Nick Sirianni has ears. He’s heard all the rumors about the front office pursuing a trade for a quarterback. Or drafting a rookie. But the second-year head coach also has eyes and he can see the great strides Jalen Hurts made in Year 1 as the starter.
Hurts earned his trust and the respect of the entire Philadelphia Eagles organization. There is no controversy. Hurts is the guy.
“I couldn’t be more excited about Jalen Hurts and the type of player he is, the type of person he is,” Sirianni told reporters at the Annual League Meeting. “I know he’s going to continue to develop because of who he is. And so I couldn’t be more excited to work with him and I know he knows that, I know that he’s excited to work with us and to build on the good year that he had last year. And so he knows that he’s our guy and we show him that with our actions day in and day out.”
Sirianni revealed that Hurts has been training with a quarterbacks coach in Southern California. He wouldn’t provide a name, instead telling reporters to “do the digging.” One possible name? 3DQB SoCal, the place where Lamar Jackson works out. Hurts has been doing everything in his power to improve his mechanics heading into the 2022 campaign.
“Jalen is working and trying to get every angle he can to get better,” Sirianni said. “Whether that’s working with a quarterback guy or studying film, different ways of doing that, he’s doing everything he can do to get better.”
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Sirianni Addresses Gardner Minshew Rumors
There has been talk that Gardner Minshew may be on the move. The Indianapolis Colts had been a suitor prior to getting Matt Ryan. The Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and Pittsburgh Steelers remain trendy destinations for Minshew, too. Sirianni wouldn’t confirm or deny any rumors, saying only that Minshew is the backup quarterback and he’s looking forward to continuing their relationship.
“I value Gardner Minshew very much,” Sirianni said. “He helped us make the playoffs last year, right? With him being able to step in when Jalen was dinged and play a very good game against the Jets. I mean, that just adds value to him, and that adds value to 31 other teams to him, but it also adds value to us as well. Knowing that you need good, quality backups.”
Minshew went 41-of-60 for 439 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception last season. He appeared in four games, including four starts while showing off how valuable he can be in a 33-18 win over New York. He also marched into Sirianni’s office and asked how he could win the starting job.
“I’m sure glad that he’s our backup on our football team,” Sirianni said, “and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Run-Heavy Offense vs. Pass-Heavy Offense
The Eagles formed an identity as a run-heavy offense in 2021, allowing their punishing offensive line to do the dirty work after a slow start. The decision to pound the rock — the NFL’s top-rated rushing attack, at 159.7 yards per game — saved the season. Is that what the offense is going to look like this season? That’s to be determined.
“We’re going to do what we feel we need to do best to win football games,” Sirianni said. “And sometimes your team grows into a run-heavy team, sometimes it grows into a pass-heavy team. We don’t have to make that decision of who we are until Game 1 and, really, that always evolves so I’m not pressed about that and we’re going to work like crazy to get our pass game where we want it, to get it better.”
The Eagles ranked 25th in passing offense in 2021, sandwiched in between the Colts and Titans. They averaged 200.2 yards per game through the air. Meanwhile, their 2,715 rushing yards set a new single-season franchise record.