasons with the Eagles, has brought an entirely new offensive scheme with him to Philly. For Hurts this spring, there was a lot of taking one step back, so he eventually can move two steps forward.


Eagles new offensive coordinator, is Jalen Hurts’ fourth OC in his five seasons with the Eagles. Hurts claims the offense is 95 percent new. Photo by Jesse Garber. 

“He’s done a really nice job adapting to some of the different things we’re doing,’’ Sirianni said. “There’s similar concepts [to last year’s offense]. But in those similar concepts, we’re asking him to read it differently than in the past. He might have a new responsibility within that play. His progression may be a little different.’’


Moore’s offense isn’t expected to be as deep-ball-obsessed as Sirianni and Johnson’s was last season. Hurts had the eighth most 20-plus yard pass attempts in the league last season (64), but finished 23rd in deep-ball completion percentage (35.9). Eight of his 15 interceptions were on deep balls. 

Expect to see the Eagles use more short and intermediate passes  in Moore’s offense. Also expect the running backs to be a much bigger part of the passing game than they were last year.


“It just comes with time,’’ Hurts said of learning Moore’s offense. “The goal is to learn as much as I can and master and see how they look at these plays and what’s your intention behind this? What are we trying to do? What are you coaching me to do? And then over time, it’ll naturally take over itself.’’


Hurts not only is trying to get his arms around a new offense, he also is trying to get on the same page with several new offensive teammates, including running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Parris Campbell, John Ross and rookies Ainias Smith and Johnny Wilson. One other very significant change: he’s got a new center in front of him. With the retirement of six-time All-Pro Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens is sliding over from right guard.


“Every team is different,’’ Hurts said. “I have the approach of treating every year like I’m a freshman, like I’m new to it. I’m a rookie and being diligent and patient in everything that I’m doing.


“I think that requires you to learn the individuals that you’re going to be going out there to bat with. See what they’re good at. See what they’re not [good at]. See where their head is and get to know them.’’


Jalen Hurts says he has learned to turn having so many different coaches during his time in Philadelphia a positive. Photo by Andy Lewis.

Hurts, who finished second to the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in the MVP voting two years ago, needs to be better than he was last year. His passer rating plummeted from 101.5 in 2022 to 89.1 last year. 

His yards-per-attempt average dropped from 8.0 to 7.2. He finished 17th in touchdown percentage and 27th in interception percentage. The only QBs in the league with worse pick percentages were Mac Jones, Sam Howell, Josh Allen, Desmond Ridder and Jake Browning.


The Eagles finished eighth in the league in scoring last season, averaging 25.5 points per game. That was just 2.6 points per game less than in ’22 when they went to the Super Bowl. But their late-season collapse was what defined their season. 

They averaged just 18.8 points per game in their final seven games, including the playoff loss to the Bucs.


Hurts had an 81.4 passer rating in those final seven games. He averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt and threw just six TD passes.


Hurts’ decision-making needs to improve this season. He needs to be better against the blitz. He needs to cut down on the turnovers. He finished with 20 last year, the fourth most in the league. He needs to spread the ball around more and rely more on tight end Dallas Goedert on third down.


“The number of coaches that I’ve had since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to take in a lot of new knowledge and new understanding,’’ Hurts said. “So, I think the goal coming in was to learn Kellen’s offense and master it, and I think that’s been a process.


“And I think by the end of it, I want it to be mind and have it in my own way.’’


With the start of the season still three months away, there’s still plenty of time for that to happen. *


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