Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts played one of the worst games of his young career in the team’s 41-21 loss to the Cowboys on Monday night.
Hurts was 25/39 for 326 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, including a pick-six that helped the Cowboys take complete control of the game.
The second-year quarterback, who was making the seventh start of his career, often used his legs against the Cowboys and did not spend much time in the pocket.
Hurts was criticized by the Monday Night Football broadcast team for not staying in the pocket and going through his progressions. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni appeared to agree with that assessment, which he discussed on Wednesday.
“So from the beginning, we’ve been talking about, ‘Hey, how do we’ — because I heard something one time where his off-schedule throws on 1st and 2nd down were like 50 percent, or whatever it was, and then I heard that our old quarterback in Indy, Philip [Rivers], was like 14 percent, so they were at the vast difference of the spectrum; one was No. 1 in the league, one was 32, Sirianni said. “‘Whatever it was. My point was to him is, ‘Hey, we’ve got to bring that from 50 to 35. And by no means do I want you to get to 14 because you guys are different players. But get that to 35,’ and I think that’s what he’s — because he still has this unbelievable weapon of being able to extend plays and being able to make things happen out of the pocket.
“Yes, we want him to throw in rhythm, but we don’t want to limit him to who he is and what he can do. Again, it’s a fine line there. I think he’s done a better job. Are there plays that I thought he got out of the pocket too quick? Sure, there’s going to be a couple of those, but those are things that we’re constantly talking about. Again, I’ve got to do my job as a coach of, yes, getting him at 35 but not limiting him to what his strengths are and who he is as a player.”
When a quarterback has excellent running ability, it can be challenging to teach them to stay in the pocket and go through the necessary progressions. There will be growing pains with young quarterbacks, and Hurts is no different.