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August 01, 2023

Jalen Hurts watch: How did the Eagles' QB look on Day 4 of training camp?

A play-by-play breakdown of all of Jalen Hurts' reps from Day 4 of the Eagles' training camp practices.

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072623 Eagles Practice Jalen Hurts 2 Colleen Claggett/For PhillyVoice

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field during practice at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, Pa. on July 26, 2023.

The pads are finally on at the NovaCare Complex as the second week of Eagles training camp rolls around. Real football inches closer. 

In the Birds' fourth practice overall, I went play-by-play charting how Jalen Hurts performed with the offense, as we continue to do here at PhillyVoice.  

In looking back at what's truly different for the Eagles' quarterback during this summer's iteration of "Hurts Watch" compared to last year's, it's not just Hurts' accuracy that's improved. There's an aura of comfort that you can see from Hurts as he stands in the pocket. He bailed on passes, tucking and running it a ton last summer even in 7-on-7 drills that should be easy money for the offense. That's not the case now, as he scrambles and tries to make the best out of "broken" plays in both 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s like he did during the 2022 season and like he will need to do this fall if the Eagles are to return to the Super Bowl. 

So, let's get after it and see how Hurts and the Birds' offense looked...

11-on-11s from the two-yard line going in: 

Play 1: Hurts takes the snap, immediately rolls right and hits a wide open DeVonta Smith for an easy touchdown. New offensive coordinator Brian Johnson's 2023 playbook should include some goal-line pop passes for Hurts. 

Play 2: Hurts hikes the ball on a quick cadence, as the Eagles dial up a run to the right for Boston Scott, who's forced out of bounds without crossing the goal line.

That's it for that session, a draw between the first-team offense and the first-team defense.

1-on-1s from the 40-yard line:

To note, I know other Eagles reporters who chart practice throws, like WIP's Eliot Shorr-Parks, don't include 1-on-1 reps in their QB stats, but I want to give readers as comprehensive a look at Hurts' day as possible. Seeing Hurts work with one of the game's best wide receiver duos (one of the best ever?) battle against one of the best cornerback tandems is a treat. 

Play 3: Darius Slay is on Smith. Smith gets open, but can't haul the ball in with an uncharacteristic drop. The ball placement from Hurts was fine.

Play 4: With All-Pro corner James Bradberry fighting for positioning with him along the sideline, A.J. Brown hauls in a contested catch, staying in bounds in the process. 

Play 5: With Quez Watkins running a corner route, Hurts overthrows him. That's on QB1, not Watkins.

1-on-1s from the 40-yard line:

Another set of these...

Play 6: With Bradberry and Brown going at it along the left sideline yet again, Hurts can't connect with Brown, with the ball flying out of bounds.

Play 7: One of the best highlights of camp so far! Slay is all over Smith here with the type of sticky coverage that had the multiple-time All-Pro blanketing Justin Jefferson in Week 2 of last season. Hurts fires what amounts to a 50-50 ball Smith's way as Smith and Slay approach the goal line. Just as it looks to be an errant throw with elite coverage, Smith creates separation at the very last moment and snags the ball. 

Watching Smith work in practice is really something else. He's so technically proficient in real game action and that's even more heightened in a practice setting. He's my "game ball" recipient for the offense today. 

1-on-1s from the 40-yard line: 

One final set of 1-on-1s!

Play 8: It's another bad throw from Hurts, who comes up short on a well-run comeback route from Watkins. Hurts had him. 

Play 9: Olamide Zaccheaus burns Mario Goodrich on a crossing route and Hurts hits him in stride. Zaccheaus' speed was all the separation he needed. 

11-on-11s from deep territory: 

Play 10: Hurts was maybe "sacked" here, but he attempts to make something out of nothing and sees an open Smith streaking toward the sideline. The throw looks pretty on the run, but Smith can't stay in bounds despite a seemingly highlight-worthy catch.

Play 11: The Eagles go with a read option run to the left for Kenny Gainwell. He was promptly stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

Play 12: Hurts drops back with plenty of time to work. QB1 then lofts a great ball down the sideline to Brown with Bradberry sticking him. Brown wins this one and makes the catch. Truly, the most entertaining aspect of camp so far has been these matchups between Smith/Brown and Slay/Bradberry. 

Play 13: Brown runs an in-breaking route and uses his physicality to make the catch with Bradberry on him.

Play 14: Tight end alert! Hurts finds Dallas Goedert, who's as open as anything in the middle of the field for a quick gain. 

7-on-7s with the end zone at the offense's back: 

Play 15: It's Goedert again with an underneath throw to the left.

Play 16: Scott motions before the play and then Hurts finds Goedert once more over the middle.

Play 17: In a formation that Watkins and Smith stacked to the right, Hurts waits in the pocket, doesn't see what he likes, rolls right and hits Watkins on a comeback route. At this point in training camp, the slot receiver job clearly belongs to Watkins.

Play 18: Hurts' early reads aren't there, as he dumps it off to Gainwell on an underneath crossing route.

Play 19: Hurts drops back and finds Smith on a perfectly run deep out. It's the type of play you can expect to see all season long. 

11-on-11s from deep territory:

Play 20: Hurts attempts to connect on an early breaking slant route to the left, but it appears that the ball got batted at the line of scrimmage. To be honest, this session had a tough vantage point for the media, so I can't be more specific than that on this play.

Play 21: Hurts targets Goedert to his left. Easy stuff.

Play 22: In a designed run for Hurts, the quarterback hits the hole with some great blocking and room to run. I'm chalking that one up as a true "first down."

Play 23: It's a run to the right for Rashaad Penny that the front seven blows up. 

Play 24: Hurts fakes like he's going to run it, rolls route and hits DeVonta Smith with nothing but green around him with zero defensive backs in sight. While he didn't catch this in the end zone, I'm calling it a "touchdown" given how open he was.

11-on-11s in a "3rd and eight from the 40" setup: 

Per head coach Nick Sirianni's orders, the Eagles do some light situation football work.

Play 25: It's a draw to Gainwell who gets a first down and a whole lot more. It's probably not a touchdown in a live game setting with real tackling, but Gainwell did sprint to the end zone as the fans in the crowd cheered on. That must have been enough for Sirianni because that's the last of that session for the first-team O.

11-on-11s from deep:

Last session of the day!

Play 26: The Eagles hand it off to Penny without getting anywhere.

Play 27: Hurts hits Penny in the flat to his left for a marginal gain.

Play 28: With some nice pressure from Josh Sweat forcing him out of the pocket, Hurts rolls left and hits Smith, but, again, he falls ever so slightly out of bounds. No catch.

Play 29: With the pocket collapsing upon him, Hurts dumps it off to the right to Scott, who dashes and bursts through defenders up the field as if the Eagles were playing the Giants. 

Play 30: Hurts drops back and looks Brown's way on a deep post route to the end zone. Brown comes down with it with a defensive back draped on him for a touchdown. I will say that Hurts underthrew this one ever so slightly, as Brown slowed down as he crossed the goal line. The ball didn't hit him 100 percent in stride. Still, the Eagles went out and traded for Brown for plays like this. Your throws don't have to be 100 percent perfect when you have Brown out there. That's a great note to end practice on. 

Final stats (all drills): 17/24, three touchdowns 

Final stats (just 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s): 14/17, three touchdowns 

Follow along the rest of the week and throughout camp for more Jalen Hurts breakdowns...

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