August 15, 2023
A day after his endorsement deal with Air Jordan became official, Jalen Hurts took the field at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday with red Jordan 1 cleats to match the no-contact jersey, and ran through the Eagles' second joint practice with the Browns with much sharper command over the offense than the first.
"Yesterday wasn't up to our offensive standard," head coach Nick Sirianni said ahead of the practice Tuesday with all due credit to Cleveland's defensive performance.
But they went over the film and course-corrected, coming out this time looking much more like the high-powered unit everyone got used to seeing last season.
Maybe it was the cleats.
Anyway, here's Tuesday's play-by-play:
• Play 1: With D'Andre Swift running a wheel over top to draw defenders away, DeVonta Smith runs a quick out underneath that Hurts hits him on easily to get the day going.
• Play 2: Smith runs a chair route to the left pylon and Hurts tries to float it to him into the end zone, but it fell out of reach. Incomplete.
• Play 3: A.J. Brown runs a post cutting left across the back of the end zone. Hurts lets it fly and Brown does grab it, but with only one foot in bounds. He just missed.
• Play 4: With the ball moved up to the 7, Hurts hits Boston Scott on a drag across to the left. Scott gets a couple of yards on it, but couldn't fully turn the corner before contact.
• Play 5: Spotted at the 4, Hurts drops back and waits, then finds Dallas Goedert cutting across the back of the end zone for the day's first touchdown.
• Play 6: Running it back from the 4 again, Brown runs a quick slant to the inside and Hurts zips the ball right to him for another score to end the first set.
• Hurts' line: 4/6 with 2 TDs.
• Play 7: Hurts takes it off the snap and runs left. Jason Kelce jumps ahead of him and throws a great block in front to clear space as Hurts cuts toward the sideline and keeps going for a few more.
• Play 8: A Kenny Gainwell run up the gut for a couple of yards before the whistle blows on contact.
• Play 9: From the gun, a handoff to Scott, who breaks right, turns the corner, and makes a shift straight to the end zone.
• Play 10: On play action, Hurts keeps it but the pocket collapses immediately with nowhere to escape. Count that one as a "sack."
• Play 11: Hurts hits Brown for a quick five yards after Brown made a cut on a route that just cooked Cleveland cornerback Denzel Ward.
• Play 12: A check down to Swift on the left that he holds on to through contact. On comes the second team.
• Hurts' line: 2/2 with a rush and a "sack."
• Play 13: Another run to Gainwell up the middle for about five yards before two linebackers were there to meet him.
• Play 14: A run left from Swift, who turned the corner and made a shifty cut past the tackler to break free into space.
• Play 15: A rarity in camp so far, Hurts lines up under center instead of from the gun, but it's on a hand off to Scott that gets immediately stuffed at the line by Cleveland's defense.
• Play 16: With the ball moved up to the 4, Hurts goes back into the gun with an empty backfield, and on a designed run, takes it right up the middle as the O-line parts the seas for a walk straight into the end zone.
• Play 17: With the spot moved back a couple to the 6, Hurts fakes a handoff to Trey Sermon then keeps it himself and rolls left for a couple of quick yards.
• Play 18: On play action, Hurts takes an extra step back and then floats one to a wide-open DeVonta Smith cutting toward the left pylon in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Great route, great touch on the pass, looked effortless as the first team subbed out on that note.
• Hurts' lines: 1/1 with two rushes, a rushing TD and a passing TD.
• Play 19: From the gun and with Cleveland's cornerbacks lining up tight on Smith and Brown out wide, Hurts opts to challenge that and throws one up for Brown along the left sideline heading toward the end zone. Brown couldn't come down with it, but a flag was thrown as it looked like his defender, Martin Emerson, made a bit too much contact.
• Play 20: Hurts keeps and makes a juke that catches Browns defensive end Isaiah McGuire badly. The run only goes for a couple of yards though.
• Play 21: Hurts hits Gainwell on a quick out for a couple more.
• Play 22: Hurts takes the snap and looks, and with pressure cracking down, he throws off his back foot toward Dallas Goedert's general vicinity, but that pass wasn't meant for anyone to catch. Just a throwaway.
• Play 23: Hurts takes the snap and sits in the pocket, waiting for something to open up. He points at Brown to direct him downfield, and the cut Brown makes off of that catches Emerson sleeping. Hurts lets the ball fly and Brown comes down with it for the touchdown, sending the Eagles' sideline and all the fans watching at the NovaCare Complex into a frenzy.
• Play 24: Lining up for two, with everyone still reeling from Brown's TD catch, Hurts takes it and runs it right up the gut across the goal line to cap off the set and a much better day for the first-team offense.
• Hurts' line: 2/3 with a passing TD (not including the incompletion off the PI), and two rushes, including on a two-point conversion.
• Tuesday's final line: 9/12 with 5 rushes, 4 passing TDs, a rushing TD, a two-pointer, and a "sack."
The Eagles will face the Browns on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field in preseason game No. 2, but Hurts and the starters are once again unlikely to see any playing time in the exhibition.
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