The Eagles force themselves on the quarterback conundrum

In the first six weeks of the season we have seen the best and the worst of what Jalen hurts has to offer. It was always going to be expected, but as time goes on there’s an increasing itch to see Hurts pick one side of the fence to jump over. Will he turn out to be a franchise quarterback, or a developmental save that needs more time? The longer we wait for a response, the more important the discovery becomes.

Hurts’ play seems to vary from week to week. In a week’s time, he’ll look like a savvy game manager who takes what defense gives him and can make sensational throws in tight winds. Seven days later, he’ll look nervous in the pocket, spend most of the night escaping trouble he doesn’t really need, and miss a myriad of shots. No matter what type of game he has, he’ll find a way to restore a drop of faith by the time the game ends, and that’s where the puzzle lies.

All it takes is a flashy 2 point conversion, a deep bomb that connects, or the hustle and bustle of a rushed game for that franchise quality to ooze out. Then after the game he says all the right things and is doing just fine. Hurts has all the leadership traits you could ask for. He grabs the attention of those who listen to him, has high motor skills, and clearly lifts everyone around him. But then the cycle repeats itself and we end up remembering all the criticisms and critiques it has faced so far.

No one doubts Jalen Hurts’ arm skills. He can do all the throws in the book, but the next step is to do them consistently and on time. On too many occasions have deep shots were called off because the sophomore quarterback waited a bit too long, or failed to throw in anticipation and waited until the split was crystal clear before having the confidence to throw it.

In order for Hurts to improve, he needs three things:

  1. Time
  2. Patience of the technical staff
  3. Support for good coaches

Nick Sirianni needs to do a better job of relieving his quarterback. There is no way that a signalman who struggles with touch and timing on a deep ball would be forced to find himself in non-running play situations where he has to throw very aggressively. There is being molded by fire, and being thrown into it without care. If Hurts is to gain confidence, he needs to be able to trust his line, his readings and his players. It’s hard to do all of this while the offense works about as well as the McDonalds milkshake machine.

The greatest thing is patience. The Eagles have to be patient with Hurts if they believe he’s the guy. But for patience to be applied calmly, there has to be a sense of growth of Hurts. All we’re seeing right now is a player who continues to display elite potential. but struggles with the same weaknesses he has had since joining the league. There shouldn’t be high expectations for Hurts to turn into Kyler murray overnight, but at least there has to be some visible growth as a smuggler and that hasn’t happened yet.

What it’s really going to boil down is how quickly the rest of the squad is growing. The Eagles are rebuilding themselves, they are young and are experiencing youthful issues. But for every TD pass missed by a player like Jalen Reagor, or a huge defensive exit that ends up being called off, there will be a feeling of “we could be here if QB play was better” from the front office and that could ultimately prove to be the deciding factor in finding a solution external this off season.

Hurts is walking a tightrope right now and instead of going down, he’s doing backflips and landing them perfectly. His next step makes everything wobble and your heart ends up in your mouth. For Jalen Hurts to secure QB’s place for the long term future, he doesn’t need to start doing pirouettes and backstops. He just has to go to the other side.

Photo credits: Icon Sportswire

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