Eagles Rookie QB ‘Spitting Back’ Plays in Virtual Workouts

Jalen Hurts NFL

Getty Jalen Hurts is an intriguing NFL draft prospect.

Jalen Hurts has yet to break a practice huddle, but there are already conversations going on him about the rookie quarterback at the NovaCare Complex.

Hurts, the Eagles’ second-round pick (53rd overall), has been nailing the mental aspects of the game and picking up the playbook rather easily this spring during “virtual” workouts. Press Taylor (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach) has been working with him in one-on-one situations, specifically by putting him into a huddle setting and allowing him to call plays. And, impressively, Hurts is spitting back the terminology verbatim. Head coach Doug Pederson raved that he was “really impressed” with his progress.

“His growth from a mental standpoint from the beginning of the offseason to now has been very good,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told reporters. “One thing Press Taylor has done is put him into a huddle situation where he’s calling plays and being able to just spit that back to him. He’s done that at a really good, high level, and now it’s just a matter of once we get him on the grass, he has to do it for real and go from there. But I’ve been really impressed with his progress this spring.”

Of course, the caveat that follows every Pederson comment involves grass. All his players have been quick studies in meetings and came back in tip-top physical shape. However, no one can really tell how that translates on the field until they are actually in the huddle, with green grass under their cleats. It’s a slow, discerning process — and Hurts is only in phase one.

“With Jalen, it’s something — with young quarterbacks, you always have an idea or an understanding of where they are, not only at the beginning of your offseason but at the end,” Pederson said. “You take things slower with young players. You take things a little bit slower so that they can understand the terminology.”

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Pederson Credits Guys for Working Out in Groups

Carson Wentz invited a bunch of receivers to throw at his farm in Houston. Fletcher Cox did the same at his ranch in Jacksboro, Texas.

It was a way to break the monotony of quarantine, in a safe manner, and build chemistry with teammates. Normally, the Eagles would be working out together at the NovaCare Complex. Wentz and Cox took the initiative to lead their own bonding trips after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the facility.

“One of the things, it’s been small groups,” Pederson said, “so they have been protected and that’s our goal, first and foremost, but it doesn’t go without saying that that’s a great way to start building chemistry, especially with the amount of young receivers that we have working with Carson.”

The head coach commended them for doing it and thinks it will help build chemistry ahead of training camp.

“I think it’s important that they get together and they build team chemistry as a position group,” Pederson said. “Whether it’s D-Line or receivers and get together like they are doing. I commend the guys for doing that and taking time.”

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