NFL insiders are upbeat about Hurts’ talent and his ability to lead the team

Posted on July 31, 2022 - Last Updated on August 1, 2022

I’ve read how “polarizing” Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is.

I’m not sure that is the right word. I think the right word, right now, is “uncertainty.” No one knows — for sure — how good Hurts will be.

We scoured the internet machine looking for what other people think about Hurts. We found plenty of material.

The league consensus appears to be: Show me. People want to see him make a huge jump this year. There is plenty of love and support for Hurts, for sure … but they want proof.

As training camp moves into its second week, the early reports on Hurts’ performance are upbeat. He looks strong in the pocket and is making accurate throws. Full speed ahead …

Here’s what has been said about Hurts around the Eagles and NFL:

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid (to JAKIB Sports’ Sports Take):

  • “The one thing you got there is a guy that’s willing to work hard and wants to be great. He sincerely wants to do well. That’s the foundation — and with the coaching he’s getting that’s gonna take place.
  • “Everybody just has to hang with him, and Nick (Eagles coach Nick Sirianni) will deflect some of the stuff that you have to deflect from the public until it feels like he’s grounded all the way. Then he flies from there.
  • “There has to be a balance and you have to stay flexible with it. You want to make sure you throw the ball.
  • “The issue is the throw game takes a little longer to get together than the run game. Most teams are going the opposite way now, but there’s going to be a time and place where you’re going to have to rely on the run game — and it’s going to be there for you.”

Reid also said it takes four years to evaluate and develop a quarterback.

Eagles play-by-play radio broadcaster Merrill Reese to Dave Spadaro on the Eagles’ website:

  • “I think he’s got an arm that is underrated by many of the fans. His arm strength is right there with the better arms in the NFL.”

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio:

  • “I’m noticing a big difference. What I see is a crisper ball. The accuracy I’ve been very pleased with.
  • “You can just see him taking strides every single day with his accuracy because of the fundamentals he has with his feet and his upper body.”

Former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, to 97.5 The Fanatic:

  • “I see talent. I like his character! My concern is: Is he ever going to be a gifted passer? Hopefully it’s there because he has everything else.”

Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown:

  • “We already have that friendship, so we can hold each other accountable. We know what makes each other tick … I see a guy who is talented, believes in himself, has a strong arm, he’s on time. I think the sky’s the limit for him, and I’m gonna go to bat for him every Sunday.”

NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms (whose top 40 list in 2021 did not include Hurts. This year, he has Hurts at No. 25):

  • “I was wrong last year. I think that’s fair to say. He was one of those first few guys off my list. I had questions about him.
  • “The way the 2020 season ended, I just went, ‘I’m not sure. I’m not sure he can do it.’ Proved to me he can do it, but within that, I didn’t come away watching every Jalen Hurts throw from last year or anything going, ‘Oh, he’s definitely the future!’ …
  • “In the pocket, he’s pretty damn good. But the throwing is definitely less than. And that’s why from now and where we’re at, I can’t put him any higher than 25 right now.”

Eagles cornerback Darius Slay on SiriusXM NFL Radio:

  • “He just brings a lot of energy and swag that a lot of other guys don’t bring. It’s my job to make sure he can be the best he can be because I feel like I’m one of the best corners in the league, so him completing the ball on me should give him confidence on completing any ball on any guy in this league. So, that’s going to be my goal.”
  • “He does everything right. He goes about it the right way. He’s in the building early, first one in, last one to leave, and he’s a guy that likes to do repeat plays. 
  • “Like if something’s not right he’s like ‘No, do it over.’ I’ve been around a guy that didn’t want to. He was like, ‘Oh, leave it alone and go about the next play’ but this guy here … if it ain’t right to where he want it to be, he does the play over.”

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson:

  • “He just carries himself with a lot of poise. I mean, he demands respect,” Johnson told MJ Acosta-Ruiz of NFL Media. “Just the way he approaches day-to-day activity, how he trains, what he does in the film room.
  • “And he’s a great motivator. He’s a great leader. [He’s] super behind the scenes, even during summer. He’s connecting with a lot of the guys, a lot of receivers. Doing 7-on-7. Just doing typical work to prepare.
  • “I know he’s excited about the new guys that we have that we drafted and acquired over the offseason and really just getting ready to go to work.”

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen:

  • “Jalen Hurts will account for more than 30 TDs next year. He would have put the ball in the end zone either himself or throw it in there, 30 times.”

Adam Schein, contributing columnist:

  • “I believe. I love the arm, the smarts, the athleticism. And now I love the talent around him, with A.J. Brown joining DeVonta Smith to comprise quite a 1-2 punch at wide receiver.
  • “Brown’s catch-and-run ability and Smith’s pristine route-running will mitigate Hurts’ inaccuracy issues.
  • “And now that the quarterback has a full year’s experience as an NFL starter — as well as coaching continuity, with head man Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen back for Year 2 — I think his clutch play will skyrocket.
  • “Hurts is a winner and a natural born leader. This fall, I see him guiding the Eagles to an NFC East title. And you better believe this team will be a tough out in January.”

And finally. On DeVonta Smith’s Instagram. Smith was working out with Hurts and Brown. On Hurts’ shirt — it reads this. 

  • “In life, there are those who make excuses and those who get it done. We only live once. Get it done.”
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Chuck Bausman

Chuck Bausman is an Eagles writer for Chuck formerly was the Executive Sports Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Executive Sports Editor of the Courier-Post in South Jersey. He learned how to cuss by watching Philly sports.

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