Eagles training camp guide: Jalen Hurts has a lot on his shoulders in 2022, including his future
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith were at the base of a hill, ready to sprint down the field as part of their offseason training. The three ran uphill with the raindrops falling on their heads, shuffling their legs to see who could get up quickly.
This hill they were climbing was symbolic. Basically, everything was peaceful. However, as they ran upwards, the task became more difficult. They will experience a quiet period once training camp begins on July 26. This will start with the controlled nature of scripted practices. It will be increasingly difficult to navigate when the regular season begins on September 11 against the Detroit Lions and continues for the remainder of the 17-game season.
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All eyes will be on Hurts, who is entering his second season as a starting quarterback. To get the Eagles to the top of the hill, they’ve made several moves this offseason, including the draft-day trade for Brown, to try to surround Hurts with players, hoping he can take the next step. of his career and become one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Heading into his second year as a starting quarterback, Hurts is entering a pivotal year. If he does well, he’ll be in contention for a lucrative contract extension in 2023. If not, the Eagles, armed with two first-round picks, could trade for another option to replace him. Here’s what to look for in Hurts in training camp.
Five Keys to Hurts
1. The voice in his ear
The Eagles have a new head of play to start the season after head coach Nick Sirianni handed over the duties to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Steichen was the person who radioed the rooms to Hurts in caucus. Steichen is a former quarterback and can relate to what Hurts is going through. Steichen’s ability to manage the run-to-pass ratio and get a feel for what plays Hurts is successful in the passing game will go a long way to the quarterback’s success this season.
2. AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert
The Eagles trading for wide receiver Brown doesn’t just give the Eagles a terrific one-two outside receiver combo. Tight end Dallas Goedert gives Hurts a good target in midfield, especially if he lines up in single coverage against a safety or linebacker. Hurts needs to make a few deep shots to keep opposing safeties deep, giving the trio more room to operate below. The injured also have to settle for the short drives and let the three use their ability to pick up yards after the catch to continue the drives.
3. Recognize Defenses
As a young quarterback, one of the growing pains is recognizing the covers that defensive coordinators lay out to confuse them, resulting in turnovers. This offseason, Hurts has spent a lot of time going over various covers used against him as well as other tweaks implored by league coordinators. Hurts needs to show he’s grasped the concepts to show he’s progressed enough to be considered the franchise’s undisputed quarterback.
4. Knowledge of the offense
Hurts will be in the same offensive system for the first time since he was a senior at Channelview High School in Channelview, TX. Knowing the offense will help him anticipate where and when a window will open to throw to a receiver. It could also help Hurts get in and out of the group quickly, giving him more time to get to the line of scrimmage and watch the defense before the snap.
5. Protect the ball in the pocket
Hurts’ ability to scramble and navigate the pocket is a trait he possesses that has allowed him to extend plays and take shots in the field. There were times when the ball was out in the open, with pass runners taking shots on the exposed ball. Hurts needs to continue to keep both hands on the ball as he climbs into the pocket and as soon as he turns the corner to run, then puts the ball away and picks up yards.
Veterans on the list bubble
Here are three veterans competing to stay on the list:
AND JJ Arcega Whiteside
After underperforming as a second-round selection in 2019, Arcega-Whiteside went from wide receiver to tight end in the final year of his rookie contract, hoping to find a role on the roster. Although Arcega-Whiteside has established himself as a reliable blocker and good special teams player, he hasn’t been consistent as a receiver. As a tight end, Arcega-Whiteside can run every road on the tree, but considering the team has second-year options in Tyree Jackson and Jack Stoll, as well as this year’s seventh-round pick Grant Calcaterra, it might be hard for him to make the list.
WR Greg Ward
Ward used his experience as a college quarterback to help him find weak spots in coverage. That knowledge helped him lead the team in receptions (53) and receiving touchdowns (6). Ward is comfortable with Hurts and has seen snaps in the red zone. The Eagles kept six wide receivers on the roster last season. With the additions of Brown and Zach Pascal this offseason and the continued development of Smith and Quez Watkins, Ward could be fighting for a job. One thing Ward has going for him is his safety as a punt returner.
WR Jalen Reagor
The first two seasons of Reagor’s career were difficult. With 64 catches for 695 yards and three touchdowns, Reagor appears to be the fifth wide receiver on the depth chart. Reagor still needs to work on catching the ball consistently and executing better routes. While the Eagles likely wouldn’t release him outright because of his contract, Reagor could be part of a late side trade if it turns out there isn’t a place for him on the roster. , acquiring a player in a similar situation or someone on the last year of their deal.
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Boot Camp battles to watch
Here are three positions to fill at the start of camp:
Isaac Seumalo vs. Jack Driscoll vs. Cam Jurgens
The Eagles’ strength has long been their offensive line. Continuity took a hit after former All-Pro right guard Brandon Brooks retired. With Brooks gone, the Eagles have three options to replace him. Isaac Seumalo, the starting left guard last year before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury, took snaps during OTAs. Seumalo will face Jack Driscoll, who started nine games at the position before injuries ended his season. Jurgens, the rookie second-round pick, is also learning the spot.
Edge: Despite his injury and stint on the opposite side of the line, Seumalo is expected to be the Week 1 starter.
Marcus Epps versus. Jaquiski pie versus. Anthony Harris
The three will compete for the two starting safety spots. Harris returns to defense and can play free safety but is better suited as a strong safety. Epps spent most of his time with the Eagles as a reserve, but played well when given the chance. The Eagles came out in free agency and signed Tartt to compete as a solid safety.
Edge: Epps is expected to earn the starting free safety position, and Harris will edge out Tartt to start the season as a strong starting safety, with Tartt entering “big nickel” situations at linebacker.
WILL (weak side) linebacker
White Kyzir versus. Nakobe Dean against Davion Taylor
WILL is one of the most athletic defenders of Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. The Eagles added White and Dean this offseason to join Taylor, who missed the end of the season with a knee injury.
Edge: White will likely start and be an asset in coverage. It won’t be surprising to see Dean at the WILL and even be second center linebacker in some “under” fronts. Still learning the position, Taylor needs to show he’s mastered the defense and, more importantly, stay healthy to see meaningful playing time.
Rookie and Veteran Report: July 26
Where: NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Important date for fans
August 8: Practice open, 7 p.m. Lincoln Financial Field
Admission is $10 for each practice, with all proceeds going to the Eagles Autism Foundation. Tickets can be purchased through ticket master.
August 12: vs. New York Jets, 7:30 p.m., NBC10
21st of August : at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m., NBC10/NFL Network
August 27: at Miami Dolphins, 7 p.m., NBC10
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Chris Franklin can be reached at email@example.com.
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