As I did during the Eagles’ first training camp practice, I charted how Jalen Hurts performed Friday in camp. Hurts really excelled on Wednesday, looking much improved from his 2021 self. On Friday, however, Hurts’ performance was uneven, some of which fell on his shoulders and some due to poor play from the entire offense. I chalked up Hurts’ first workout as a B+/A- of the day. Friday moved closer to C+ territory.
Just as Wednesday didn’t mean Hurts was turning into Russell Wilson in front of everyone, Hurts Friday didn’t mean he was destined for a bad 2022 campaign. Let’s get to it. Here’s how each play unfolded for Hurts from what the media could see during practice:
Things kicked off with 11-on-11 work around the 50-yard line at the Birds’ practice field…
• Play 1: Hurts throws left to Dallas Goedert as the tight end breaks down the middle of the field. Strong enough!
• Play 2: This is a play similar to the read, with Hurts handing off to Boston Scott. It should be noted that Scott got the majority of first-team reps on Friday. From what I saw, Miles Sanders only worked with the second team. Something to monitor.
• Game 3: A small-play throw for Hurts, which the team made a lot of on Friday, when the QB hits Kenny Gainwell through the hole on a pass route. flat
• Play 4: Hurts quickly throws it to his right to AJ Brown. The pass is broken up, but the cornerback was all Brown. I present it as a pass interference game. Did the Birds sign Ricky Manning Jr. and I missed it? I won’t count that incompletion on Herts’ final stat line.
• Play 5: This is another play-action throw that leads to a Goedert kind of screen. The throw is a bit wide, but Goedert takes it in with a sweet one-handed catch.
When Hearts and the first team came on next, they were working from the 20 yard line. This was a 7 by 7 setting.
• Game 6: Hurts throws left to Quez Watkins. It hits the third-year wide-opener right in the hands and he drops it. Friday’s attacking lull is not all down to Hearts. It was a rough look for all the offensive units out there.
• Game 7: It’s a sharp throw up the middle to Jack Stoll. Stoll needs more experience as a pass rusher to give him more versatility. He was used almost exclusively as a blocking tight end in 2021.
• Game 8: Hurts checks it to Goedert. There was no first reading.
• Play 9: It’s stick coverage from Darius Slay on Brown and the ball is incomplete. There was some debate in the media as to whether it was Brown’s drop or Slay’s pass. I lean towards the former. Again, not the greatest day for offense by all.
• Play 10: Hurts throws right between two defenders to Stoll. Stoll jumps and the ball hits the edge of his outstretched arm, but he can’t come down with it. Ideal placement from Hurts.
Things are back to 11 on 11…
• Game 11: It’s a designed keeper just for Hurts. I expect to see a lot of that this season, even as the Eagles’ offense likely transitions to a more run-heavy offense.
• Game 12: “Read” option that ends with Scott.
• Game 13: Another birdie swing. Hurts’ first read is gone and he leaves it to Kenny Gainwell in the flat. It’s a small profit at most.
• Game 14: Eagles lean on Watkins. I couldn’t identify the defensive position with the fast pace of practice and where the media was standing, but nice play from the DB to break things up. It could have been a better ball from Hearts.
• Play 15: Hurts puts it to the left. There are no defensive players around him and that is a good result. It’s all relative in practice without full pads and scrambling. Under these conditions, it is sometimes difficult to evaluate the running game.
After the second-, third- and fourth-string QBs get their reps, Hurts takes the field for the final practice of the day.
• Play 16: In the rare instance that Hurts is actually under center, Hurts rolls right and hits a beautiful teardrop pass to the streaking Brown on the sideline. It was definitely his best throw all day. If Eagles fans want to ignore the underwhelming parts of this play, focus on this play.
• Play 17: Hurts throws it to Brown with a quick slant left. These types of plays should lead to big YAC gains for the Browns and the Birds. Brown gives Philly great ability to hold back and run after the catch.
• Game 18: This whole play is weird. Seems like a total miscommunication on everyone’s part. It was a playful act. It was an RPO. I don’t know. Hurts was “removed” though by free agent quarterback Kyzeer White. For a team whose continuity should be a defining feature, such moments should be kept to a minimum.
• Play 19: It’s a play Hurts would certainly like to have back. Throwing off his back foot, Hurts lifts the ball which has been hanging in the air for too long. Avonte Maddox swoops in and takes it in front of (former roommate) Goedert. Credit to Maddox, but Hurts could do much, much better.
• Game 20: Things didn’t end on a good note for Hurts on Friday. His final throw was wide of Devonta Smith on the way back. The Alabama receiver didn’t stand a chance on it.
The final “stat line” for Hurts (as much as we can do with a stat line for July practice): 7/13 (53.8 percent) and an interception.
I caution Eagles fans to take breaks from the concerns and hysteria. Here’s how I would tell them to try to evaluate training camp. enjoy high scores and be excited about them. That’s what summer hype is all about. Don’t be too wild at bad times. Things can be ironed out and it’s not worth the mental energy to worry about them now.
The Eagles will be back at the NovaCare Complex on Saturday, and I imagine Hurts and the offense will look closer to form on Wednesday than they did on Friday.
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