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Eagles offensive coordinator admires Jalen Hurts' deep ball; how team will cater offense to him


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Eagles offensive coordinator admires Jalen Hurts' deep ball; how team will cater offense to him


Shane Steichen wants to put Hurts in the best position to make plays

Jeff Kerr
By Jeff Kerr

Getty Images

Jalen Hurts had a full offseason to work with Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. The early reviews are more than positive.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert credited Steichen for his journey to the league's offensive rookie of the year honors. Steichen has done wonders with young quarterbacks and has been more than detailed in making Hurts a very good quarterback. 

The biggest asset to Hurts' game thus far in Eagles camp? His deep ball. 

"You know what, I've been really impressed with him," Steichen said to reporters at Eagles camp Monday. "We all know this about him, this guy loves football. Like, he loves football. And he's a tireless worker and he wants to be the best he can be. 

"But just watching him in practice, the plays he makes, as we know he has big scrambling ability. But the way he throws the deep ball, he hit DeVonta [Smith] the other day on this field for a big deep ball and he hit Zach [Ertz] the other day down the sideline, too. To be able to throw the deep ball and hit guys in stride, that's an 80-yard touchdown instead of a 60-yard gain. So, really impressed with how he throws the deep ball right now."


Hurts has been airing out the deep ball through the early portion of camp, having plenty of results that's been encouraging to the Eagles coaching staff. The Eagles quarterback hit Quez Watkins on a deep ball in the 7-on-7 session Monday, and has connected with DeVonta Smith a few times in camp.

Hurts has used his legs on occasion to make plays, but has been working on staying in the pocket and going through his progressions. The Eagles aren't going to put their quarterback in a box and limit his abilities. They'll work with his game -- not the other way around. 

"We are going to try to do whatever we can to put our players in the best position to make plays," Steichen said. "So, we are going to cater the system to what our players do best. I said that in the spring, and I think that's the biggest thing is, 'What do our guys do best and let's put them in position to make plays.'"

If the Eagles will use Hurts like the Baltimore Ravens use Lamar Jackson, so be it. Steichen is going to do the best job he can to put his quarterback in a position to win, while keeping him healthy in the process. 

There's a fine line. 

"Obviously, his running ability is going to be big, and when he can run the football. But we have to protect the quarterback," Steichen said. "At the same time, because we know if you take a lot of hits in this league it's hard to maintain your health. So we have to protect them at the same time."



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I hope what they can do with Hurts is really teach him to use his legs to extend plays without having to necessarily take off. Sometimes of course he's going to need to tuck it and run but if he can learn to keep plays alive and keep his eyes down the field that could be huge.

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