Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘I was really pleased with him’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts finally got his opportunity to play a preseason game on Thursday night as the Eagles hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the preseason in 2020, Hurts was never able to play in the preseason until now.

The second-year quarterback played two series against Pittsburgh. He led the Eagles to points in his first series, which was highlighted by a beautiful 34-yard pass to tight end Dallas Goedert. Philadelphia may have scored a touchdown on that first drive. However, drops by Jalen Reagor and Zach Ertz forced the Eagles to settle for a 47-yard Jake Elliott field goal.

In the second series, Hurts missed WR Quez Watkins on a deep pass that could have been a 98-yard touchdown reception. After getting a first down on that drive, Philadelphia was forced to punt.

Hurts finished the game 3/7 for 54 yards, and Philadelphia would lose to the Steelers 24-16.

After the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni gave his thoughts on Hurts’ performance against Pittsburgh.

“Yeah, I thought he handled it well,” Sirianni said. “He made a really good check and great throw to [TE] Dallas [Goedert] for a big play. He saw what defense was coming and checked the play. A ton of credit to him for that and making a perfect throw there. I thought he went with where we wanted the ball to go versus the defenses they were running. He had a couple drops in there, so I was really pleased with him.”

Hurts added on his performance: “I mean, I want to come on the field and complete every pass, score touchdowns every time I touch the field. The competitor in me is like, ‘damn.’ But I think it was a good day. I think it was, you know, we have to be better on third down, for sure. But coming out there, for the most part, executing. There’s a lot to learn from that, always.”

The star of the game for Philadelphia was Quez Watkins. The second-year wide receiver had the Eagles’ only touchdown after turning a bubble screen pass from Joe Flacco into a 79-yard touchdown reception. Many have been impressed by Watkins this summer, and according to him, he’s worked hard in the offseason to get better.

“This whole offseason, I just made everything personal,” he said. “Everything people said I couldn’t do. ‘I was only fast.’ I just made everything personal and put the work in.”

Philadelphia continues the preseason next Thursday when they host the New England Patriots.

 

 

 

Eagles’ Watkins: ‘DeSean(Jackson) has really been one of my role models as a receiver’

Speed kills, and the lack of speed at wide receiver killed the Philadelphia Eagles last season, especially when DeSean Jackson went down with injury in Week 2, but after the NFL draft, that may have changed, especially with the addition of WR Quez Watkins.

The Eagles selected Southern Mississippi’s Watkins in the sixth round on Saturday. The 22-year-old Watkins is fast and ran a 4.35 40 at the combine. Watkins was a two-time All-Conference USA first-team wide receiver, and in 2019, he caught 64 passes for 1178 yards and six touchdowns.

Now, Watkins gets to play with another speed guy in Jackson, who Watkins feels he could learn a lot from this season. 

Oh, man. DeSean(Jackson) has really been one of my role models as a receiver as a speed guy, kind of a similar body style,” Watkins said. “Really just ready to start learning and getting a lot of stuff, getting a lot of knowledge from him.

In addition to Watkins, the Eagles grabbed two other wide receivers in the draft with speed in Jalen Reagor and John Hightower, and they added another speed guy in WR Marquise Goodwin from the 49ers in a trade. According to Watkins, all that speed is going to make for some interesting practices.

“The practices are going to be, I feel like, up-tempo, and you’re going to see a lot of guys just flying around,” Watkins said. “A lot of 4.3 guys really flying around. A lot speed, a lot of playmakers,” 

Due to injury, wide receiver was a sore spot for the Eagles last season, and if these young players can contribute right away, and DeSean Jackson can stay healthy, the wide receiver position could become a strength for Philadelphia in 2020.