Jump to content

Sirianni weighs in on Hurts' arm strength


Recommended Posts

Sirianni weighs in on Hurts' arm strength


Worried about Jalen Hurts’ arm strength?

The Eagles sure aren’t.

And with good reason.

One of the more interesting things to come out of Nick Sirianni’s presser Wednesday at the combine was a long, detailed answer about Hurts’ strengths and weaknesses at the very end of his 15-minute meeting with the media.

Sirianni was asked what areas Hurts needs to improve on, and he spoke for 2 minutes and 31 seconds about where Hurts is heading into Year 3 of his career.

What made his answer so fascinating was that Sirianni was very detailed and very honest, outlining specific areas where Hurts does need to get better and areas where the Eagles aren’t concerned.

Including arm strength.

"When you look at a quarterback, there are many different things you're looking at, but the four main things you're looking at is accuracy, you’re looking at decision making, the ability to create, and you’re seeing if he's above the line in arm strength,” Sirianni said.

"I think there’s no question that Jalen Hurts has the arm strength to make all the throws. He's well above the line to be able to make the throws, whether it's Atlanta in the first game of the year or whether it’s Philly the last game of the year with some different type of weather. So we're confident in that.”

Before we move onto the other areas, let’s take a look at Hurts' arm strength.

Hurts has averaged 12.3 yards per completion in his first two seasons, the 3rd-highest figure in the NFL since opening day of 2020 among QBs with a minimum of 500 attempts (behind DeShaun Watson’s 12.6 and Jimmy Garoppolo’s 12.4) and 3rd-highest by any Eagles QB in the last 50 years (behind Michael Vick’s 12.9 and Ron Jaworski’s 12.9).

And he’s done that in two different schemes under two different coaches with two essentially different groups of wide receivers.

Hurts might not have a Vick or Randall arm, but his arm is strong enough.

Remember, Drew Brees won a Super Bowl without completing a 30-yard pass. Tom Brady has completed one pass longer than 33 yards in his seven Super Bowl wins combined. Peyton Manning’s longest completion when the Broncos beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl was a 25-yarder. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Eli Manning all won Super Bowls without a 40-yard completion.

Playing winning quarterback is all about accuracy and decision making.

And that's where Hurts needs to improve.

Deliver the football on time and with anticipation and in the right spot and all of a sudden his arm will look fine.

By improving from 51 percent as a rookie to 62 percent this past season, Hurts became only the second quarterback in the last 40 years to make a 10 percent jump from Year 1 to Year 2. The other was Jameis Winston.

But he has to get better.

The NFL average this past season was 64.8 percent, and Hurts can make up for some accuracy issues with his running ability, but he has to be higher than 62 percent. That put him at No. 26 of 31 quarterbacks who started at least 10 games last year, ahead of only Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson.

"You just want to see him continue to get better with his accuracy, and you want to see him continue to get better with his decision making,” Sirianni said. "Decision making, it's about your mind recalling the things that have happened in the past and knowing, ‘OK, last time I saw this, I went here with the ball. Here we go. Oh, shoot, last time I saw this I went here with the ball, but this happened, and I did this.’

"He just has to continue to get more and more and more reps. He's had a full season and a couple other games, so it's, what, 17, 21 games that he's had of this? And so he’s just got to continue to see that and to be able to speed up his processing over and over and over again, and I have no doubt because of who Jalen is that he'll continue to do that.

"And then as far as his accuracy, I know he'll continue to get better at that, again, because he works at it. Those are the things that we know he needs to work on, he knows he needs to work on, and I have no doubt he'll continue to get better at.”

Hurts is 23 and has already taken a team to the playoffs. It sure seems like he’s earned another year at the helm.

And while it's hard to imagine Roseman saying no if Russell Wilson wants to come here and the price tag is reasonable and the salary cap numbers work, it's looking more and more every day like Hurts is the guy for 2022.

"He has amazing ability to create, whether things break down and the receiver might not get open or there’s a breakdown in the offensive line,” Sirianni said. "And what we saw throughout the year is not only can he create with his legs and make big plays with his legs, as the year went on you saw him become a weapon when he would move in the pocket, create in the pocket and find his receivers down the field. You saw us create some explosive plays that way.

"So those two things (arm strength and ability to create) are a non-issue, and they’re just things that he's going to continue to excel at.”

You listen to Sirianni talk about Hurts in such detail he sure doesn't sound like someone who's counting down the days until he can replace him.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank’s argument is fundamentally flawed. He uses all these QBs winning Super Bowls without throwing a pass over 30-40 yards as his reasoning why arm strength isn’t that important.

But arm strength is about more than throwing deep balls. It’s also about getting the necessary zip on passes. A 20 yard out route isn’t a "deep” throw, but it needs to be on a rope to complete it. 

Just look at the pick in the end zone against Tampa. A QB with a strong arm easily fits that ball in to Smith before the DB can get there. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hurts arm is fine. It isn't elite and it isn't a great arm but it's fine. It's good enough if he can seriously increase his accuracy and his timing. If he can do those things (and I have my doubts) then not having an elite arm becomes less of an issue. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...