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The unique way Hurts keeps his WRs on their toes


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The unique way Hurts keeps his WRs on their toes


It could happen anywhere. At any time. If you’re an Eagles receiver and Jalen Hurts is lurking nearby, you’re going to get quizzed.

In the weight room. In the hot tub. In the hallway. In the cafeteria.

He will find you and he will test you.

Hurts is working hard to learn Nick Sirianni’s offense, and he likes to make sure his receivers are working just as hard, so whenever he runs into one of them in or around the NovaCare Complex, he’ll throw out a random question about a play, a formation or a route

"You would just be walking in there and he’s like, ‘What do you have on this?’ ‘Oh, I got this.’ ‘OK, I’m just checking,’” Jalen Reagor said after practice Tuesday. 

"And it could be something that coach (Nick Sirianni) may have just told him yesterday. He’s just trying to make sure we’re up on it.” 

Hurts isn’t a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a 22-year-old in his first training camp as a starting quarterback learning a new offense under a first-year coach.

But he’s definitely a student of the game, and his intelligence and power of recall are exceptional.

He just wants to make sure everybody else is as on top of things as he is. 

"You want to make sure everybody knows what they’re doing,” Hurts said Tuesday. "It gives you reassurance when you’re on the field. 

"You have certain routes that have certain rules in them. Certain things that activate vs. certain coverages. You want to make sure everybody’s doing that so there’s no hesitation on my behalf fearing that somebody may mess up or may not be aware of what they’re supposed to do.”

Reagor said Greg Ward – the most experienced of the Eagles’ WRs – will also occasionally quiz the younger receivers to keep them on their toes. 

It’s all part of a young, unproven group making sure they’re mentally in tune with everything that’s going on.

Not just during practice or meetings but all the time.

"Staying alert,” Reagor said. "Making sure you know (the offense). It could be, ‘Off the field, I wasn’t even thinking about that.’ But sometimes you have to be.” 

Hurts is huge on communication. He uses the cliché about "being on the same page” constantly because that’s really how he thinks.

The better all the skill guys know the offense the better the whole thing will operate.

"It takes communication,” Hurts said. "And that’s something that all of us [will] continue to grow with and continue to learn each other and continue to learn this scheme.” 

Reagor said all the receivers admire Hurts’ even-keel mentality and constant positivity, even when a rep doesn’t go the way anybody wants.

You never see him hang his head or get frustrated. And the young receivers feed off it.

"He has a great attitude and that’s what helps the offense, especially when the quarterback is always up,” Reagor said. "No matter what happens, he’s always up. You could drop a ball, you could run a good route, a bad route, he’s still going to (be positive).” 

We’ll get our first glimpse how much all those quiz questions – not to mention two weeks of training camp – have helped this offense on Thursday night, when the Eagles face the Steelers in a preseason game at the Linc.

"I’m really looking forward to it,” Reagor said. "I feel like it’s going to really give us that first hint of identity, who we’re trying to be. Really just trying to emphasize speed. Getting down the field, being interchangeable and getting up on the defense.”


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